Fear and the Art of Selling Yourself and Your Book
I’ve just had an interesting half hour checking out some of the blogs by writers, self publishers and would be published authors who I regularly check out, and a handful of them mentioned the word ‘fear’ in their posts. But fear of what exactly? I’ll elaborate.
As writers I think we all feel confident when beginning a project, be it a novel, autobiography or whatever. It’s why we love being writers I suppose, the thrill of creating something new, fresh, exciting, original, stimulating. Not to mention the ‘fun’ of actually ‘writing’.
Then the novel is completed. It’s as good as it will ever get. It’s time to do something with it. And this is where fear strikes.
Will anyone else love it as much as me? Will it flop? Will I look a fool? Will I have wasted time and money for nothing? Will I end up bewildered? What was the point of it all? Any of these sound familiar?
But then, after a while, you pull yourself together, you get a grip, and tell yourself it was all worth it. The novel is good. People will like it. Will love it. Great. Move on.
Of course, eventually you realise, after selling 100 books, that nothing much has changed. Yes, you reached 100 souls and perhaps if you’re lucky changed their lives for the better or, if nothing else, put some fun into their lives. So what now?
And the answer you get from people like me is…. “Sell your book, promote it, publicise it and promote it until it cannot be promoted any more….oh, and by the way, if you really want to hit it big……PROMOTE AND SELL YOURSELF“.
Oh My God! Yep, at some point, if you really want to make the breakthrough you need to sell yourself. Big time. It’s not the only way to be a success, but it will certainly help. Anyone reading your book and loving it will want to know about YOU, what kind of person you are, what makes you tick, what kind of a person could write such a great piece of literature? And I would be in that category too. I would want to know about you.
But if there’s nothing there other than a blurred photo on a blog that hasn’t been updated for three months I might be a tad disappointed. I would search around for you, Google, and would find obscure references to you on sites that might do nothing for your image…..so how much better then to have pre-planned a selling strategy for yourself.
Get a photo of yourself that works…..it might only be a snap, but make it fabulous, take it from a weird angle, look cool….it WILL help. Don’t be frightened of taking positive action. Fear is the enemy. Banish it. I know it’s difficult, but you need to get rid of it.
Your blog should be up to date too….you don’t have to write monster posts….just a snippet…but regularly. A website would definitely help with a ‘call to action’ link to buy your book or get in touch with you.
To be honest I could list 100 ways to promote yourself that would work and not be spammy or hammy or bad taste. It would be easy. However, my guess is you’ve got the picture by now so I will shut up. But, believe me, promoting just the book might work, but promoting the book AND yourself WILL work. It will.
Don’t let fear win. Don’t be frightened of selling yourself. Be positive. Small steps at a time. But get there.