If we knew the reality that we must be the marketer we are waiting for, many writers, myself included, might have abandoned our projects rather than face the daunting task of marketing.
How many first-time writers didn’t consider their role as marketer once the book was complete or assumed a publisher would take care of that along with the big royalty check?
For many introverts, this apprehension might be doubly so. Many introverts migrate to the writing space for its solitude. When we suddenly discover the outward-facing tasks ahead, it can be daunting.
But book marketing is not to be feared, even for the most ardent introvert, if you apply 3 Cardinal Rules.
My own writing journey as an introvert began in 2018 when I retired and reconnected with my teenage passion of writing. I published my memoir, In Search of Courage: An Introvert’s Story in 2020 and I’m now preparing to launch my new leadership book for introverts, The Corporate Introvert: How to Lead and Thrive with Confidence, on October 6th.
Through my own learning process, I’m endeavoring to adhere to these 3 Cardinal Rules, which frankly can apply to introverts and extroverts alike:
- Know Yourself
- Market with Integrity
- Stretch Kindly
#1 Know Yourself
Especially as an introvert seemingly surrounded by an extrovert society, it is critical to dispel the horrible myths of introversion for yourself and to discover your own true strengths and talents. Many introverts are especially observant, great listeners, quite empathetic, structured planners, and uniquely creative, all of which can be a big bonus for writing, self-publishing, and book marketing. Understand your special strengths, practice them, and implement them in what you do. Check out our Introvert Talent Quiz to explore your strengths and learn more tips and hazards.
We don’t need to change ourselves; we just need to be ourselves. No need to envy or try to replicate your fellow extroverted writers. Do it your way!
#2 Market with Integrity
There are countless ‘experts’ sharing their ‘must do’ steps to sell thousands of books. They have books and podcasts inundating author airways. It is easy to get overwhelmed and pulled in too many directions, many of which are not authentically you and some of which appear quite misleading.
The key is to market with integrity. Consider your strengths, interests, and values. Find those marketing efforts that feel genuine to you. This may involve stretching and trying new things, but if you are fraught with anxiety or feel you are being too slimy for your own taste, dial it back and reassess.
I also find it best to focus on no more than a handful of marketing paths and try to do them well rather than a more scattered approach, which can often leave you exhausted and dissatisfied.
#3 Stretch Kindly
Introverts in particular should recognize we do need to stretch our comfort zone. However, notice I didn’t say leap out of our comfort zone. Take small, well-prepared steps to use your strengths in different ways. As you stretch, you’ll learn, grow, and build confidence.
I like to use this Growth Ring Model to help illustrate a common marketing approach:
Home Base: your most comfortable place where you employ your strengths with confidence. For many writers, that is the written word. So for marketing, start with a simple website and blog regularly. It’s a great way to hone your craft, explore different topics, and build a following.
Neighborhood: still close to Home, you are using your skills in new ways. Pick 2-3 social media platforms based on your target audience and begin to engage. Especially for introverts, this interaction can be a stretch so start slowly and find those platforms and the type of conversation you feel most comfortable with. Also consider using your talents to ask for endorsements from mentors, experts, and leaders, large and small. Solicit your followers to be part of your launch team to help build all-important reviews of your new book. Craft some blurbs yourself to apply to Amazon or Facebook Ads too. You may also create quizzes for your website readers. I’ve found this to be my biggest website magnet and a great service to my community.
Adventure: further stretching. Build on your confidence to try new approaches. When COVID took off, I decided to give guesting on podcasts a shot. I had listened to many writing, self-publishing, and introvert podcasts during my writing phase and felt like it was a challenge I wanted to try. I view it as a one-on-one discussion, regardless of how many may listen. I committed to try a couple and then reassess my interest with no strings attached. I selected some low-key podcasts and prepared and practiced my points. I have found I actually love guesting. I meet interesting hosts, share my background and passion to empower introverts primarily through relaxing Q&A rather than speech making. I’m floating on air after each recording, oozing with confidence. One and a half years later, I’ve joined over 25 podcasts that largely place me in front of my target audience. I’ve set up a fall Yes You Can podcast tour as part of my Corporate Introvert marketing effort.
Frontier: this is indeed further from Home. Sometimes I’m not comfortable to wander into this mysterious ring, but other times I muster up the courage to give it a try. – either approach is fine. For me, large crowd presentations are my kryptonite. I just recently signed up to join other local authors to present our books at a large Houston bookfair. I’ll have two minutes to share my book and purpose with a few hundred onlookers. I feel like I want drop my toe into this unchartered territory and see if the joy I get from the ripple effect will outweigh the onset of anxiety and fear to try as I step into the frontier.
Stretching kindly involves recognizing the challenges of trying new things and being your best cheerleader. Fill your day (and journals) with self-compassionate, positive self-talk rather than doubt and critique, and you will be more prepared to stretch successfully. The victory is not in the destination, but in the journey, regardless of where you end up.
I prefer to reframe my efforts as community outreach rather than book marketing, which carries some pre-conceived expectations and anxieties I’d rather not to embolden.
My 5 community outreach approaches:
- Blogging regularly
- Endorsements and Reviewers
- Guest Podcasting
- Amazon Ads
Your outreach efforts may be quite different, but if you select an approach that is true to yourself and stretches you kindly, you’ll do well and have fun along the journey!
Steve Friedman is an ambitious introvert, championing the journey for introverts to become their best selves.
He wasn’t always that way, but years of struggle, introspect, and practice has enabled him to triumph. He embraces his passion to guide others to learn about introversion and accelerate their own journey to reach their own dreams.
After publishing his award-winning memoir, In Search of Courage, in 2020, Steve is excited to share The Corporate Introvert: How to Lead and Thrive with Confidence in the fall of 2021. He engages with introverts through his books, website blogs, quizzes, and other resources, as well as community engagement as a speaker and mentor.
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