Commitment is hugely important for authors. I see authors struggle with this all of the time. They get excited to release the book, and then realize it takes work to deal with marketing. Soon, other priorities take over and the book stops selling, and then the author is frustrated. I call this “author post-partum,” and the only cure is to re-engage and celebrate the small wins because eventually those add up.
The reality is that your book is going to compete with millions of titles. Just because it’s available on Amazon.com doesn’t mean that it will sell or that people will find it. You’ve got to build that audience and lead them to your book. This takes a serious level of commitment and ongoing effort. You might worry because you have a day job and don’t have time for marketing. Well welcome to the club! Most New York Times bestselling authors have day jobs. You managed to find time to write your book, and now you must find time to do the work to help it sell.
Many authors have told me that they hate marketing. I get it. I like to compare it to gardening. Some people love gardening, but I’m not one of them. I don’t like dirt or bugs or the grunt work involved in cultivating a beautiful yard. But what I do enjoy is the end result. I want a beautiful yard, and so I begrudgingly do the work in order to reap the long-term rewards.
Imagine what would happen if you planted just three seeds in your yard every day. Over time you’d have a lush, beautiful garden! Marketing works the same way. A little effort every day adds up to big rewards, but you’ve got to do the work. If you ignore your yard, it will grow weeds and the plants that are there will die. I’m quite sure you don’t want that same fate for your book, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this book!
You can also find ways to enjoy the work. When I work in my yard, I crank up music and try to make it fun. I take breaks to play with my dog and my kid. I make the best of it. I also hired a landscaper to come in weekly and handle the maintenance. You can certainly outsource some of the marketing tasks that you don’t like! And when you do the work, you might even find that there are some tasks you actually enjoy.
I also know that when we resist something, it can seem harder than it really is. For example, if you loathe having to do your dishes every day, it’s going to make that job even more painful. You will be filled with dread before you even start! It will undoubtedly affect your mood and make it feel like a much bigger deal than it actually is. But if you stopped resisting it—if you made the decision to stop dreading the chore and instead focused on getting it done, then stopped to appreciate the beauty of a clean kitchen, that chore wouldn’t seem nearly as painful! Can you at least try that with marketing?
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