get-comfortable-talking-about-your-bookWelcome and sincere thanks to author Patricia Weber for this guest post. And also a big “Welcome Aboard” to all of you who joined our tribe from the SC Book Festival this past weekend in Columbia! Read on, write on… Now, let’s get comfortable talking about our work…

Have you ever told a friend about a wonderful restaurant you ate at for dinner? Maybe you saw a movie you loved, and you couldn’t stop telling people about your 5-star review. Or there’s that favorite vacation place you always want to tell others, “You have to go there.”

Promotion of others can be an everyday occurrence. But for many authors self-promotion can be a struggle. It’s my presumption many authors are more introverted. If true, it’s an added complication to self-promotion because in general we aren’t self-disclosing too easily or often.

We owe it to our potential audience to put in their hands something to read we wrote for them to either learn from or enjoy. Have you ever withheld a holiday gift for a loved one or good friend? I didn’t think so.

What are you waiting for in promoting your work? To help you get started, here are Six Comfortable Ways to Reach Readers Waiting On You:

1. Ask yourself, what’s the worst that can happen?

One important lesson I learned in selling is until you ask for a decision, the answer is no. When you ask, there’s a fifty-fifty chance of getting a yes answer. Yes; in case you are wondering, I am more of an introvert, specifically an INTJ by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator ™.

silhouette-315915_640A no would be difficult to hear because I would think I did a lousy job. The truth in sales is, it’s not about you. Once you hear “no” the first time with this understanding, any further rejections don’t pierce your heart or confidence.

As a creative type it’s more likely the worst that can happen is some untrue story in our mind. Whether it’s an agent or distributor or potential buyer, what’s the worst that can happen to you?

2. Decide you are a writer and an author.

We write our book. It’s a labor of long hours and lots of editing, and it’s finally complete.

are-you-an-authorWriting may be the easiest part of the publishing process, unless our intention to write was to get a story or ideas out of our head but not necessarily share with others.

Everyone writes, but not everyone is an author. My mother used to write lists – shopping lists, birthday lists, to-do lists. She even wrote a lovely, heartbreaking poem. None of her works were published. The poem sitting on her notepad brought tears and laughter to the two of us, but so many people are left uninspired by her written but not authored hard-learned lessons.

If we’re authors, then we must let the people interested to read what we write know we have just that information waiting for them.

Who wants to read what you let out of you in a publication?

3. Outline a five-day plan.

If we are looking at our marketing plan in its entirety, it can be overwhelming. It may be wise to create a marketing plan, but it’s wiser to prioritize the plan for encouragement to act. Think of this plan as you might think about your book outline, or how you reorganized your ideas as your writing progressed.

five-day-planPlanning flexibility in self-promotion may make it easier for us to move out of our comfort zone. We’re motivated to take action quickly on tasks that make our heart beat fast in a healthy way.

You have a blog, right? Blog a series of posts about your book, the experience of it, the plot, the key ideas. Invite questions from people who comment and social share these posts.

Join a blogger community where others will also share for you.

Check one item on my plan: get out to mingle and talk about book. For a while, I wasn’t networking in my local community. Then a supportive colleague emailed me about an upcoming speaking engagement she was giving. It made my heart beat feeling I wanted to repay her for her past support. I replied, “Yes I will attend.” Not easy for someone who wants to puke at most of these over the top, and “all about me,” kind of events.

What five actions would you love doing? Take steps on each in the next five workdays, and then repeat and repeat for at least 30 days. Evaluate results to decide what needs to change.

4. Look outside yourself.

Adding more reviews might be part of your plan. Consider many of the people who initially buy our book are in our circle of known contacts. Look outside to these people who want to help us.

In talking with an online friend who read my book, she was embarrassed to realize she did not write a review. Within minutes, as we were on the phone, she logged into her Amazon account and wrote a 5-star review. Sure it’s a friend and you might expect 5-stars. But before this aha moment with her, there was one less review.

Consider how people in your established network might be willing to help you. As you think confidently about them, can you ask them for help?make-connections

5. Make more connections.

One easy way to make a new connection is to ask people who you already know to introduce you to others. Often this can happen by chance, if it’s on your plan. If it’s not in plain sight for you this important part of self-promotion won’t lead anywhere.

One Sunday after church I was talking with long time friends. One of them asked about my most recent book. Someone who knew them joined in the conversation by asking the subject of my book. I met one more person in the community who I can connect with to possibly get my book to a larger audience: he’s a counselor at a local college.

Plan to ask someone to make introductions for you. Or leave it to your thoughtful planning written or not, to attract the right people and circumstances for you to have the chance to speak about it.

6. Celebrate every success.

Whether you’ve made a new connection, received a commission check, scheduled a book signing or found an agent to work with, celebrate.

celebrate-small-successesIt can be something easy. Sleep in a few minutes later, buy a book that’s on your wish list, have dinner out someplace new, or just do a little happy dance.

This has less to do with the number of reviews but getting one review, or the amount of commissions vs. getting any commissions. What matters more in celebrating is to stop and acknowledge our success to set off balance any focus on what we haven’t done.

Being grateful for the smallest things sets in motion more to be grateful for. Celebrating smaller successes opens an invitation to larger successes.

What small success can you celebrate today?

 The writing is over. I know first hand, even being traditionally published, that the marketing and promotion is the next part of the process.

Holding yourself back with self-promotion is the same thing as keeping your book in a box away from anyone having it in their hands. Get your book into more hands of readers who are waiting to thank you for it.

Today, can you take just one step forward to moving out of your comfort zone to add to your book reviews, find an agent, or get a distributor?

Share today’s small success with your comment below!

Weber-122 webSince 2007 Patricia Weber has been recognized internationally, on radio and in print, for most things introvert. Followers of her blog regularly comment that her messages both resonate with them, and inspire them. She has been featured in numerous publications such as Entrepreneur, Training, and The Wall Street Journal. Her current book, Communication Toolkit for Introverts: Find your voice in everyday business situations, is for introverts who want practical tools to navigate work situations. She supports introverts with her speaking, coaching and books.

6 thoughts on “Six Comfortable Ways to Reach Readers Waiting on You

  • May 23, 2015 at 4:34 pm


    Thanks for these self-promotion ideas for authors. It’s unfortunate that many of us eagerly write and even publish our ideas, but hesitate at promoting our work.

    Running through all your tips is the idea that our work has the potential to inspire others, as your mother’s poem had, but only when we publish our work and continually let others know about it. I’ve been working on idea #3, especially getting more active in blogging communities.

    • May 24, 2015 at 2:14 pm

      Flora, I’m grateful for the message being clear! You’ve got it. It is indeed almost counter-intuitive isn’t it: you eagerly write, and publish and then eagerly – sit back!

      Thanks so much for working on idea #3.

  • May 21, 2015 at 11:33 am

    Thanks for the opportunity to offer a few ideas on self-promotion for those authors who are reluctant! I’ve found many authors to be more introverted and that’s where my perspective comes from. I’m excited to be here!

    • May 21, 2015 at 2:48 pm

      And thank you for your contribution, Patricia! You’re quite correct — it’s the #1 complaint we get around WWW — authors who can write like the dickens but who get very “small” when it comes to marketing themselves. I love this article in that it eases us into getting out there, as you said, comfortably… like dipping our big toe in the reader pool vs. diving right on into the deep end. Baby steps, folks, baby steps!

      • May 24, 2015 at 2:16 pm

        Thanks Shari. There’s little point if someone has been avoiding self-promotion to jump in the deep end. I think that might work for teaching a baby how to swim, but you know, I’m not sure about that. What I am sure about is if you find you can admit to yourself, “I have been avoiding self-promotion,” then take a step at a time.

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