Does this describe you? You hear the term “guerilla marketing” and you want to rock/hide in a corner or run screaming from the room instead of doing book marketing? If you would rather die than speak in public or tell funny stories about your dog to a room full of people then you’re not alone. I’ve never done an official survey, but I would bet that 80% of the authors I speak with fall in this introvert category.
In fact, I do too. Believe it or not. If you’ve ever seen me speak at a conference, you’d swear I was lying. Me, an introvert? No way. But it’s true. The thing is, I overcame it, and so can you. Now I’m what you might call a selective introvert. I can get up in front of a crowd of people and do my thing, but then afterwards I’d rather escape out the side door and hide in my room. I hate networking, honestly, I’m not good at it at all.
Book Marketing for Introverts – 9 Tips to Get Started
So, what’s an eager author to do when you see all these articles about book marketing that require you to leave your house? Well, there’s a solution for that. You may even hate the idea of starting a Facebook group because it means you have to interact with people online. If that’s your level of introvert-ness, then pay attention, because we’re about to open up a whole new book marketing world for you. One keenly designed for us introverts.
1. Pick a Book Marketing Strategy That Fits Your Comfort Zone
When it comes to book marketing there are a lot of suggestions, lots of ideas. The thing is to become really clear on what fits the person you are. By doing this, you’re putting yourself in the best possible position to succeed. If the idea of a Facebook group or managing a Street Team gives you hives, then maybe that’s not for you. I’m going to offer you some ideas that you can do, all related to book marketing for introverts, later in this piece. And these ideas are keenly designed with the awesome introvert in mind.
2. Pick a Book Marketing Strategy You’ll Enjoy Doing
I would say this doesn’t just apply to introverts but to everyone. Why on earth would you want to keep doing something you hate doing, right? So find at least one strategy you like and enjoy doing, that way you know you’ll keep it up! If you could use some help identifying the options, we can set you up with a personalized assessment.
3. Write a Lot of Books
The best way to market your book, is to have your books market themselves. And the best way to do that is to have a lot of books. Now, I’m not saying this works every single time. Because it goes without saying that the book has to be great, with a solid cover, edited well, and a topic that’s current. So keeping all of that in mind, the best way to gain more visibility for your books is to have a lot of books out there. And if you’re not spending a ton of time on the road, or at conferences, then you have plenty of time, yes?
4. Learn How to Effectively Advertise
I’m not always a fan of advertising unless it’s in a focused way that supports your book marketing efforts. Like Bookbub or Amazon or Facebook/Instagram. But if you want to honor your inner introvert, then advertising on one or all of these platforms may be your best bet.
5. Speaking Events and Book Signings
Yeah, I know. Here we are taking about how to do book marketing for introverts and I throw you this curve ball. Well hear me out, because some of you may want to work your way up to doing book signings or speaking gigs. When I first started my journey into speaking, I was terrified. So I focused on smaller groups, where it felt more like a “chat” rather than a speaking gig. I started small, with tons of notes so I was sure to cover all of my topics – my notes were like my training wheels. And eventually, like training wheels, I didn’t need them.
If the idea of book signings somewhat appeals to you, but speaking does not remember that these can be two different animals. You can do book events and sit at a table and sign books. You don’t (technically) have to do a talk, though it’s always great if you can, even if it’s just reading from your book. I would suggest attending some book signings from less famous authors. So if James Patterson comes to town, you can bet he’s got the author book signing down pat. Instead, consider going to an author event that’s from someone you’ve never heard of and watch what they do, how they interact, etc. Watching others will help you learn a lot and it’s also great to show your support for other authors by attending their events.
6. Social Media
A lot of book marketing gurus like to tout social media. Do videos! Do Facebook Live events! And while all of these seems good in theory, the idea of being live on video may make you light-headed. Believe me, I hate it, too. The key to social media is to find a tool you’re comfortable with, and work with that. Even if it’s just one site. Next, make the discussion around your book, not you, because often that’s where introverts draw the line. They really don’t want to talk about themselves, and that’s fine because a lot of other people do and it’s not always interesting. Focus on your book, the message, the characters, talk about a review you got, or a note a reader wrote you. (Read my recent list of 50 ways you can engage on Facebook here.)
7. Have a Great Author Website
You’re going to need to invest in this, because if you want to avoid a lot of in-person awkwardness, you’ll need a website that’s clean, clear and on message. A good website is an awesome book marketing tool. You’ll want to make sure your contact information is easy to find and you’ll want a newsletter. Yes, I know it. But an email newsletter is a fantastic way to stay in front of your readers without actually having to see people. Trust me, it’s awesome. (Read more about newsletters here.)
8. Be Generous
I was speaking to a lady who runs a book group on MeetUp and she said that someone had contacted her, wanting them to consider his book for their book club. While the book wasn’t exactly right for their group, she said if he gifted copies to the members she’d invite them to review the book. Awesome book marketing win, right? Except he turned it down, not wanting to give away copies of his book. Sorry folks, you can’t have it both ways. You can’t be an introvert and also unwilling to give a little when it comes to your book. Create a freebie book, or a freebie eBook with the first few chapters of your book and offer it on Amazon – yes for free. David Baldacci did that for his book. And while I’m not sure if he is an introvert, it’s certainly a great idea.
Now I’m not asking you to give away everything for free, but you’re going to have to consider having one book for free on Amazon, or even offering a free book on your website for folks who sign up. It could be a full book, a novella, or a portion of your book as I mentioned above. Free is a powerful marketing strategy.
9. Put Your Book(s) to Work
What’s at the end of your book? If it’s just an author bio, then you’re missing a big book marketing opportunity. Also, making sure that you have an engaging way for readers to contact you without having to be engaging in person, is every introverts book marketing dream. Include a letter to readers, short and sweet. Invite them to contact you and ask for a review of your book. Include links! Yes, that means a link to your book on Amazon (even though they likely just got it from Amazon, make it easy, include it anyway).
Being an introvert doesn’t mean that you can’t be an ace at book marketing, too It just means that you have to get more creative about your marketing efforts. Do things that don’t require you to attend big events, but certainly attend writers conferences if it feels like the right thing. Because networking with other authors (many of them also introverts) can also be a great way to learn and become more comfortable with the book marketing tasks ahead. And you never know, maybe at some point your introvert nature may succumb to the excitement of meeting new readers and you may become a selective introvert. Until then, there’s a lot you can do to get the word out about your book, without ever having to actually say a word.
Are you an introvert? Please comment and share some book marketing strategies that have really worked for you and ways that you’ve managed to find success without straying too far from your comfort zone.