She laughed at me
Several years back, at a publishing conference, I had an opportunity to speak with some industry veterans. One was gracious enough to take a quick look at the marketing plan I was working on. I was encouraged… until she laughed. My inner critic went a little bit nuts. I wanted to crawl under some furniture or run from the room.
Fortunately, she noticed and said, “I like you. You may be the only author in America whose plan does not include the words ‘Get on Oprah’s show.'”
I know why so many people wanted to do that: marketing an indie book can be h*ll on wheels. Granted, some of this is as a result of self-inflicted wounds caused by lack of feedback from beta readers, editing, and proofreading. But even excellent work has a hard time getting through the avalanche of media and advertising readers see every single day.
My Inner Critic is up to no good
Personally? I need to take a closer look at the role of my inner critic in all of this. While I’m able to harness her powerful warnings to complete writing projects, she’s still pretty shrieky when it comes to self-promotion. (“Get your ego in check!” “It’s not polite to talk about yourself.”) She has gotten a little sneakier and has a New Age-y approach as well: “Stop bothering people. If they’re meant to find you, they will.”
Thank goodness for readers and other writers who help share about our books, our blogs, our events and our news. You are truly a gift.
And, if you’d like to be part of that giant online support group but don’t know where to start? Here are three small actions that are a huge help.
Reviews. Especially on Amazon and GoodReads. They don’t have to be long to be meaningful. “The author presents helpful information with a light touch.” Or, “I found the story captivating.” Expert tip: If you are personally acquainted with the author please don’t mention that in your review. It’s a red flag for “fake review” and could cause problems for the author. Also, if you’re a relative… especially one with the same name? DON’T POST A REVIEW. (See previous example.)
Facebook page likes and engagement. Have you ever seen the “invite friends to like page” feature on the right-hand side of your computer screen? If you “like” an author (or any page) your friends are more likely to follow suit — if you ask them to. And once on a page? Participate. Comment on and share posts.
You rock. We love you
Genuine interaction helps get attention for our work, keeps authors motivated, and lets the inner critic of self-promotion know it’s OK to go somewhere and take a nap!
What’s your favorite way to help amplify an author’s message? (Please share in the comments section. Every little bit helps!)
Is your brain still kicking your butt? You may not be at fault…. What if you’ve been following the wrong advice? Click to download 3 Reasons to Stop Fighting Inner Critic and find out about something you can do instead.
By the way, this really is a free gift and not some gambit to capture your email address for marketing purposes.