Why You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty About Marketing Your Book

#1. You wrote your book

Writing takes work. No matter how much you love the process, writing takes time, effort, and dedication. Watching that story bloom from a scatter of random concepts into a full length book ready to be sold on Amazon is simply amazing. It’s like magic, really.

Artists sell their pictures. Small business owners market their services/products. Authors promote their books.

#2. Promoting your book is the only way to sell it

If you published your book without marketing it, you might get a random click every 6 months – if you’re lucky. There’s a lot of books out there and the reality is yours needs to stand out from the others in order to sell. Every writer wants readers who will fall in love with their book, or at least be interested enough to read their book. Books need readers. How will your book have readers if the readers don’t know it exists? Promoting and marketing yourself and your story is how you sell books. It’s just the way it is.

#3. Influencers, celebrities, and businesses promote their brand

Love them or hate them, social media influencers are constantly creating new content to promote themselves. Celebrities do the same thing. Businesses of all sizes invest in their online presence and create marketing campaigns to reel in new customers and keep existing ones.

Now, what feels weird for a lot of authors is that we’re not famous, so it can feel odd comparing ourselves to big brands or popular names. Remember: Every author who’s now making money off their books started as an unknown. Not being famous didn’t hold them back. They believed in their books and it paid off.

Sometimes friends, acquaintances, other people online, etc. will be irritated at you for promoting yourself like you’re someone important. You may be accused of “showing off” even though they follow and admire people who are doing the same thing. Try not to pay attention to people who don’t understand what authors need to do to get their work out there. That sort of negative feedback can be discouraging, especially if it comes from people you like and respect, but try to think of yourself as a one woman (or one man) business. Your writing is essentially a business and all businesses need to market and sell their products. This is nothing to feel guilty about and instead, you should be very proud of what you’re doing. There are many things people choose to do with their lives and you’ve chosen to be an author! Sharing stories with the world can make other people happy, or at least entertain them. Be happy with what you’re doing, not guilty!

#4. Promoting yourself and your books will boost your confidence

One great part of creating your “author brand” is that you have to put yourself out there. It can be a challenge for some people to do this, but this an example of why getting out of your comfort zone can be a good thing. Whether you’re going by your real name or a pen name, your author platform is an extension of yourself. This is where the real you can shine; it’s an opportunity to show what makes you unique as a person. There’s no other author like you! It’s your authenticity and personality that will attract people to your platform and make them want to read your stories. Sure, you need to be professional and discreet about your personal life, but you can get creative with what you post. When people respond to that and relate to it, you’ll feel a connection with your audience that’s mutually beneficial. This in turn will boost your confidence as a growing author.

#5. You are being productive

There are many different things people choose to do online. Sometimes we’ll spend hours scrolling or watching random videos on Youtube. When you have a purpose for being online, though, it can feel really good.

There is a dark side to having a platform on social media and that’s the haters. There will always be people who won’t like you for believing in yourself and the work you’ve created. You’ll have people accuse you of only wanting popularity or they’ll despise you for not responding to their DMs because you think you’re too important. Take these comments with a grain of salt. These aren’t going to be your serious readers. They simply want to get at *you* and they have no interest in treating you with respect. This can be a great exercise in developing a thicker skin when dealing with trolls and negative people online. When you think about it, you’re the one doing the things. You published a book and you’re promoting it. They’re the ones who are stalking and harassing others who are doing the the things. Be content with the path you’ve chosen.

#6. Your author platform can inspire people

The bright side of social media is that your journey as an author and fellow human can be an inspiration to younger (and older!) people. You never know who’s being impacted by the example you’re setting.

When I went through some difficult times in the past, it was the encouragement and positivity from people I followed (authors and otherwise) who inspired me to keep going. Imagine being that person for someone else. Maybe someone had a terrible day/week and they stumbled upon your page and liked your vibe/energy which made them feel a little better, so then they decided to do something enjoyable with their day which made someone else happy. If your popularity online grows, you can use it for good.

I’m not perfect and sure, I’ve lost my cool a few times with trolls or I allowed myself to get sucked into a meaningless argument, but overall, I steer clear of negativity and aim to encourage other people to follow their dreams and live their best life.

#6. You deserve to be paid for the work you create

You wrote a book and edited it 10 (Or 20) times. For free. It probably took you several months, possibly years to complete. If you decide to sell it, you absolutely deserve to earn a fair price for it. Authors sign contracts with publishing companies every day. Some indie authors make it on their own by gaining a really great audience. They deserve it. So do you.

Promoting yourself gives your book the best chance at being read by readers who will enjoy it. Never feel guilty for marketing something you wrote!

Photo by Malte Luk from Pexels

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