How Indie Authors Can Overcome the Fear of Self-Promotion in 5 Steps
You probably belong to the common stereotype of a writer who is a recluse and is proud to be one.
If not, you might not have imagined yourself actively promoting your own work.
You know there’s nothing wrong with refusing self-promotion, except that your gem is getting buried farther and further down the thick pile of millions of books being published every year.
By now, you already know that the chances of being picked up by top literary agents are slim to none. Hence, you have made the decision to write your book and self-publish it. Self-promotion may make sense to you, but part of you thinks it just doesn’t feel right. Or, you simply don’t know where to start.
Let us find out what inner obstacles prevent you from effectively promoting your work and follow some simple steps to overcome this real yet irrational fear of self-promotion.
Recognize the fear of rejection and break free from its paralysis
Fear, being a primal, powerful emotion is still at the root of why you are stuck with hundreds of unsold copies of your own book at home. The fear of rejection paralyzes, causing you to shy away from every opportunity to tell people about your book. If you failed at self-promotion before, then you need to overcome your pistanthrophobic tendencies and give way for second or third chances. Recognizing the fear of rejection brings with it a challenge of assertiveness, which in the process, allows you to find that inner strength to break free from the crippling effect of fear. It’s very much like how you faced your fear of falling before pedaling your way without your training wheels.
Explore the power that comes from asking
Even preschoolers have the courage to ask. Walk up to your local bookstore’s manager and ask if they’d be willing to give you an hour or two for a book signing. Ask friends and acquaintances who are interested in your book to get themselves a copy and post a positive review on Amazon or Goodreads. The universe doesn’t need your excuses. It needs you to boldly ask for what you want so it can give you what you want.
Let them hear you play
Your job as a writer did not end when you finished that book. Allow yourself to be seen and be interviewed. Musicians play some gigs for free to grow their fanbase. Some upload free samples of their music on YouTube or Vimeo. Like successful musicians, you have to be creative, persistent, and strategic about promoting your book. Look for opportunities to read your book to a sizable audience in a library, a bookstore, or a classroom full of potential fans, readers, and buyers.
Be more open to new possibilities
Allow the world to surprise you. Learn while you still can, and embrace the fact that anything is possible in this day and age. When promoting your book, find out everything there is to know about getting followers and turning those followers into avid readers. Okir’s Marketing Team can set up your social media accounts for you, if you need help getting started. You can then continue it on your own once you have learned the ropes.
Go back to appreciating your work.
After seeing how a few things don’t seem to work out the way we anticipated, it’s easy to give in to burnout. We’re not saying you should fight your exhaustion. Take a rest, if you must. Then, try your best to shift your focus back to your work. After all, it’s your self-promotion efforts’ raison d’être. List all the positive feedback you’re getting from your own work, and be reminded of what you have to offer to your readers.
Have you conquered your fear of self-promotion? How did you do it? Feel free to tell us what you think.