Why marketing your book is like trying to lose weight
by Chris Weber
The weight-loss business is a booming industry that makes billions of dollars a year, and yet the people trying to lose weight often feel isolated, frustrated, and confused. Sound like any other industry you know?
Authors trying to market their books share a lot of characteristics with people who are trying to lose weight - and successful strategies for weight-loss are surprisingly transferable to successful book marketing.
In the following post, we’ll show you how using these strategies can help you lose your book marketing anxiety – and keep it off!
The Problem: You set unrealistic goals for yourself
It’s natural to want to set a big, audacious goal for yourself so that when you achieve it, you feel like you’ve really done something amazing! The problem is that big goals are really hard, and take a long time – and can sometimes even make failure more likely.
The Solution: Celebrate small wins
Setting a big goal like becoming a best-selling author is great. Keep that as your guiding star! But in the meantime, set little goals for yourself that you can meet on a daily basis. Write a thousand words. Research your options for online author pages. Make the goals small and don’t forget to actually celebrate when you achieve them.
The Problem: You don’t set specific goals
Saying you want to sell a lot of books is like saying you want to lose a lot of weight. If you don’t pick a (realistic!) number, then you’ll never be able to measure the effectiveness of your efforts.
The Solution: Track your results
Study after study has found that people who weigh themselves every day are much more likely to lose weight than those who don’t. And authors who use analytical tools to measure the impact of their marketing efforts are much more likely to keep selling their books.
The Problem: You work in spurts
A lot of people diet right before “bikini season”. It takes a huge effort, and often results in a backslide soon thereafter. The same is true for self-promoting. You’ve written a book and then you think, “OK, time to find my readers” or “Now I start my marketing blitz.”
The Solution: Work toward a way of life
John Green, the author of The Fault in our Stars, did not become a celebrity overnight. He built his audience online for years before his “instant hit”. It’s crucial to find ways to integrate the numerous roles of being both a writer and a marketer into your everyday life. Make time every day to work on a blog post, reach out to readers, or review another author’s book.
The Problem: You think there’s a new thing that will finally work for you
There’s a reason so many companies out there offer the newest breakthrough in weight-loss technology. We’re looking for a short cut that allows us to keep the rest of our lives the same.
The Solution: Change multiple things
Sustainable weight loss doesn’t come from doing just one thing. It takes systemic change. That means changing your diet, exercise, sleep, maybe even the people you hang out with. Marketing your books successfully is no different. You can’t just write a book; you need to write other content, build your community of readers, and find a community of experts you trust.
The Problem: You blame yourself if you fail
It’s inevitable. Something doesn’t go right, you slip from that diet or your exercise routine, and you feel terrible about yourself and go into a downward spiral. The same is true when you’re in charge of marketing your own work. It’s challenging, complicated, and intimidating - and when you invest so much of yourself in your work, it’s easy to take a failure personally.
The Solution: Ask for what you need
The people who succeed at becoming healthy recognize their limitations and find others to fill in the gaps. They find trainers, nutritionists, like-minded friends. Don’t be afraid to ask others – even people you don’t know - for marketing help. You’re not in this alone, and you can achieve your goals.
About the Author
Chris Weber is the CEO of AuthorRise.com, a new service that empowers authors to sell more books with tools that make marketing more efficient and effective.