As an indie author, your approach to book marketing can make or break you in more than one way.
While your book marketing efforts have a huge impact on your book’s success, they can also affect your wellbeing, confidence, and overall motivation.
Taking care of both the practical and mental side of book marketing is vital if you want to see your book succeed and stay mentally healthy at the same time.
Here are five ways to approach book marketing that will benefit your book as well as your state of mind.
Be proactive when you feel overwhelmed
For many authors, a lot of the stress around book marketing comes from feeling overwhelmed. This sensation of overwhelm often stems from carrying out marketing activities inefficiently or ineffectively.
While it’s impossible to make marketing totally stress-free, there are plenty of things you can do to take control and market your book in a way that feels more manageable.
A great starting point is to put in place systems that make use of tools and apps to lighten your workload and mental burden.
For example, if you market your books on social media, consider using a scheduling app to reduce the amount of time you have to spend doing this work manually.
Also, depending on your self-publishing budget, you might find outsourcing some of the more stressful or time-consuming parts of your book marketing plan to be a worthwhile investment. You could consider hiring an assistant on a regular basis, or just using service providers from sites like Fiverr or Upwork as the need arises.
The most important thing is to see your stress as a solvable problem you’re capable of dealing with. This is an empowering and proactive outlook that can make a serious difference to your overall wellbeing.
Resources for when you feel overwhelmed
- Tools to reduce your marketing workload. A long list of tools to help you improve your marketing efficiency.
- Sites to find help with book marketing. Lots of places to help you find freelance help with your publishing projects.
- Strategies to overcome overwhelm. A professional psychological perspective on avoiding overwhelm.
Set boundaries and stick to them
While improving your marketing efficiency will help you feel less stressed, it’s not enough on its own.
You also need to set firm and clear boundaries about your time and the way you spend it.
Thanks to the prevalence of smartphones and wearable technology, it’s possible to keep an eye on work and projects almost around the clock.
However, just because something is possible, it doesn’t mean it’s advisable. That’s absolutely the case when it comes to book marketing.
If you stop and think about it, you’ll realize there is no end to the social feeds you can refresh, the metrics you can check, and the marketing content you can read.
If you fail to set boundaries that give you a healthy balance, you’ll soon be facing complete burnout.
So are some ways you can set clear and healthy boundaries regarding book marketing?
- Limit your notifications. It’s impossible to avoid the trap of constantly checking your phone or inbox if you don’t limit the notifications you receive. By prioritizing the apps that are allowed to send you notifications, and the times you can be notified, you give yourself valuable breathing room to focus on meaningful work. Stopping the bombardment of endless updates is invaluable for your peace of mind and creative wellbeing.
- Block out time for particular activities. Switching back and forth between different marketing tasks almost guarantees you will end up getting subpar results. Just as you already block out certain lengths of time to focus purely on your writing, you need to do the same for your marketing. Studies have shown we don’t perform at our best when we work on multiple activities at the same time.
- Match your effort to your objectives. Another pitfall to avoid is the problem of being busy rather than effective. For example, you might be tempted to make endless updates to your social media accounts. But will this really make a difference? It’s far smarter to figure out the optimum amount of any given marketing activity to meet your objectives. Start by following general best practice guidelines and then make adjustments based on the results you get. Once you know what you need to do to move the needle, be strict about not exceeding that limit.
Setting and respecting some clear boundaries is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.
Why not take a moment and brainstorm the boundaries you would like to set?
Avoid negative ways of thinking
If you’re like a lot of writers, you might well be your own worst critic.
Often, we judge ourselves far more harshly than other people would.
Does that sound like something you do?
If it does, you need to be careful that book marketing doesn’t become another source of self-criticism for you.
An important starting point is to avoid making negative comparisons between yourself and other authors.
It’s really easy to look at the results other writers are getting and feel frustrated or even jealous. At its worst, this can lead to you losing all your motivation to keep marketing your books.
Truthfully, we can never have a complete understanding of the results other authors get. Maybe they failed for years before enjoying the success you now see. Maybe things have been a lot tougher for them than you imagine.
Instead of comparing yourself harshly to other authors, you should instead only look to them for ideas and inspiration.
Resources for avoiding negative thinking
- Positive reframing. A guide to seeing what life throws at you in a better, more helpful light.
- Unhelpful comparisons. Thoughts on how to stop comparing yourself to others.
- Limiting beliefs. Tony Robbins’ take on the most common limiting beliefs out there.
Measure and celebrate success
It’s important to take the time to recognise when things are going well and to feel good about your accomplishments.
If you only ever think about what went wrong with your campaigns, you run the risk of starting to see marketing as a joyless, uphill struggle that never ends. Of course, if you see marketing that way, you’re unlikely to feel much enthusiasm for it at all, and it will eventually take a toll on your happiness and wellbeing.
So how can you measure your marketing in a way that’s conducive to your success and sense of self-confidence?
- Focus on your progress. If you’re an ambitious person, you might feel that you haven’t progressed enough as a marketer. While it’s great to always want to do better, it’s also important to recognise you can only progress one step at a time. When you find yourself worrying about how far you have to go, be sure to reflect on the progress you have made.
- Realize what you can and can’t control. Sometimes, you can put everything you’ve got into marketing your books and still not see the results you hoped for. When that happens, be sure to recognize there’s only so much influence you can have. Luck will always play a role.
- Be SMART about your aims. It’s difficult to feel good about your book marketing success if that success is ill-defined. Using the SMART approach to setting book marketing goals helps to ensure you have a quantifiable way to measure your success and celebrate it accordingly.
When you make it a habit to recognize and celebrate your success, you give yourself the power of a deep well of self-esteem and positive memories to draw from when times get tough.
Learn and grow continuously
It’s important to always move forward as a book marketer.
One of the fastest ways to feel down and depressed is to allow yourself to stagnate. There’s always something new and interesting to learn about book marketing, but it’s up to you to seek it out.
There are lots of different ways to add to your book marketing knowledge. Here are some of the best.
Resources to help further your book marketing education
- Courses. A guide to some of the best self-publishing courses out there.
- Podcasts. A rundown to some of the most useful podcasts for indie authors.
- Books. A recommended reading list for people learning marketing.
Ultimately, the key to marketing your book in an effective and healthy way is to be mindful.
Stay in touch with how you’re feeling about your work, and have an awareness of where those feelings are coming from.
When you realize something is amiss, don’t hide from it. Take action and face it head on.
Hopefully, the information you’ve read today will equip you with the tools you need next time book marketing becomes too much to deal with.