Over the years I've talked to several authors about book promotion, and many expressed that shyness, or a lack of self-confidence or belief hindered their success. Some authors expressed that they find marketing to be difficult, embarrassing, nerve-wracking experiences. They don't like or don't want to do events or interviews. Others felt it was a necessary part of a writer's life. I agree with the latter.
You cannot expect to put a book out into the world and then abandon it. Yet, many authors do just this. Often it's fear that gets in their way. Fear of failing…or fear of success. They don't believe they can succeed. They don't believe they know how to promote. Or that they can learn how to promote. So they don't.
I understand where these authors are coming from. It's true that some people are more natural at selling, some can learn how easily, and some are just overly pushy. We all know the arrogant salesman or telemarketer who won't let us hang up. And no author wants to be that person.
As an adult, I've always been good at sales. I can sell something—if I believe in it. Of course when it comes to my books, I've believed in them from day one; otherwise I wouldn't have put them out into the world. I believe my books are worth reading, that they are entertaining, that many (not all) will enjoy them. That's what gets me the sales—not shoving a book in someone's face saying 'Buy this! It's the best book you'll ever read!"
People pick up on your attitude. That's why it's key to LOVE those doing events, especially online ones. Remember, you never know who you will meet, whether in person or online. Building relationships with people can lead to exciting possibilities. I've been interviewed on TV, radio, in newspapers and magazines; invited to participate in major events; asked to speak at conferences; and invited to be a beta tester for many new advertising companies because I was visible online.
Now consider that all I've said above is coming from the shyest kid there ever was, the kid who sat in the back row at school, who had zero self-esteem. Sure I became very good at sales, but that took time—and a lot of practice. I learned how to be good at promoting my books and myself through trial and error, and through taking risks.
I want be the best at everything I do, and since writing has always been my intense passion and I want to be very successful at it, I overcame my nervousness of book signings and meeting people online because there was no other choice. I had to—and I wanted to.
We choose our success; it doesn't choose us. And we all have different definitions of what success is. So for those who are happy with the odd book signing, a bit of advertising, and a few sales a month, that's great. For those who want more, choose more. Then find ways to get it. Are you happy with your success? Satisfied with your sales? Want more?
It all boils down, I think, to one key question: How badly do you want success? If writing is your passion and you want New York Times bestseller's status or you want to catch the attention of a highly motivated traditional publisher, you have to put yourself out there, step out of your comfort zone and grab onto the belief that you CAN do it. If you want it badly enough, you'll make it happen.
BELIEVE in yourself! BELIEVE that your book is good enough to be read, that it will find its audience as long as you are actively seeking it. Once you truly believe, great things will happen. BELIEVE it!
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Learn more about Cheryl Kaye Tardif at http://www.cherylktardif.com and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.