How many times does shyness or fear of public speaking hold you back from marketing your book? Is pressure, stress, or avoidance of large groups of people getting the better of you? You’re not the only one. A lot of authors I’m in contact with are introverts.
Truth be told, I am also. If you’ve ever seen me speak at a conference, you’d swear I was lying. Me, an introvert? Say it isn’t so! What you need to know is that I overcame it — and so can you. I’m what you might call a “selective introvert.” Now, I can stand in front of a crowd of people and do what needs to be done, but then afterward I’ll escape out the side door and hide in my room. I hate networking; honestly, I’m not good at it at all.
9 Book Marketing Tips for Introverts
You’ve read a lot of book marketing articles and blogs that discuss networking, but they may be difficult to put into practice since, after all, we turn inward. Well, there’s a solution for that. Some are hesitant or feel awkward connecting online with people, especially in social media groups like Facebook. If that’s your level of introvert-ness, then pay attention, because we’re about to open up a whole new book marketing world for you — one specifically made for us introverts.
Pick Strategies That Fit Your Comfort Zone
When it comes to book marketing there are a lot of suggestions and ideas. It’s important to go with those that best align with the type of individual you are. By doing this, you’re putting yourself in the most effective position to succeed. If the idea of a Facebook group or managing a Street Team gives you hives, then maybe that’s not for you. These easy-to-follow book marketing tips are geared towards you, the introvert.
Find Book Marketing Strategies You’ll Enjoy
This doesn’t just apply to introverts. Why continue working on something that you despise? Find at least one strategy that you like and enjoy doing, and you'll be more likely to keep it up! For those finding difficulty identifying the options, we can set you up with a personalized assessment.
Write a Lot of Books
The best way to market your book is to have your books market themselves, and the most effective method is by having numerous books. Although each case is different and a successful result may not happen every time, a high-quality book with a superb cover, meticulous editing, and a timely topic goes a long way. So keeping all of that in mind, the best way to gain more visibility for your books is to have a lot of them available. If you’re not spending a ton of time on the road, or at conferences, then you have plenty of time, yes?
Learn How to Effectively Advertise
I’m not always a fan of advertising unless it’s in a focused way that supports your book marketing efforts, like BookBub or Amazon or Facebook/Instagram. But if you want to honor your inner introvert, then advertising on one or all of these platforms may be your best bet.
Even Introverts Should Do Speaking Events & Book Signings
Yeah, I know. Here we are talking about how to do book marketing for introverts, and I throw you this curve ball. At some point, you may work up the nerve to hold book signings or speaking gigs. I wasn’t always confident doing public speaking, and as a matter of fact, was petrified. So to conquer my fear, I took baby steps, speaking for smaller groups, which felt more like a “chat” rather than an actual speaking gig. I started with a handful of people and brought tons of notes, so I was sure to cover all of my topics. The notes were like my training wheels, and after a while, I didn’t have to rely on them anymore.
Learn from Other Authors
You may be attracted to the concept of book signings, but not so much the speaking aspect. Remember, that these can be two different animals. The great part about signings is that you don’t necessarily have to talk, you can sit in the chair, sign copies and shake hands. Even if you’re uncomfortable doing a speaking, another great option is to just read from your book if you choose. I would suggest attending some book signings from less famous authors. So if James Patterson comes to town, you can bet he’s got the author book signing down pat. Instead, consider attending an event for an author you’ve never heard of. Observing what other authors do at their events will not only give you some ideas, but it’s also great to support other authors.
Remember to Use Social Media
A lot of book marketing gurus like to tout social media. Do videos! Do Facebook Live events! These are all great suggestions, but perhaps not always the best solution for introverts. Believe me, I hate it, too. The main takeaway regarding social media is discovering what fits for you and what you’ll enjoy using, even if it’s just one site. Introverts shy away from discussing too much about themselves, which works out great since the focus should be on your book. Some authors love talking about themselves, and can sometimes be fascinating to listen to, but very often it falls flat. Focus on the message of your book, the characters, a review you got, or a note a reader wrote to you. (Read my recent list of 50 ways you can engage on Facebook here.)
Have a Great Author Website
You’re going to need to invest in this if you want to avoid a lot of in-person awkwardness. Your website should be clean, clear, easy to navigate and deliver your message. A good website is a fantastic book marketing tool. It’s crucial for your contact information to be visible and accessible, as well as having a newsletter. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, but an email newsletter is an excellent alternative to stay in contact with your readers without actually having to see people. Trust me, it’s awesome. (Read more about newsletters here.)
I was speaking to a lady who runs a book group on MeetUp, and she said that someone had contacted her, wanting them to consider his book for their book club. Although the book wasn’t a fit for their group, she said if he gifted copies to the members she’d invite them to review the book. Awesome book marketing win, right? He was unwilling to part with copies and ultimately rejected the offer. Being an introvert shouldn’t mean being stingy with giveaway copies. You’ll lose much-needed opportunities for exposure, including potential features or reviews, as well as word-of-mouth publicity. Create a freebie book or eBook with the first few chapters of your book and offer it on Amazon — yes, for free. David Baldacci did that for his book. While I’m not sure if he’s an introvert, it’s certainly a great idea.
You don’t have to give away your entire body of work, but offering a free book on Amazon or your website for those visitors who sign up is an excellent marketing tool. It could be a full book, a novella, or a portion of your book as I mentioned above. By enticing people with a free copy, you create the potential for additional sales of your other books.
Put Your Book(s) to Work
What’s at the end of your book? Don’t waste a valuable marketing opportunity with only a simple author bio, because there are other means to maximize your efforts. You should have an exciting way for readers to contact you, which eliminates the dread of having to be engaging in person. Include a letter to readers, short and sweet. Invite them to contact you, and ask them to review your book. You should also have links to your website, social media, and Amazon title page (even though they likely just got it from Amazon, make it easy and include it anyway).
Even Introverts Can Nail Book Marketing
Believe it or not, you can still be an introvert and nail your book marketing efforts. Put your imagination to work and you'll come up with appealing ideas. While you may shy away from in-person events, it’s beneficial to go to writer’s conferences if you can, which presents the chance to not only meet your peers but also become more familiar with book marketing practices. Perhaps with enough practice, you might embrace the thrill of meeting new readers (and potential fans) and maybe transform into a selective introvert. The great news for introverts is that there are plenty of ways to promote and market your book without doing public speaking.
Penny Sansevieri, CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc. (AME) and Adjunct Professor at NYU, is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most cutting-edge book marketing campaigns. To learn more about Penny and AME, visit www.amarketingexpert.com.