Fear of Book Marketing: Some Soothing Thoughts

Book promotion.jpg

To market, to market — but which method to choose?

I’ve signed off on the cover for my memoir.  The completed manuscript is being formatted. I can no longer delay entering the dreaded marketing phase of my book publishing journey.

Putting the “aaaaaaaaaargh” into marketing

Like many authors, I secretly believe that if I write it, they will come. If I make my book as brilliant as it can possibly be and eliminate all typos, people will rush to purchase it and tell everyone they know to do so too.


I wish.

Fact: They will only come if I let them know about my book and give them compelling reasons to buy it.

My rational self accepts this, but my lizard brain is overwhelmed. I’ve been spinning my wheels–and thus digging the groove of fear deeper and deeper.

Time for a reality check.

I am no stranger to book marketing

I’m a bit rusty but I learned a few things from my last book promotion rodeo. Although it was published traditionally, I got only about two weeks of marketing love for Am I Boring My Dog: And 99 Other Things Every Dog Wishes You Knew. After that, I was on my own. This time around I’m even more motivated because I’m the one who will be getting the royalties, not a publisher.

I know, for example, that it’s a good idea to create a blog. Will My Dog Hate Me served that purpose last time–sort of.

Rule to live by: Give your book and the blog you have created to publicize it the same name, preferably the one that falls at the beginning of the alphabet (Am I Boring…) rather than the end (Will My Dog…). 

This time, I gave my blog a more versatile name, one that will serve as a portal to any number of future books: EdieJarolim.com. It’s even close-ish to the beginning of the alphabet! I also bought the .com domain name for Getting Naked for Money. That should cover the basics.

Another thing I learned: It’s important to post regularly on your blog. Here I am! 

I have social media and I (sometimes) know how to use it

I still need to figure out how to transform my more than 1,000 friends on Facebook and 14.2K followers on Twitter into eager book buyers, but I know that shameless self-promotion is not the way to go.

Some rules I recall:

  • Engage with other people. Comment on their status updates or Tweets, share and RT with abandon.  Praise them in a nonsmarmy, nonsuckup-y way.
  • Post useful things. Some of them can be useful things that you’ve written, just not all.
  • Don’t hold back from being yourself. I’m a political junkie. I made several new friends/followers who might be disposed to consider my book since they were disposed to like my political opinions. No doubt those opinions probably lost me some old friends. In those cases, I’m hoping for short memories–and love of animals conquering all.

I have gone outside my comfort zone before and I can do it again

Yes, promoting yourself in any form is uncomfortable. So is asking clients for money they owe you. Life is full of uncomfortable things. That damn toilet doesn’t clean itself.

  • Exhibit I: I called my book Getting Naked For Money.
  • Exhibit II: I created a Kickstarter to fund the book. This also means that I already have a core of people who have bought the book. Yay, me!

I have started making to-do lists

To-do lists always calm me, except when I misplace them. Among the items on my latest are:

  • Find blogs in my niche to guest post on. Travel, women, publishing — I’m not casting too wide a net, am I?
  • Come up with ideas for guest posts on the aforementioned blogs
  • Write a press release
  • Make a list of people to send review copies to, along with the aforementioned press release (yes, I have lists within lists)
  • Create/update author pages
  • Write a snappy bio
  • Get a head shot for the author pages.
  • Create an Instagram account (because you don’t spend enough time fussing with social media).

I have a very cute dog and I know how to use her

When in doubt, I post pictures of Madeleine. I have found them to be very attention grabbing and disarming. Maybe I should have a head shot taken with her? Better yet, maybe I’ll just put a picture of her on my bio.

Poor starving puppy

Madeleine, Naked spokesdog


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About the Author

Edie Jarolim is a writer and editor living in Tucson, Arizona. Sign up on this blog to get updates about her humorous tell-all/memoir, GETTING NAKED FOR MONEY: An Accidental Travel Writer Reveals All.

4 Enlightened Replies

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  1. Getting into naked self promotion can be soooooo time consuming. My frustration was that I had a ton more ideas than there was time to follow up. After all, nobody wants to print a review, article, blog post, etc., about a book that is already yesterday’s news.

    A wealthy guy who owned a pizza chain once told me that his philosophy was to do EVERYTHING for promotion because you will never know which ones works. That’s just plain depressing.

  2. Great advice! And yes, work that little Madeline cute factor!

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