Any author can let doubt and fear get in their way when marketing their book.
Just yesterday, for example, I gave a friend who was starting his job search a copy of my book The Golden Resume. And I asked for an honest review when he finished. (So far so good in confidently sharing my work and asking for feedback.)
But then I regressed by saying, “You don’t have to read it if you’re super busy. I think it’s pretty helpful.” While not the least confident thing I could say, it left me feeling sour as I drove home.
I knew that my book is extremely valuable (not “pretty helpful”), and he will find sure success in his job search when he follows the strategies—yet I didn’t communicate that, which was a mistake.
My weak ending could potentially cost him his job search if he thinks, “Brian said I don’t have to read it,” so he decides not to and doesn’t utilize effective resume and interview strategies.
Don’t be like me in that situation.
Instead, follow my #1 book marketing strategy: be bold! Stay bold from start to finish when promoting your book, and watch the difference it makes in book sales and book reviews.
Here’s what I mean by being bold and why it pays off.
Be Bold To Overcome Fear
How well you market your book largely comes down to how you respond to fear. It’s normal to be afraid that your book won’t do well, however you need to boldly hit publish or you’ll never be an author. It’s not easy to ask people to spend money or time on your book, however you need to boldly do that if you want to sell books.
So live freely and openly ask people to buy your book. What’s the worst that can happen? They say no. That’s nothing, especially after you get used to it. When you stop giving power to fear in your book marketing, you empower yourself to be passionate about your book. (You also practice overcoming fear in other areas of your life.)
Be Bold To Ask For Media Exposure
Your local media stations have huge audiences totaling thousands of people. Imagine if you got a feature story with one of them to promote your book. That opportunity could individually make your book sales skyrocket. Yet media exposure doesn’t come knocking looking for you.
You have to be confident to contact local newspapers, tv stations, and radio stations about your book and what makes it special. Since these media stations are always looking for fresh content that they can share with their community, you could be helping them out more than you realize. If it doesn’t work out, at least they know who you are and you can pitch them in the future.
Be Bold To Start A Blog
All authors, from top of the chain to bottom, will be better off if they have a blog. A blog is where authors can test book ideas, open up to their audience, build a following, make connections with other bloggers, plus so much more. And authors are absolutely set when they have a large tribe who appreciates their content and is ready to buy their book the day it comes out.
Though it’s not easy. It takes guts to start a blog and write for an audience of zero at first. Because blogging takes six months or more to gain any kind of readership. Then it takes years to build up a six-figure email list and thousands of daily page views. If you’re not bold, you’ll never start a blog.
Be Bold To Ask For Reviews
The only guaranteed way to get book reviews is to ask for them. Of course, you need confidence to make those asks. Otherwise, sadly, book reviews won’t come in and potential readers will question the value of your book because of this weakness.
And I’ve read that only 33% of people you ask to review will actually review. So if you want to get to a solid 50 book reviews, you need to ask at least 150 people. It requires boldness to ask more than 100 people to read and review your book, yet each positive review gives more credibility and social proof to your work.
Be Bold To Reach Out To Influencers
How sweet would it be if an influencer pitched your book to their 50,000 person audience? Even if only 1% bought your book, that’s 500 sales right there.
However, you can’t just ask them to share your book with their email list. That’s rude and will work 0% of the time. You either have to establish a relationship with an influencer first, or give them an attractive incentive to pitch your book—like offering an affiliate partnership where they get 50% profit for each book they sell.
To establish a relationship, I like to send an email that introduces myself and asks them for one piece of advice. People appreciate when you acknowledge their expertise and seek them for advice. Then look for other ways you can add value and how you can help them or their business. Once the relationship is firmly established, then you can ask them for a favor (to pitch your book).
Though boldness doesn’t mean you ignore reality. The reality is that these people are extremely busy and get hundreds of requests for their time a day. So that’s why it takes confidence to reach out, knowing that they may decline your request or not respond at all. For the few that do respond, you just got a huge win.
Be Bold To Keep Going
There will be unanswered emails, people saying they’re not interested in reading your book, and bad book reviews along the journey. Don’t get discouraged and stop. Keep going, knowing that your mission is genuine and there are people out there that need your book, they just don’t know it.
Success, failure, and perseverance are the ingredients of any bestselling author. This means you join elite company when you continue to put yourself out there regardless of day-to-day results. Sooner or later, your relentless marketing and writing will open more doors than you can imagine. It just takes time. But if you give up, it’s game over.
Not Feeling Bold? Try This
Maybe you’re having a hard time being your book’s number one fan. That’s natural for some, especially if it’s their first book and they’re not sure how to go about book marketing.
If that’s the case, try this exercise to gain confidence while spreading the word about your book.
- Block out 15 minutes of personal time.
- Grab a pen and a piece of paper to write down a list of all the benefits that readers could gain from your book. (It helps to think of people who are struggling and come upon your book’s ideas for the first time. Imagine how it will change their lives in small and big ways.)
- Now imagine someone taking every benefit on the list you wrote away from these people. Realize that this evil person is you if you’re not acting bold to get your message in the minds of these people who need it.
- Recognize that the core of successful book marketing comes down to loving your book. Celebrate that you’re an author, boldly tell people about your book, and your passion for your book will overflow to other people.
You’re not being an arrogant punk by believing in your book’s message to help people and asking for orders. You’re being a loving friend who has other people’s backs when you boldly ask people to check out your book.
Cheers to being bold!