For those of you that are out there killing it in terms of your marketing (you know...writing on your own blog, guest-posting, great Twitter and Facebook presences, a thriving and regular newsletter, a community of people who love your books and share them regularly...), YAY! Good for you.
This blog isn't for you. It's for the rest of us, those of us who struggle with balancing a full-time other career, possibly a spouse and children, the actual writing of the novels, and then marketing on top of all of that.
I do a lot of marketing for my career as a life coach. A ton. But I don't do much at all for my romance novels, which means that those poor little novellas that I wrote three years ago suffer in obscurity and are dying a slow, lingering death. (I've since written four more complete novels and am actively subbing, but that is a subject for another blog.) So I do know what it takes to succeed in the marketing arena, even if I'm not always doing it for my little romances.
My point is, if you are in the same space: I hear you. I feel you.
Most of us already know what we "should" be doing. It's like someone who wants to start exercising. She's not trying to convince herself that sitting all day is healthy. She just can't seem to find the motivation to get out there.
And like our friend who wants to exercise, for us romance writers, marketing is usually one of the last things that we do. It's so tiring. It's a slog. Someone might reject me. People might not like what I post. Yuck!
And yet, there are plenty of people out there in exactly the same boat, and yet, they still manage to find the time to do a good bit of marketing. So how do they do it?
Okay, so let's get down to the nitty-gritty. How do you motivate yourself to keep going with your marketing, even when everything else (including your own thoughts) gets in the way?
1. Find your whyWhy, exactly, are you even bothering to market your books? Do you want more money for your next vacation, more readers so that you can spread your message of peace and love and aliens-are-invading, or possibly you just want to have a deeper connection with the readers that you already have?
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it's probably mainly so that we can have more readers, more people who buy our books. But what, exactly, does that translate into for you? What are you hoping that money will buy?
Now here's the fun part: Spend a few minutes today writing and dreaming about your the experiences and things that money would buy. If you sold JK-Rowling-like numbers of books tomorrow, what would that enable you to do? What charities would you support? Which vacations would you take? With whom would you spend more time?
Spend 10-20 minutes really getting into the details of what you want from that expanded readership. How would you be helping those readers? What is your message that you want to get to them?
This exercise has been extensively studied by positive psychologists (in terms of increased happiness), but it also really helps to awaken our subconscious mind to possibilities that we might not ordinarily see.
2. Plan, plan, planI'm a pantser. I love spontaneity in my life. I would jet off to Europe tomorrow if you asked me to (and gave me a plane ticket. And a babysitter. Minor details.)
But for anything that has to get done in my week, including marketing, blogging, and submitting to other, bigger blogs, I have to block it out in my calendar. And then, like a meeting with my boss (who also happens to be me) I don't allow anything to interfere with that time.
Don't mistake urgency for importanceMost of us make this mistake. We see an email pop up and we think we have to answer it. Or a text. That little bell is a Pavlovian response to "oh, someone needs me. I must answer them right now!".
But what's truly most important to you? Getting out requests for reviews, or posting a new Facebook meme? Contacting other bloggers for possible guest posts, or answering your mother's phone call during your prime working hours?
This gets back to blocking out your time. Turn off your phone, shut off the internet, and get it done.
3. Challenge your thoughtsThis is number three, but it's actually the biggest one to take on in terms of our marketing challenges. We have these little fears that masquerade as actual reality, things like "Last time I did a blog hop, no one even commented. It's pointless to even do it."
But challenge that thought. Did you truly get zero comments? You probably got at least a few. I also like to remember that everyone starts from somewhere. That all great marketers started out with just one Facebook follower. That all of marketing is a slow build, until eventually it becomes an avalanche.
You can use this process, called thought-refuting, with any of your fears. What are you really most afraid of in putting yourself out there? Once you've identified it, turn that thought on its head. There's always a counter-argument or thought to negate the uncomfortable one.
Something is always better than nothing.What can you do right now, today, that will get you back on the path? Even twenty minutes of beautiful sharing (sharing - not selling - you know this!) will get you back on that path.
Have you struggled with your own marketing? What do you do to overcome it? We'd love to hear from you in the comments!
Erin writes sensual paranormals and historical romances as Erin Moore. In her other life, she's also a life coach, helping women to answer the question of how to add value in their lives and careers in a vibrant and meaningful way, even while navigating the chaos and frustrations of everyday life. She believes that everyone deserves an amazing life of abundance, and her free e-book "Your Kick Ass Life: A Process for Answering "What Do I Do With My Life" is available on her website.