Book Marketing for Introverts: How to Kick Ass Without Showing Your Face
Writing has forced me to face many fears. Heartbreak, disaster.
It may be true that the pen is mightier than the sword, but hammering words into a page requires a different mettle. A writer is a lifelong student of masters and masterpieces, but also of words, both in the artistry of their sounds, and the footprints they leave through the woodlands of our empathetic worlds.
We must learn how to tell a story, and in due course, write these stories down, put them in a book, and once we feel sufficiently emboldened call ourselves “a writer.” And that’s good.
We have to call attention to ourselves.
This is perhaps the most intimidating aspect of the writing enterprise for an introvert such as yours truly. Crowds worry me. Besides, what makes the minutia of my day important enough to demand anyone’s attention? The idea of intentionally trying to get people to look my way feels egocentric and exhausting. I don’t want to clutter to somebody else’s feed with self-indulgent yammering.
If this sounds like you, we’re on the same page.
But that attitude will not help us build our careers as writers.
Introversion may be a temperamental setback in the marketing game, but you haven’t struck out yet. You can adapt. You can learn how to get the word out about your brand and your work without feeling like a fake, bloviating windbag.
Make use of other means.
The whole point of marketing your book is so that people can become aware of — and hopefully purchase — your work. The more people who know about your book, the more potential buyers you have. But you can’t exactly go running down the street screaming about it.
Well, I mean, you can, but you’re bound to make people stare at you, and… Yeah, I know. That sucks, right?
And in any event, what are the odds that the people walking down the road in your target demographic?
Your effort, time, and energy have a finite limit. Don’t waste your attentional resources on an unreceptive audience.
Instead, find out who is looking for books like yours, and blast that corner of the market. The more you put in to researching your intended readers, the better your odds of success. Google Trends and Amazon are great places to start, but don’t stop there. Start making charts. Start google searching how to make charts.
Check out what books and authors in your genre are selling well, and sign up for their mailing lists.
If they’re moving some serious paper then they’re doing something right. What better way to learn from the best than by having their advertising media delivered right to your inbox? Make it your mission to find out what that something is.
Find out which social media outlet you hate the least.
I know, I know. This is the part you don’t want to hear. Personally, given the choice between holding the plank position for ten minutes or using twitter, I’d probably hit the deck with a few minutes to spare, but that’s unfortunately not on offer.
As an introvert, social interactions are likely to leave you feeling drained. You don’t get the heady buzz that a social butterfly experiences from flitting around a party, and that’s a shame, because this proclivity toward solitude gives your extroverted competitors an edge. Talkative, friendly people open themselves up to powerful connections that their shyer opposition may never encounter. They’re out there chatting on instagram, posting little witticisms on twitter, leaving a sprinkled trail of web content wherever they go like a ripped bag of bird seed.
Social media isn’t a chore to extroverts. Hell, it might be their favorite part of the job.
But if you just find your own voice on social media — I know, a new voice yet — you can open yourself up to potential buyers.
Now, don’t outdo yourself. If you try to fit the mold of an extrovert, you’re putting your weakest foot forward. You’re bound to feel exhausted and overwhelmed by producing a continuous, daily stream of comments, reactions, and pictures of your dog if those are tidbits that you truly hate doing.
Or, to paraphrase the great Jordan Peterson:
You can teach an introvert how to behave like an extrovert, but you can’t make them like it.
Put an effort into social media, but save your energy, and direct your efforts wisely.
Rather than taking the scattershot approach of blasting out like a white dwarf star in all directions, take your time to find out:
- Where is my target audience?
- Which social media platform can I stand to use regularly?
- Which social media platform is my audience using?
Bearing these factors in mind,
Pick your social media outlets and make a marketing plan.
Think of it like this: social media is free advertising, and it also gives your readers the chance to get to know you on a personal level. You don’t have to talk about anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. You have complete and total control over the image you put out there. Is some guy bothering you?
Fuck him, block his ass.
Don’t like the posts Homelesshipsterdouche256 (because this is AOL) is posting? Unfollow them.
Your call, your show.
Interacting with your audience base on the internet provides you with far more social control than in real life. Click a button and move on.
If you really can’t stand the idea of interacting with the public in any way, consider starting with Pinterest.
I like Pinterest because you never have to talk to anyone, ever. I know, right? You just click on pictures and pin them to the appropriate board, and watch your numbers climb. If you are trying to sell a book to well-to-do millenial women, but you’re not much for small talk, you really need to bark up this tree. It’s great for promoting your blog — you have a blog, right? — and creates a new way for readers to discover you.
Hold on. You don’t have a blog.
Get a blog.
Yes, it’s true. Let’s come to terms with that right now. You need a blog, preferably one with your pen name as the domain name (JoeCasserole.com, KatrinaCrotch.net, something uppercrust’ee) so you can establish your author brand. Get a custom email address while you’re at it, too, because building your emailing list is one of the most important steps to make sales later on.
“But… But… But the blog market is saturated!” You say.
Yes, it is.
“What am I supposed to write about?”
Whatever you can make yourself write about.
“I don’t have time to write my book and blog at the same time.”
Then you don’t have time to be a writer.
Blogging was not what I had set out to do, either. It felt like a chore, and at first, it was. Now I can hardly wait to get to the keyboard on some mornings, because it’s actually fun to interact with people on topics I am interested in. Interacting on a subject you are passionate about is so much more enjoyable than making small talk with some drunk asshole at a party. It’s social interaction, but it’s a whole different kind of social interaction. Give it a shot.
Turn your weakness into a strength.
If you really, really can’t be bothered to regularly use a blog or social media, then make sure you spend that time doubling down on your research. Learn everything you can about SEO, sales funnels, and your competition. You know those hours that Joe McEnemy over there is pumping into instagram? Take that time and find a strategy that is worth more than another post of his fried chili mac n’ cheese breakfast, his weightloss plan, or his Ten Steps to a Better Fuck You.
Use Amazon for market research.
There are some great videos on this, so I won’t waste your time expounding upon how to use Amazon to hone your marketing game. Make sure you do your homework on these guys, though. They’re the eight hundred pound gorilla in the room when it comes to self-publishing, book selling, book buying… Fuck, anything to do with books, so it pays to know your way around their system. Youtube and Google are your friends.
So have at it.
You’ve got this.
Show up, put on a something cozy, and start screaming at the ocean with your arms in the air.
You’ve got this.
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