3 ways to get past what’s holding you back

One of my coaching clients expressed concern about a specific book promotion tactic recently, saying, “I’m not quite sure how to go about doing that, so I moved it to the back of my mind for now.”

Because she had to start promoting her book immediately to take advantage of a once-a-year news tie-in, we set it aside. I knew that putting something extra challenging at the top of her book publicity to-do list would stall her completely – because it would stall anyone, including me.

We discussed what she did feel comfortable doing instead, looking for a task that was relevant, appropriate, and do-able. And we found it.

What’s holding you back?

What’s holding you back? What’s keeping you from moving forward with your book promotion? Here are three common problems and how to maneuver around them.

  1. Finding the time for it. Even when you write full-time for a living – rather than trying to squeeze it in around your “regular” job and other responsibilities – it’s hard to find time to promote your book. I’ve got several strategies for making the time on this post. My favorites are re-allocating the time you spent writing the book to promoting it, and setting aside the same chunk of time every week for book promotion tasks. I like to do those sorts of things on Friday afternoon, but what counts is what works for you.
  2. Confusion about where to begin. Start by spending time studying your target audience. It’s so important that you know who is most likely to buy your book. While this can be challenging for those who felt called to write a book and did so without giving any thought about who would buy it, if you want people to read it, they have to know about it. Get a handle on this topic with this post and this one on my blog, but also read this excellent post by Gary Korisko on the WritetoDone.com site. The more you know about your audience, the easier it will be for you to figure out which tactics to use.
  3. Discomfort with the process. You’re going to avoid any task that you’re not comfortable with, right? In the case of my author client mentioned above, I knew that we had to start with the least intimidating option if we wanted things to happen quickly. Because she had product publicity experience already, we started with a tactic that came easily to her — writing and distributing a tip sheet. What do you enjoy doing? Find a book publicity, promotion, or marketing tactic related to that. What do you like doing the least? Don’t start there.

Knowledge is power, so whenever you feel powerless, take the time to learn as much as you can about the topic that’s causing your paralysis. It will help give you the confidence you need to move forward.

What is your biggest obstacle? What’s keeping you from starting? Share it here — maybe we can help you find your way over, under, or around it.

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      1. Sandy, good question. I think my target audience likes westerns and romance, even though Detour Trail isn’t targeted to a romance audience though I used a romantic excerpt for Blurbs in Bloom, which I came across in a forum. I’m still putting off Twitter and FB ’cause I’m busy with other things, like a book signing, flyers, ….

  1. Thank you for sharing this knowledge. I have heard, many times, that whether you self-publish or traditionally publish, the task of promotion is left to the author.

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