What is the Greatest Challenge Indie Authors Face in Marketing Their Books? It’s Not What You Think.

by Karen Jonson

Our Main Problem is Not Money, Time, or Opportunity. It’s Doing it All Alone. Four Reasons How a Community Can Help You Market Your Books.

Indie authors coming together for book marketing support

Marketing your book with a community of indie authors can give you essential support, information, and motivation to reach your book sales goals. (© Kirill Kedrinski – Fotolia.com)

Indie authors are, by definition, independent practitioners of their craft: writing books.

There are few more isolating careers than writing. After all, communities don’t write books (usually). A book is written by a single person sitting alone in a chair in a room at a computer composing words on a blank page.

Sure, authors can seek input along the way, for example, from critique groups, our friends, our family members, and editors. But no one else is going to be there to help us actually do the work of writing. It’s just one writer and his or her thoughts — all alone.

When the book is finally finished and it’s time to market it, once again, we are alone. But while writing a book requires a hermit-like isolation, there are good reasons why we should not market our books alone.

I think the book marketing stage of the self-publishing process is a time to burst out of our isolation and work with others. By working with a team of indie authors, we have the chance to gain much-needed support, knowledge-sharing, and motivation-inducing benefits.

Four Reasons Indie Authors Should Work With a Community of Authors to Market Their Books

Marketing our books is no time to be alone. It’s time to reach out to our peers for information, communication, and motivation.

Here are four reasons why we should band together to market our books.

1. Marketing Your Books by Yourself is Lonely.

By the time our books are finished, we have spent hundreds, even thousands, of hours by ourselves, locked away from the world, writing our books. This much time alone is not natural. We are social beings. We need a community to make us feel supported, happy, and successful. While we have to write alone, we don’t have to market our books alone. Marketing is a process that can be enhanced and accelerated through a team approach. With a team surrounding us, we can gain greater book marketing insight, vital feedback, and support for our efforts from a like-minded group of people.

2. Joining a Book Marketing Community Helps Break You Break Out of Your Shell.

When we’re ready to share our books are with the world, suddenly we need to transform from introverted authors to extroverted marketers. Marketing our books is a time to be social, to be vocal, and to be interacting in every way possible with the world at large. This can be a challenging transition for indie authors. In fact, it’s so challenging for some authors that they simple decide not to market their finished books at all. Instead, they return to the privacy of their writing dens and start writing their next books. This works well for writers who want to write as a hobby, but it is crippling for writers who want to sell their books. What better way to enter into and sustain this stage of the book publishing process than with ongoing interaction with a Community of indie authors?

3. Working With Other Indie Authors Gives You an Ideal Support System.

Who can provide an indie author with the greatest level of support? Our family? Our friends? Our co-workers at our day jobs? No. None of these people can provide us with the type of support we need to market our books. While they may love us and want the best for us, they have no idea what we are going through to get our books discovered, purchased, and read. Only other indie authors, who are facing the same challenges and who have the same hopes and dreams, can adequately provide the support we need to set up book readings, stay current with social media, write press releases, and engage in the multitude of other tasks that go into marketing our books.

4. Sharing Your Goals, Plans, and Milestones with Other Indie Authors is Motivating.

While marketing our books can be a fun, creative, and rewarding experience, there are going to be days when we just don’t feel like writing another blog comment, sending another tweet, or creating an overdue book video. When we’re overwhelmed by our marketing plans, it’s too easy to let it all fall to the wayside. After all, who is going to know but us? Before we know it, we’re way off our book marketing goals and our book sales are losing momentum. On the other hand, the energy generated by a group of indie authors marketing our books together has the potential to spark your motivation through all of the good days and bad days along the book marketing journey. As a result, you’ll stay on track — and give your book every advantage to make your sales goals.

Coming together in a Community of indie authors could be one of the most powerful steps you take in your life as an indie author. That’s exactly why I started the Indie Book Marketing Community.

Sign up today to become a part of this dynamic and inspiring team of indie authors — all working together to expand our book marketing success in 2013!

NOTE: I just opened a private Facebook Group for the Indie Book Marketing Community. Those who sign up on the Early Bird list will be invited into the Facebook Group right away. I’m looking forward to meeting everyone there and learning about their books.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

dannyboystories December 12, 2012 at 9:26 am

Put three people in a barrel, shake, you have three opposing opinions. (See my profile for credentials.) I have 14 e-books published on Amazon, B&N, Sony, Smashwords, etc. Take notice, in my more than 50 years a journalist, newspaper publisher, writer, and now full-time author with a marketing degree, I’ve come to know there is ‘no magic bullet’, and no one necessarily has the best answer. Self marketing is work–hard, continuous, work–cutting into your writing time, albeit very necessary to success. The ideas of others are born of their personal frame of reference, foretelling the possibility these may not be applicable to your particular situation. Nevertheless, a “community” (in which by reading this post you are already participating) can be fruitful. I have no residual time to participate in ‘another’ community. Making use of those communities and groups already in existence on this and other sites on which you are already enrolled must certainly be sufficient…that is, unless, you require no sleep whatsoever. However, it’s only MY opinion!

Reply

Karen Jonson December 12, 2012 at 9:34 am

Hi DannyBoy,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts based on experience. I agree completely. No one can tell an author exactly what will sell their book. Every book is different and every author is different. The marketing campaign for each book needs to meet the book’s needs and the author’s resources (certainly I hope everyone will get enough sleep).

I’m hoping the Indie Book Marketing Community will be an educational and supportive journey that will help each author create their ideal marketing plan. It’s hell to just spin in the wind not know what you should do — especially with all the “advice” out there. It will be fun and rewarding to help each author find their marketing niche.

Thanks again,
Karen

Reply

David December 17, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Hi Karen
I like the idea of a supportive group of writers and am in one online. I used to be in a great local writers group that brought in industry speakers but the organizer let it go to pursue her own marketing.

However, it sounds a little from your program page that you don’t have the marketing steps down yet. For example, most authors I know do a big push for pre-sales and one days sales on Amazon to get category bestsellers. Certainly it’s never too late to market but it’s harder to get profile and visibility on Amazon if the effort is gradual.

Further, you’re not up front about commitment – time and money required. And why does it take longer to learn how to market about than it does to write the book? Am I to assume you took a workshop in how to market your knowledge and create lessons as you go?

Reply

LKWatts December 19, 2012 at 3:46 am

Hi,

Working alone is tough no matter whether you’re writing or standing on street corners. I know I’d find it much harder if I didn’t have my lovely boyfriend to go to for love and support.

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