Marketing Theories {And what’s worked for me} Part One

The upside to self publishing is that you retain all rights to your book and the majority of the profits. You have the final word in every decision and maintain complete control of your content at every stage.

You may ask, is there even a downside?

Well, once you publish, the work’s not done. Now you have to market your book–and here’s where many writers run back into their writing closets and regret ever thinking they could do this on their own.

I’ll admit: marketing is work. Despite the great people I’ve gotten to know in the process and the satisfaction that comes from DYI-ing, I have often been stressed by the pressure of marketing my own book. That is, until earlier this year when I had an epiphany regarding my marketing approach…

See, I’d always thought there were two different approaches one could take when marketing a product: Self-Promotion or Trusting God For Sales.

For the first year, I jumped back and forth between the two strategies: one month I’d work real hard, getting reviews and promoting the book on social media, then I’d burn out and relax into the “I’m-just-gonna-trust-God-to-market-my-book” method. I’d get back to work when fear for provision motivated me to see if the book could finally become a significant source of income for us. I was stressed when I was actively promoting the book because I felt the whole success of my efforts rested on me. And I was stressed when I sat back and ‘gave it to God’ because I felt I should at least be doing something–I felt like I was being a poor steward of the resource He’d enabled me to create.

And that’s when my breakthrough came–when I finally realized the whole thing was about stewardship. Just as one would manage a piece of property to help it produce well, my book was a resource to be stewarded. There was work to be done, but God had been in the creation process–I needed to realize He could be part of my marketing team, too. It was something we could do together.

Since then, my new strategy involves doing what I can to promote the book with the time and means at my disposal. And when I run out of time, or something I try seems to have poor results, I remember that God and me are a team on this thing. I choose to trust Him. I’ve learned I can market my book stress-free when I engage in wise promotion tactics, while simultaneously leaving the results to Him. I can’t tell you how delightful it is to team up with God on marketing.

You need to approach this step of the process just as you have the writing, editing, formatting, and cover design—with prayer. With trust. With diligence. With passion. And remember you’re not in this alone.

Don’t consider yourself the marketing type? Don’t worry—marketing is all about relationships anymore. Do you have friends? Do they have friends? Then you’re set! Lots of practical marketing tips for the non-salesman and the smaller blogger next week!

Other Posts in This Series:
Cover Story {The God Factor in Self-Publishing}

Do You Have an eBook in You? {Psst! I think so!}

Editing and Formatting an eBook {What NOT to do!}

Don’t DIY By Yourself {It takes a community to publish an eBook}

7 Steps to DIY eBook Cover Design {The Art of First Impressions}

All posts in the series can be found via this tag: Path to Publishing. Share it and encourage another writer friend! 🙂

2 responses to “Marketing Theories {And what’s worked for me} Part One”

  1. Shannon Coe Avatar

    That pendulum swinging is exactly what I would have done. I am so glad you forged ahead of me and that you are sharing these things. I have a strong aversion to selling and marketing anything “me” related. The stewardship mention satisfies enough that I can do this when ready. Thanks, Trina.

  2. Stacey Avatar

    Ah, balance. I have a tendency to tip the scales back and forth myself. I look forward to your advice for the non-salesman. That has ALWAYS been my downfall.

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