As always, Patricia C. Wrede has wise things to say. If you’re a writer or interested in pursuing your passion in some other way, I highly recommend reading her blog post from today, Getting Into It.
Basic idea of the post is that you have to embrace all aspects of your chosen path if you want to succeed at it.
The last few Strengths coaching cohorts I handled had a lot of authors who were high Relators but not high Woo or Significance or Competition. What that basically means is they were people who don’t derive energy from interacting with large groups of people. There’s no desire to win others over (Woo) or to be in the spotlight (Significance) or to win (Competition). They have the few people who really matter to them, maybe another dozen who they’re close to, and that’s basically it.
They just want to write their books and have enough people love those books so that they can make a living at it. Which means that a lot of the very vocal self-publishing advice doesn’t feel comfortable for them. They don’t want to spend hours of their day on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and all the other places that authors can go to interact with the world.
They don’t want to build a base of superfans. At least not the type who want to know everything about them. (And honestly the idea of people who are that interested in their lives is a little uncomfortable to them.)
But that doesn’t mean they can avoid publicity.
So when you’re one of those authors (like I am), you have to find other ways of reaching your audience that are sustainable for you.
Click ads work well for me. (They’re a good choice for someone with high Strategic or Analytical Strengths.)
It’s basically like saying, “Here’s a book I think you’d like” or “Here’s a book that solves your problem” and then getting out of the way and letting the customers buy it.
My readers don’t buy my books because they like me as a person, they buy my books because the books meet their need. At this point I’ve sold over 7,500 copies of Excel for Beginners and not received a single fan mail on that title. The few emails I have received were asking for additional advice or information. And that’s okay with me. They had a need, I met that need. And I met it well enough they went on to buy other books by me if my also-boughts are any indication.
For other authors click ads won’t work well because they won’t have that ability to analyze or adjust as the ads change. But that doesn’t mean they have to establish a Facebook group of fans that they interact with every day and send a weekly newsletter.
They can instead form close relationships with other authors who they then work with on joint promotion. Or they can turn it on for a few days and go to a conference where they charm people one-on-one.
And in self-publishing there are even more options available to that type of author that aren’t available to trade published authors.
Like rapid release schedules. Release often enough that you stay visible to new readers and keep the interest of the ones you’ve already found.
Or price promotions. Let Bookbub be the one that attracts all the readers and then occasionally pay to use their list to reach new readers. That works, too.
You can’t avoid the need to market your product if you want to do this as more than a hobby. But you can do that marketing in ways that fit with your personality. (And, yes, maybe that means the path is longer or slower. But at least it’s one you want to be on.)