Book marketing for introverts is painful. These are the writers who only want to hole up in their cave and write. Why should they come out and face the world? They only want to write!
And yet, if your story stays in your cave, you’ll never sell that book, which means you don’t have a career.
Fortunately, there are many things you CAN do as an introvert that don’t require you to interact widely with the world. There’s a continuum of activities from very engaged with the world to not engaged at all.
If you’re a confirmed introvert, you’re not likely to do these things: write chatty newsletters, manage a street team, or do public appearances. Introverts freeze in public, and would rather die than tell you about their cat. Street teams mean managing and interacting with people, often on a social media platform. An introvert might lurk in a Facebook group, but will seldom post. Children’s book writers especially cringe at school visits, long touted as a cornerstone of marketing a children’s book.
I consider myself an introvert, but I’m also an extrovert-on-demand. When I teach, I switch to extrovert mode and interact with students. Still I’m best in a smaller groups, where the overload to my senses is manageable.
That means I can do public appearances, even talking to 1000 kids. But I still balk at chatting newsletters and a street team. Those would require too much vulnerability and on-going interaction. (Yes! Email me with your good news! Just don’t expect a long extended back-and-forth conversation!)
Book Marketing for Introverts: Say YES to These Tasks!
So, what are techniques that work for introverts. There are three basic things you can do: write fast, nail your metadata, and advertise.
Introverts: Write faster.
The best thing that introverts can do is to write rapidly and do a rapidly release of their books. For indie authors this often means releasing a new book every month. The momentum gained by writing a series and rapidly releasing means that you have to do less marketing. I like Rachel Aaronson’s approach to writing fast!
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Introverts: Master the basics.
If you are an introvert and you don’t want to interact with your readers then you must master the basics. That means you must have an author website that has basic information on you and your books. It’s best if you have some sort of reader magnet to attract subscribers to your mailing list. That would be for example giving away a short story, a novella, or other writing that would attract readers. You need a mailing list with an automated sequence. This takes away the stress of writing a chatty newsletter because you write one sequence of emails and then send it out over and over and over every time you get a new subscriber. You may want to refresh those occasionally and you may want to add in a monthly newsletter or at least a an email when you have new books coming out.
You must also master metadata especially on Amazon. On Amazon you’re allowed to categories for any e-book in one category for print. You may have seven keywords. Your blurb should pull readers in and want them to and make them want to read your book. Your cover must be pristine and spot on for your genre. And your Amazon look-alikes must be perfect so that readers can sample the book before they purchase. If you don’t know how to do any of those there are tons of resources online. Here are some resources that I’ve found helpful.
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One optional activity is newsletter swaps with other authors. Even introverts need a few best friends in the business and you can reach out to just a few of your favorite authors to suggest the newsletter swaps. Or join Instafreebie or Book Funnel and use their newsletter swap services to find the right marketing swaps for your for your book.
Introverts: Master Advertising.
Advertising is cold and impersonal – perfect for the introvert. Besides that, if you are an introverted geek and you love spreadsheets this will be your sweet spot. I know that folks still fuss about advertising their books, but that’s foolish. You’re a small business and the most reliable way to bring in customers is advertising.
There are two types of advertising: ongoing advertising and price promotion advertising. I do ongoing advertising with AMS (Amazon Marketing Service). I was stumbling around until I found Brain Meek’s Facebook group where he gives away an amazing spreadsheet for tracking the ads. Read his book, but for the most information and benefit, join his group. (I know, you’re an introvert. Just grab his spreadsheet and hang out. It’s cool.)
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Others swear by Facebook advertising or BookBub advertising, and resources abound. Look for free options before plunging into an expensive course.
One caution: if you go the advertising route set a budget for experiments so that you can optimize your ads to get the best return on investment. It often takes multiple ads and an investment of a couple hundred dollars to find the right way to advertise your particular book.
For introverted children’s authors, I also recommend that you place your books with educational distributors. Sign up here to receive contact information on the four major distributors. Each education distributor has advertising opportunities that you can take advantage of. Again you’ll have to test to see which platforms work best for your books.
A final thing that you can do is to submit your books for awards. Awards are not a marketing plan because they are too uncertain. Depending on who the judges are that year your book may or may not have a good chance of winning an award. However I added here because you should be submitting for appropriate words and if and when you get lucky, it adds marketing muscle. Here’s a list of likely awards for children’s books.
Introverts: Last Ditch Option – Hire a Book Marketer or a Virtual Assistant.
Finally, if the marketing thing is totally overwhelming to you, don’t do it. Hire an extravert to do it for you. This can be a local person that you train, an experienced book marketer, or a virtual assistant. They’ll need to have or to develop expertise in a wide range of activities, so choose wisely.
Introverted writers, breathe easy. Book marketing doesn’t mean you have to do public appearances non-stop. You have many options that are actually perfect for your strengths. Find the things that work for you and get help for the things that stress you out. Either way, market your book. Because it won’t market itself!