You’ve completed your manuscript and found a way to publish, maybe you’ve even created a Facebook page and Instagram account — that’s great! Now it’s time for the part that everyone seems to hate: asking for help from those you know.
In the 17th century, John Donne famously penned, “No man is an Island,” and four centuries later that still holds true. We’ve talked before about the power of asking for help, and like it or not, you will get further with the aid of others than if you try to go it alone. Over the years, we’ve heard every excuse for why people don’t want to reach out to their circle of acquaintances.
“I’m just not a pushy person, it seems so unprofessional.”
Sure, sometimes people can come across as pushy — but not if it’s done right.
“I don’t want to ask people to buy books, that feels like I’m begging.”
It might feel like begging if you’re not used to sales — but if you don’t let people know what you need, they won’t know what action to take.
“Oh, the people on my list wouldn’t be interested anyway.”
Some of the people on your list might not be interested, and you may even see a couple of them unsubscribe — but you never know who will be interested, and you need to let them make that decision.
“My friends will buy it if they see me talking about it on my social channels, right?”
Social media is a great outlet for promotion — but as friend numbers rise and social algorithms change, there’s no guarantee that all of your connections will see your post — don’t leave it to chance.
Experience has taught us that whether you’re looking to build buzz for a new book or create connections as a speaker, the best opportunities often come from those who know you personally, or have observed you in a professional capacity. This means that you need to set aside your reservations and ask for help from the people who really know what you’re capable of doing. Their recommendations could lead to landing the best-seller flag on Amazon or the TEDx talk you’ve been hoping to get. Who you know matters . . . but not if you don’t ask!
Whether you choose to hire a marketing company or you decide to go it alone, the requirement to reach out and ask for their help is a necessary part of any promotional plan. If you’re not sure how to get started, we’ve got three ideas to get you going:
- Share this post with 5 friends — you can email, text, or private message it to them – and tell them that you have something you’d like to ask for their help with.
- Commit to contacting one person a day with a specific ask –– buy a copy of your book, write a review, recommend you to a friend who’s looking for an event speaker, etc. You may get a lot of “no thanks” responses, but it only takes one “yes” to make a difference.
- Sign up for the Book Marketing Action Guide (BMAG) — not only will you receive step-by-step help in sharing your book with the world, but you’ll also have the opportunity to join a group of like-minded authors in the exclusive Facebook BMAG group and receive additional tips and encouragement from the Weaving Influence team.
John Donne’s quote is often cut off before the entire thought is expressed, “No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main;” — take the first step off the island and reach out to your Continent of people. Help is just an ask away.
Tell Me Something! What do you need to ask for help with in your book marketing journey?
Carrie Koens joined the Weaving Influence team in May 2012 and has held a number of roles, including three years as the Book Launch Director (a title she stepped away from in June 2016 in order to focus on the needs of her growing family), and she currently serves the team as a Writer and Consultant. An INTJ with a penchant for culture, book stores, Parisian cafés, Indian curry, British mystery shows, and her passport, you can find her on Twitter @CGKoens.