From time to time, I work with a client who is uncomfortable with self-promotion. If you want to write, publish, and market a book, you will need to get used to the idea of promotion, but not of yourself. You need to be committed enough to your message to promote it. I’ve quoted Jill Friedlander before: Are you ready to marry your message?.
If you don’t believe in your message, why are you publishing a book? I would venture to say that unless you deeply care about the message, you should not write and publish the book. So, let’s work from the assumption that you believe in your message. And if you believe in your message, then you’ll want to spread it.
You may think that people will get your message from reading your book, those words you’ve slaved over and edited, written and rewritten. But the truth is that even if your book sells tens of thousands of copies, most people will not consume the entire message of your book. If they do, they may not remember it.
Because we all buy books and never read them, or buy books and never finish them. We have short attention spans and shorter memories. We consume content in sound-bites, text messages, video clips, tweets, and (short) emails. And the only messages we remember are the ones that are most repeated.
So it is critical, now more than ever, to repackage the content from your book into other consumable forms: tweets, graphics, short videos, blog posts, and articles.
Sharing your message in small bursts is a service to your community, fans, and followers. You are promoting your message: because you believe in it, because it matters to you, because you think it will make a difference for others.
To hold back on sharing your message because you think sharing your message is too self promotional is to deprive people of your message, because the vast majority of people in the world won’t crack the spine of your book to read the message.
If you splash your message across social media channels and websites in easily consumable bits and pieces, people will, at least, get an introduction to your message, a part of it.
And if it interests them, they may look for more. When they do, they may be compelled enough to buy your book, because your message will start to matter to them.
And if you’re really fortunate, once they “get” your message, they’ll believe in it enough to share it, too. Book promotion is message promotion, not self-promotion.