Forgive Me if I’m Marketing Too Loud


When an author makes the decision to self-publish, generally we just see the tip of the iceberg in terms of what we’ll have to do to launch our books. Once we get down and dirty with the publication process, we realize just how much is going to fall on our shoulders. We’re responsible for everything:

  • Cover Art
  • Editing
  • Formatting our books for E-readers and/or Print-on-Demand–two entirely different animals
  • Getting our websites ready
  • Listing ourselves on Goodreads, writing author bios, writing book blurbs
  • And FINALLY, the big one: MARKETING

Now, granted, we can pay to have any of the above done for us. But many of us (definitely raising my hand here) don’t have the cash flow to cover all these expenses. So we pick and choose which ones we can afford to farm out, then we tackle the rest ourselves. Generally, that means we have to market our own books.

It’s hard to maintain balance in your marketing. Yes, my personal Facebook followers are deeply invested in my self-publishing plan at this point–they’ve followed me for years and they know how long and hard this journey has been. And yet, how often should I update them on book-ish things? I typically fall-back to my Author Facebook page for smaller book updates…that way my personal FB followers can follow that page if they’re interested.

And groups? How do you know how often to update FB or e-mail groups you’re in about your novel? I think you have to use your judgment. No group wants a weekly update by one author on every step of progress. And yet, do you have a book cover? Share it. Could you use guest posting opportunities? Ask them. The worst you can get is silence.

Many times in this self-pubbing venture, I’ve wondered if I’ve crossed the line. Was I presumptuous in approaching that brilliant author about becoming an influencer? Did I mention my own book too many times in that group?

But in the end, I hope traditionally published authors understand just how much falls on a self-pubber’s shoulders. We generally don’t have the luxury of a team of people who tell us what our marketing plan will look like. We have to come up with all these creative ideas on our own…and as we all know, authors are writers first, not marketers.

So please, forgive us our slip-ups, when we cross that invisible “You’re marketing too much!” line.

And please, if you find a self-pubbed author whose writing you love, go to that author–just as you would a traditionally published author–and say, “Hey. I love your book. I’m going to influence for you. Would you like to do a guest post? I just reviewed your book on Amazon.”

Because the more support we get, the more we’re able to let our readers do our marketing for us…and believe me, there’s nothing we’d like better!

****What do you think? What’s the most effective marketing strategy you’ve seen implemented for authors?****

9 thoughts on “Forgive Me if I’m Marketing Too Loud

  1. Heather,
    As a fellow self-publisher, I SO feel you in this post. It’s so difficult to find that fine line between too much and not enough–is there such a line?
    I love that QUALITY self-published books are being taken seriously now – the field is wide open, FINALLY!! I know the next few years are going to bring even more changes in this area, and I’m excited to be a part of this movement. You know I’m behind you all the way, Heather.

    1. YES! And I love the high standard of self-pubbing you hold as well, Becky. The new Elderberry Croft cover is A.MAZ.ING. And the content is always stellar, too! You’re doing a hard copy of the whole thing someday, right? And you know your support has helped me DO this thing!

  2. Yes, you are the brilliant author who’s an influencer.

    The thing is, Heather…you’re a down-to-earth person, and you don’t have a Louvre-size ego. The marketing and publicity choices you make will reflect that, and I’ll bet that you’ve actually been conservative in the lengths to which you’ve gone than you think.

    Here’s an analogy…I’m seriously ill, and sometimes don’t accomplish all that I would like. I’ll start to berate myself for laziness, and then I have to ask…”Does anything in my history say I;m lazy?”

    And the honest answer is No. I’ve always run at full speed, and now, sometimes, full speed is a limping stagger. It may not be much that I accomplish…but it’s the limit of what I can do.

    What you do reflects who you are, and I have every confidence that you’re doing things well. You’re a class act, and that shows everywhere.

    1. Andrew, that’s so thoughtful. I do feel like I’ve been going pedal-to-the-metal for years now in this writing gig. I know you do, too…we are doing the max of what we are able to do, and I think that’s pleasing to God. As long as we do remember to rest (that’s my problem!). We have “put our hands to the plow” and we’re not looking back.

  3. Great post, Heather. At present I struggle putting myself out there as a published author and have found it difficult to separate the “product” from the “person”.

    We will be cheering you on as you go down this path and praying for discernment for you as to what decisions to make to help promote GD.

  4. I think this also applies to authors at smaller houses. Most of the smaller/Indy publishers don’t have a marketing team, so the authors carry the bulk of getting the book out. You’re right, it’s so hard! And the balance is tippy. But I’ve never thought you were too loud. I, in fact, just referred to you as the “Marketing Queen” to my hubby. 🙂

    1. Susie, that made me LOL! All I’ve learned about marketing has come from observing the traditional pubbed authors and trying out their methods that cost me nothing (doing pinnables, etc). And there have definitely been some misses along the way! But I think with each book we figure out the best strategies to get the word out. And you’re so right–I think ALL authors have to put in a lot of “face time,” no matter if they’re tradpub, small press, or indie. We are all working stinking hard out here, on so much more than writing!

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