Dear Miss Guided:

Congratulations on your new book! I know that you put a lot of time and effort into both writing and publishing your book. You should be proud of what you have accomplished.
I am writing to beseech you to not throw away all the effort you have expended on bringing your book to fruition by neglecting to educate yourself on how to effectively promote and market your book.

shouting

Knowing how to promote your book effectively will bring in the sales that you seek. On the flip side, marketing your book poorly will not encourage people to buy your book.
No one likes a pushy salesman. Similarly, no one likes a pushy author. The truth is that few people apart from your close friends and family members even care that you wrote a book. So, don’t brag about it or push it on others.

I know that I may sound harsh, but please believe that I am not trying to hurt your feelings. Sometimes the truth is just painful. After all, Proverbs says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend”. As an independently published author myself, I am trying to help you.
I urge you, do not walk around at social gatherings such as dinner parties, cocktail parties, Superbowl parties and tell people about your book and where to buy it. Effective authors have conversations with people. If someone brings up an issue that your book speaks to, you can then naturally mention your book and how it addresses the issue in the normal course of the conversation.

Similarly, do not post “buy my book” message on social media. This includes blog comments, Facebook users’ walls, and Tweets. Posting “buy my book” messages is a waste of your time. People consider these types of messages SPAM and delete them. Instead of garnering interest in your book, you are annoying people and closing a channel of communication. Effective authors offer something useful to the conversation. Your time is more wisely spent engaging in the conversation at hand. Then, if it is appropriate, you can mention your book.

I hope that you will take the time to read this letter that I have written to you. I am trying to help you, not harm you. I fear, however, that you are too busy shouting about your new book to take the time to read my words.

If you do happen to read this and want to learn how to effectively market your book, there are many resources available to you. If your book is Christian in nature, you can get many helpful tips and ideas in my book Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace. If you have a general market book, you might want to check out Sell Your Book Like Wildfire or Smashwords Book Marketing Guide.

I truly wish you the best with your new book. May it bless many people.

Best Wishes,
Sarah Bolme
Director, Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA)
Author, Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace

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