Think you can never market your book and succeed as an author because you're an introvert? Think again. I'm going to explain exactly how to market a book as an introvert and not feel awkward or uncomfortable.
As a writer, there's a pretty high probability that you are an introvert. While not all introverts are writers, introverts are naturally good written communicators. They are also deep thinkers, which makes them more inclined to write.
Some famous introvert writers include Charlotte Brontë, William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, J.K. Rowling, and Edgar Allen Poe. Fortunately for those introvert writers, they were traditionally published and many of them in a very different time. And so they didn't really have to worry about their own book marketing.
The qualities of a writer often don't appear to align with what is needed for successful marketing. However, I would argue that that is complete rubbish. As an introvert myself and also a writer, I get to say that.
There is a stereotype that the typical marketer needs to be a fast-talking sales person, yelling at you through your TV to ‘get down to your local dealership TODAY!'. But that's really not what marketing is about or how to market a book as an introvert
Marketing that works aligns perfectly with the traits of an introvert.
Introverts value meaningful relationships
So why do I say that? Well, introverts value meaningful relationships over shallow smalltalk and that is brilliant when we want to grow a loyal readership.
So if you want to learn how to market a book as an introvert, then you want to be growing your tribe of loyal readers. You do that by forming a community of people who are genuinely interested in you, so you can develop strong relationships.
You're not just trying to sell books. You genuinely want to get to know your readers really well, and serve them really well. That is a brilliant quality for a successful marketer.
Introverts are great listeners
Secondly, introverts are really good listeners. We prefer to listen to what other people have to say rather than keep butting in with our own opinion.
In fact, we often don't want to give our opinion at all. We find that people will often ask us for our opinion, because we don't just volunteer it naturally. What this means is, if you're a really good listener, then you are going to listen to your readers. You're going to listen to what they want, and you are going to communicate with them much more effectively.
You're not just going to be emailing things that you want to talk about. Instead you're going to try and find the things that your subscribers are interested in. That is brilliant and will enable you to build those communities and develop deep relationships. Listening is a crucial part of that.
Thinking about marketers in the wider business world, the role of the marketer is often to listen to the customer. It's not really about developing sales and marketing strategies all the time. It is about listening to the customers, what they want, what they need, what's not working for them in your existing product. That information is then passed to the product development teams, so they know what to work on.
As an author, listening to your readers is going to help you write better books. It's also going to help you write better book descriptions, which align perfectly with what your readers are looking for.
Introverts are considerate of others
Finally, introverts are considerate of others. Now, I'm not saying that extroverts don't care about other people, of course they do. But as introverts, we're really careful to make sure that we're not upsetting the apple cart.
We like to take care of other people's feelings. As a marketer, that's important. Marketing is not about pushing your message out to everyone and not caring who it offends. As an introvert, you make sure that what you say and do takes other people's opinions and feelings into account, which is a good quality for a marketer.
That's not to say that you shouldn't stand up for what you believe in or that you shouldn't be polarizing. It's important, especially in the online space, to say what you believe in so that you attract the right people.
However, being considerate of others, that's a basic requirement in marketing so that you don't simply push your book on people. You're not interested in brainwashing everyone and telling them to ‘buy my book'. Instead, you care about what people think and what they need. And you try to develop a marketing plan that aligns with that.
A fear of being seen
So as I have explained, as an introvert, you have some excellent qualities for book marketing. But how does that match up with, for example, your fear of public speaking, your fear of being seen, of being visible? What about when you just want to hide in your writing cave and not communicate with anybody at all?
What if you are naturally quiet and afraid of being on a podcast or doing an interview because you're unable to gather your thoughts beforehand? The reason why as introverts we're really good at writing is because we're able to pull our thoughts together on paper and make sure we're happy with them before we put them out into the world.
Being on a podcast, doing an interview, recording a YouTube video can all be really uncomfortable. So how do you get around that? How do you market successfully when some of those things are not natural to you? Well, here are my top tips.
Focus on the value you provide
My first tip is to focus on who it is that you serve and what you can give them. What do your readers want to hear from you? What value can you give them that they will really appreciate?
This could be your books, and you can talk about your books and your writing, or you can talk about some other things. You may want to talk about your writing process or some research trips that you've done, for example. For a non-fiction author, you can give value all day long, talking about your subject that you're a specialist in.
So focus on what you can give people, whether that is education, information, entertainment, or even inspiration. If you've taken time to get to know your readers, to build your community, and you've deepened those relationships, you should know them really well. And you can give them something of value that they're going to appreciate.
Lean into what you are good at
My second tip is to really lean into what you are naturally good at. So because as an introvert you value meaningful relationships over shallow small talk, lean into that community building.
Build that tribe of readers that you can connect with and that you care about and they care about you; lean into talking about things that you are mutually interested in.
Don't worry about pushing your book. Don't worry about sales talk, concentrate on developing those relationships and communicating with your readers instead.
If you're growing a Facebook group or an email list, then focus on the conversation in those places, rather than talking about your book all the time.
Because email and Facebook mean communicating through the written word, you may find that you can have meaningful conversations that in the real world you would find tricky. Perhaps you sometimes back away from conversations and are shy and quiet, but online, you can find your people. You can find the people that you can really connect with, and you can lean into that.
Play to your strengths
And finally, I would say play to your strengths. Therefore, if you find talking on a podcast absolutely terrifying and not something that you want to do, or you've tried it and found it difficult to get your words out, then play to your strengths. Blog rather than podcast. That could be blogging on your own website, or it could be guest blogging for other people, to help you get in front of more readers.
If you find it easier to talk to somebody through a conversation, then do that, do the podcast. If you find it easier to talk to a camera rather than real people, then do YouTube. But if you prefer to stick to what you know and love, then blog. Blogging is still a very valuable, viable marketing tool.
So when thinking about how to market a book as an introvert, it comes down to growing a platform of readers that care about you; that's incredibly important.
To get started, download my free 7-step guide to growing your author platform, because that will set you on the right path. It will explain to you how you can do this book marketing thing comfortably without feeling awkward as an introvert. Growing a platform and engaged readership doesn't rely on any kind of salesy tactics or shouting ‘buy my book' anywhere, making it ideal for introvert authors.