In this, my last post in this Marketing B.A.S.I.C.S. series, I’m going to keep things simple. Or rather, I’m going to keep them as simple as is possible when dealing with a highly complicated situation. Marketing, as you’re most likely very well aware already, is no joke. It’s not easy. It’s not even moderately difficult. It’s hard. Especially for the fledgling self-publishing author who’s looking to make a break from the traditional mode and its dependence on the commercial machine.
Five weeks ago I launched the Marketing B.A.S.I.C.S. series with this introductory post, followed by posts that broke it down letter by letter:
- B. “Building an Online Presence,”
- A. “Ascertaining Your Ideal Reader,” and
- S. “Selling readers ON your book––and not just selling your book TO readers.”
- I. “Investing in a Little Advice.”
- C. “Calling Your Own Shots.”
… and last but not least, as you no doubt have already guessed, we’ll be looking at:
- S. “Silencing Your Own Inner Critic.”
You’ve probably heard it said:
We are our own worst critics. As authors, we demand perfection from the words we spill in pen and pixels across the blank page and screen. We hold ourselves to impossibly high standards that we subject no other person in the world to, except perhaps our religious and sporting icons. But even then, quirks and flaws tend to round out the narratives we love to follow. Only, not in our own writing. The tiniest error, the slightest imperfection, the minutest of mistakes, and we latch on like barnacles to a cargo ship’s hull. And, well, barnacles are a terrible nuisance.
The error-fixating mindset to which authors are prone isn’t confined to the writing process, either. It bleeds beyond the margins and into the world of marketing, especially when we consider marketing from a self-publishing standpoint. The buck stops here, an indie author might say, because I’m the only one in this self-publishing machine. If I want it done, I have to go out and do it, by golly. And while that may be true to an extent, there’s venom in the assumption that marketing your self-published book has to be an exhausting and isolating experience. As we’ve already discussed in previous posts, there’s both a paid professional community and a thriving social network that feeds the self-publishing industry. You’re not alone, and recognizing this is key to silencing your own inner self-critic. Knowing that there are resources out there to lean on to strengthen your work and your marketing strategy takes a load off … as long as you’re open to accepting outside help.
How else can we silence that inner critic?
I find the best way to move forward is, well, to move forward. To willingly put on the blinkers to any and all negative voices that might wander through our minds and lead to self-doubt, distraction, and stagnancy. We must fill the silence with the sound of our progress, and deafen our doubts by continuing to do what we love most: writing. Never forget that you are, first and foremost, a writer!
Silencing your inner critic is wonderful. But your critic is, often, just a reflection of the highly critical world we live in, where expressing dissatisfaction has become high fashion. Perhaps we should all do as Israelmore Ayivor recommends and “Don’t agree to accept what critics say; be prepared to silence them by doing what they think you can’t do!” Silence your own inner critic, and all the world’s many malcontents, by loving what you do so much that you don’t even see the obstacles in your way–and you’ll fly right through them like quantum particles burning through the universe.
Thank you for reading! If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or contributions, please use the comment field below or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. And remember to check back each Wednesday for your weekly dose of marketing musings from one indie, hybrid, and self-published author to another. ♠
|ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com.|