In Your Corner: Marketing for Anything-But-Dummies

Have you ever wondered what “proper” marketing support might look like, and how imperative it is to self-publishing successfully? What about implementation–have you ever wondered what effective implementation of your carefully-planned-out marketing plan might look like, too? I’m going to spend a bit of time this Thursday thinking through some of the answers to these questions.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my years of working with self-publishing authors, both as an author myself and as an author advocate and representative for other authors with Outskirts Press, it’s that there’s quite a lot of truth to the statement that “preparation is the key to success”–but as Marie Forleo puts it, sometimes “the key to success is to start before you’re ready.” How do we make these two things compatible? Aren’t they mutually exclusive?

the key to success is to start before you're ready marie forleo

Here’s a thought: what if they’re not?

I don’t think they are, and that’s because I think “preparedness” and “readiness” are two separate modes of being. Preparedness, in my mind, is the process of taking concrete steps to plan ahead for whatever you can, and putting in place measures–good habits, good coping mechanisms, and good thoughts–that will see you through any times when being prepared will do no good. Readiness, on the other hand, has more to do with confidence–and sometimes, your sense of how ready you are for a thing may or may not line up with what you’re prepared for. Sometimes, we won’t feel ready to get started on a thing even if we’ve planned thoroughly and set our good habits in stone. Those are the moments, I think, that Marie Forleo speaks to–the moments when we just need to get started, whether or not our feelings line up with reality.

Proper marketing support, then, should help you both prepare and, hopefully, acquire the confidence to feel that you’re ready as well. And as my fellow writer Kelly Schuknecht pointed out in her “Marketing Master Strokes” series of blogs earlier this year, effective marketing strategies require a willingness to reach your readers where they live, to incentivize, and to play well with others–among others. “Proper” marketing support will assist you in doing all these things–and if that seems a bit beyond the pale for the ordinary self-publishing company, luckily, there are several extraordinary self-publishing companies–and I know I’m a little biased, but I happen to think my coworkers among the Personal Marketing Assistants working for Outskirts Press count as extraordinary. So if you feel like some of these points might be beyond your reach, consider reaching out and making contact with the experts, either through a paid service or through a more casual network, as on social media.

The best part of looking to the experts is that doing so will assist you in execution as well as in planning–so you’ll get the best of both preparation and readiness. Or at least, that’s the goal.

It’s hard to boil down all of the salient points regarding marketing into one coherent blog post, but luckily, and perhaps it’s a little trite to say “oh, I’m not ready to do that” given the context of today’s subject (you can tell how some of my jokes bomb around the dinner table, can’t you?). But the fact of the matter is, Self Publishing Advisor has been a resource for self-publishing authors looking to market their books for most of a decade now, and our archives are rife with posts on the subject–including those by Kelly that I mentioned earlier. If you’re looking for those concrete steps to transform the broad strokes we’ve brushed here into tangible steps, her series is spectacular. I highly recommend taking a look!

Marketing Master Strokes:

  1. What do ears, geysers, and self-publishing have in common?
  2. Be willing to reach your readers where they live
  3. Incentivize!
  4. Play Well With Others
  5. Try Every New Thing

You are not alone. ♣︎


ABOUT ELIZABETH JAVOR: With over 18 years of experience in sales and management, Elizabeth Javor works as the Manager of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable publishing consultants, pre-production specialists, customer service reps and book marketing specialists; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Elizabeth Javor can put you on the right path.

3 thoughts on “In Your Corner: Marketing for Anything-But-Dummies

  1. Yes, starting before you’re ready is key. It motivates you into creating a business plan that has meticulous structure and an affordable budget. Consulting professionals isn’t necessarily a must, but it definitely makes visibility and awareness of your novels that much easier to discover.

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