I'm not going to tell you that now the hard work begins. By now, I am sure you have done your homework and you realize that you have a responsibility to market your book. Unless you are among the elite best-selling authors, your publisher will probably not have much of a marketing plan for you. If you rely on that, your three months to make a splash will come and go before your publisher moves to the next book.
The question I do want to consider is one that may make you feel a little uncomfortable, but it's one we really need to ask if we want to move past the hurdle that many authors never get past. The question is:
What Do I Deserve As An Author?
- You don't deserve book sales- Just because you've written a book doesn't mean that people have to buy it. Ultimately, books are written for readers, not the authors. It is up to the reader to decide whether it's worthy of purchase. If they vote "no", then that's the way it is.
- You don't deserve stellar reviews- While reviewers often give opinions that you may disagree with, they are not a service to help you promote your book. Once in their hands, they are ethically bound to give their honest appraisal of your book. That's all that you deserve to expect from them. And on matters of opinion, the benefit of the doubt rests with them.
- You don't deserve a hot word-of-mouth network- Of course you want to enlists everyone you know to help you spread the word of your book, but few authors experience a 100% mobilization of their personal network. I hate to break it to you, but you will have family and close friends that will never tell anyone about your book, even though they make promises that they fully intend to keep. Success or failure of your book does not rest with them, but with you.
- You don't deserve freebies- As an author, you don't deserve to have people offer free advertising or marketing for your book. People have businesses to run, and if that business involves marketing and advertising, you are another client just like every other client. If you want their business, you need to be willing to pay (or barter) for it. Freebies are a gift that we need to be thankful for, not ones that we need to expect, or deserve.
- Self Respect- This is huge. No matter what is going on in your life, you did what few others have done. That is something to be proud of and something no one can take away. Like earning a diploma, it's something you will always have.
- Proof that you can overcome great obstacles- If you can write a book, then you deserve to know that you can overcome any obstacles set in your path. The skill of overcoming obstacles is one that's worth gold when you have tangible evidence you can do it.
- A legacy to leave to your descendants- 100 years after people leave this earth, there is little left as a legacy. A book is a way to live eternally to those who come after us. What a wonderful thought that your great-great grandchildren will read your words with pride.
To me, it all boils down to this: As an author, you deserve to be proud of your great accomplishment. You don't deserve anything from anyone else. What others may choose to give you is a gift to be grateful for, but nothing to expect.
So, get out there and do your best to persuade people to read your book and to help share it with others. If they don't, that's okay. Just move on to someone else. The passion and knowledge you have about your book will help find those people just waiting to discover your book and the joy you have created between the covers.