Marketing for the Introverted Writer

Sing Your Unique Song via Janalyn Voigt | Wordserve Water Cooler“All you need is you, yourself,” marketing expert and author James Rubart once said with regard to marketing. His comment, given at a meeting of Northwest Christian Writers’ Association, stuck in my mind because I didn’t believe him.

That’s easy for you, Jim, I thought with a touch of asperity. You are an extrovert who can walk into a book store and chat with the owner without breaking into hives. 

I am an introvert. If I had my way, I’d retire to a closet to write, coming out only to eat, sleep, and possibly notice the existence of my family. Okay, I’m exaggerating, but I really do have a closet office. My post describing it spiked visits to my website, which makes me suspect I’m not the only introverted writer. Welcome, and here are some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way.

  • Promoting is not nearly as hard as I was making it. Once I busted through my own resistance and consistently marketed my book, I harnessed the power of routine. I was looking at the whole marketing puzzle at one time, but we really only solve a puzzle one piece at a time.
  • I don’t have to be a social butterfly to effectively market a book. All I need is the willingness to touch people using whatever format I find comfortable. That doesn’t have to be face-to-face, necessarily. The Internet allows me to promote to those I probably will never meet. As a writer, I’m wired to be a communicator, and communicators need listeners. That makes me a people person. Who knew?
  • Marketing is not the same as going to the dentist. It can even be fun. Really. The key is to employ platforms that work well for you and that you enjoy or at least can tolerate. Your platforms can be in-person or online. Sometimes you need to compromise to attain a goal. For example, although I would rather not speak in public, if I want to fulfill my desire to teach other writers, I have to overcome my reluctance.
  • I can market with my writing. I had a Hallelujah moment when I realized I could promote my book by writing related content for magazines, book sites (like Wattpad and Goodreads), or on my website as a subscriber incentive.
  • I don’t have to be at every social site. I have better results when I specialize at one or two sites rather than trying to keep up with them all. As a bonus, I have more time for writing.
  • Keeping track of people is important. I confess. I lose people online. I don’t mean to, but there are too many conversations with so many people. List the most important people to you as an author, and then make sure you engage with them on a regular basis.
  • Push past your fears. This lesson was one of the hardest for me, and something I have to learn all over again on a regular basis. If I let fear stand in the way, I cheat myself of fulfilling my God-given calling. Not only that, but I deprive others I want to reach with my writing. In light of that, my fears don’t seem quite so compelling.

Jim Rubart was right when he said that you only need you, yourself, to market your book. Don’t worry about being someone you are not. Instead, use your talents to sing your unique song to those who need to hear it.


8 Replies to “Marketing for the Introverted Writer”

    1. Hi, Ginny. If you believe your content is reaching your target audience, check your stats to see which of your social sites is generating the most traffic. That may be the one you need to concentrate on most. However, the demographic reach of social sites should factor into your decision. More of your audience may be at a site you’ve been ignoring. That doesn’t mean you have to center there if you despise it. You’d probably have a better impact at a site you enjoy more. However, you can increase your chances of success by focusing your efforts at sites frequented by your ideal readers.

  1. Excellent advice, thank you for your honest assessment of yourself and the discovery process you took to gain the marketing skills you needed. This is a great encouragement. I never thought of myself as an introvert until someone asked me what I do to ‘recharge my personal batteries’ and I realized that I retreat to a quiet beach or a garden with not much more than my dog and a glass of water. So if that makes me an introvert, so be it. I am not afraid of interaction with my fellow humans and I love gaining understanding from others. I am simply one who recharges by stepping away from the crowds. Jesus did that too. I guess I’m in good company. 🙂

    1. There are degrees of introversion and extroversion, with no one being all of one and none of the other. Speaking in general terms, introverts recharge from being alone and extroverts from being with people.

      Here’s an article on introverts versus extroverts at Meyers Briggs: If you poke around the site, there’s a test you can take to help you define this.

  2. Marketing a novel is one of the more tricky parts. This is great advice for those that do not know how to tackle the area. I always tell people to look at books that are similar to theirs and, if they cannot afford to hire someone that writes promotional copy, to follow that example. You may as well pick books that are from the major publishing houses because why not imitate those books?

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