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3 Reasons You Aren’t Marketing Your Book (and how to fix that)

By Sandra Beckwith

What keeps you from pulling out your book marketing plan and taking action?

I’ve finally figured out what’s going on with me when I can’t get started on something like that. It’s usually because I don’t know where to start, especially when it comes to writing a blog post like this or an article.

My problem is that I work in way that’s linear – an “if A, then B” kind of a thing. When I’m not sure how to start, or what to start with, I do nothing. With no A, I don’t have a B.

That’s bad, especially in a deadline business like writing.

But now that I know my problem, I know how to solve it. When I realize that I’m procrastinating, I skip the beginning and start where I’m comfortable. It might seem odd, but it works!

What’s holding you back?

I figured out what’s holding me back, and found a workaround. That’s what I want to do for you with this article.

So what about you? What’s holding you back? What’s keeping you from moving forward with your book marketing?

Here are three common problems and how to maneuver around them.

1. Some of it makes you feel uncomfortable.

You’re not alone. When it comes to sharing information about their books, many authors tell me, “I feel like I’m blowing my own horn and that bothers me.”

Others simply don’t enjoy some of the tasks involved.

Both are surmountable obstacles.

If book promotion makes you feel self-conscious, re-frame how you look at it. You wrote your book for a reason, right? Maybe it’s to educate, entertain, or inform.

When you tell the right people – your ideal readers – about your book, you’re performing a public service. You’re doing them a favor. Reading your book could help them solve a problem or escape into a story.

You can’t achieve that goal unless they know about your book. And it’s up to you to tell them.

As for those tasks you just don’t like, I’ve got three words: Don’t do them.

It’s that simple.

If you don’t like Twitter, don’t use it, even if your readers do. There are other options. Similarly, if you communicate better in writing than you do by speaking, ditch podcast interviews and focus on guest blogging and sending tip sheets to the press for publicity.

2. You’re not sure where to begin.

Authors who would rather write books than market them are often overwhelmed by the many book marketing tactics available.

Maybe you get conflicting advice from peers, too. An author in a Facebook group might say that Amazon ads are the secret to sales success, while someone in your writing group says, “You should be using Instagram!”

If the people whispering in your ear don’t write books in your genre and if they aren’t more successful than any author you know, stop listening to them.

Instead, figure out who will buy your book. When you know that, you’ll be able to do the research required to discover where you’ll find them online and in the real world. That will help you zero in on the tactics that will work for your book and its readers, not anyone else’s.

3. You don’t have enough time for everything.

I’m right there with you. It’s not easy.

There are always lots of demands on your time – the job that pays the bills, family commitments, and well, life, right?

But . . . you found time to write the book, so you can find time to tell people about it. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Set daily promotion goals to keep you motivated.
  • Reallocate the time you spent writing the book, using it for book promotion instead.
  • Get up early.
  • Use your lunch hour.
  • Get outside help from a virtual assistant or student intern.

Finding time for book marketing might mean postponing your next book because you don’t have time to do both at once. That’s okay. Sales and awareness of today’s book will help build a larger audience for the next one.

Knowledge is power, so whenever you feel powerless, take the time to learn as much as you can about the topic that’s causing your paralysis. It will generate the “ahas!” you need to take action.


Sandra Beckwith is an author and national award-winning former publicist who now teaches authors how to save thousands of dollars by doing their own publicity, promotion, and marketing. You might have seen her on “The Montel Williams Show,” or “CBS This Morning,” or read about her in The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, or USA Today. Feedspot has ranked her website, Build Book Buzz, in the top 10 among thousands of book marketing blogs worldwide; it has also been named a top website for authors and writers six other times. Get your “Top 5 Free Book Promotion Resources” when you subscribe to the free Build Book Buzz newsletter at .

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