You may have heard of imposter syndrome, which is essentially that you feel like a fraud and that you don’t deserve the praise you get because you’re not as good as people think you are. It can also be a fear that one day people are going to wake up and realize that you have no idea what you’re talking about and that you actually suck.
Imposter syndrome is common in writers; many times there is absolutely no basis upon which to base this fear, but sometimes (at least in our own minds), we have pretty convincing reasons to believe it.
In addition to my occasional feelings of being an imposter in other areas, one area in which I feel like a true imposter is in book marketing.
You see, I don’t have a best-selling book. I’m not listed on any bestseller lists. I haven’t won any major awards. I don’t even earn a livable income off of my book sales.
But here I am, giving book marketing advice, selling book marketing services, and offering book marketing courses.
Sometimes I feel like I should just give it up.
But then I give a book marketing presentation or talk with authors about book marketing, and they tell me how helpful I’ve been.
So here’s what I tell myself to keep going.
First, marketing is more than just book sales. It also involves the product, which involves a solid story, good editing, and physical (or digital) book design. I truly believe (most days) that though of course, my books could be better, they are good products. I believe in them and when writing imposter syndrome isn’t getting me down, I believe the people who tell me they’ve liked them.
Second, there is no one-size-fits-all, magic bullet, this-will-work-for-everyone book marketing solution. Every author is different. Every book is different. And what may work for one book may not work for another. So, just because I’m not selling millions of books with my ideas, it doesn’t mean someone else won’t. And since I consider myself a creative, idea person, I may help someone else come up with something that will work for their book, but that wouldn’t fit mine.
Third, book marketing isn’t a guarantee; it’s designed to give a book the best chance. It’s nearly guaranteed that if you do absolutely nothing to market your books, they won’t sell, but employing some book marketing strategies will help to give it the best chance of selling. A lot of authors don’t know marketing basics, and thanks to my education (marketing certificate and M.B.A.) and experience, I can help guide them at least through the basics, if not specific ideas that make sense for them.
So, even though there are days I feel like I should throw in the towel and admit my fraudulent ways, I’ll keep going, helping other authors to market their books in the best way I can that makes the most sense for them, their readers, and their books, as well as working on my own book marketing to see if I can get something to stick for someone.