How to Move When Feeling Overwhelmed
Whether we acknowledge it or not, it is easy to feel overwhelmed as an author. The realities of the publishing world can be daunting.
Every day thousands of new books enter the market. In addition, authors and publishers are promoting existing books to consumers. Every consumer has to hear about your book seven or eight or more times before they reach into their wallet and purchase your book. The average self-published book sells less than 100 copies and the average traditional book sells about 1,000 copies.
Yet as an author you have a much bigger vision than selling 100 or 1000 books. When it comes to book marketing, there are dozens of books—and each is filled with great ideas. Maybe you have read a few of these books and are stuck in the “shiny object” syndrome where you are buying the latest and greatest tool for marketing your book. While it may be good to purchase that tool, are you using it and then measuring to see if it is working for you?
If you are feeling overwhelmed (and everyone has these feelings from time to time), here's several ideas for you:
1. Change gears to a different type of writing project. If you have been writing a novel, switch to a nonfiction magazine article or writing a blog post or an Ebook or some other type of writing. The experience can get you moving again.
2. Plan a series of social media posts using Hootsuite or some other schedule tool. When you put these posts into your tool, you are doing something active—building your platform and presence in the marketplace.
3. Follow some new people on Twitter or Facebook. Why? With the idea that some of those people will follow you back and you will grow your social media following—a good thing to do if overwhelmed.
4. Get more friends on Goodreads. There are 55 million registered readers on Goodreads. As an author, you need to be spending a little time there on a regular basis. Use the friends section (see this link) to get more friends. Many authors only have a few hundred friends. I used these tools and built up to the maximum (which I learned when I hit it) of 5,000 friends. Now everytime I write a review on Goodreads (for a book that I've read or heard), it shows up on all these pages. You can have many friends if you faithfully use the tools from Goodreads.
5. Look for someone to review your latest book. Maybe it is someone you are corresponding with on email.Ask them if they are interested or willing to write an honest review and get their commitment. Then mail them your book. It's part of the publishing world to continually look for new reviews and feedback about your book.
6. Write a query letter to a magazine editor and pitch an article idea.
7. Read a marketing book like Online Marketing for Busy Authors and take one idea from the book and put it into practice.
My key point with this article is to take a small yet measured step in the direction of action. The worst thing you can do when feeling overwhelmed is nothing.
Why writers need to do what they don't want to do. (ClickToTweet)