The Purpose of IWSG is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

To join IWSG visit Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh here.


To say I’m insecure about marketing is an understatement. I naively thought promotion wouldn’t become an issue until I self-published in the spring. When I was advised NOT to take this step—a huge surprise—I considered it a reprieve. I was thrilled to cross self-publishing off my 2015 goals and shove self-promotion to the back burner.

The stay of execution was short-lived, however, as advanced reader copies for my trad pub book soon arrived. My reaction? Euphoria at seeing the ARCs, desperation as the need to self-promote once more took center stage.


So, how do I market? Spending money I don’t have is obviously out of the question. No way can I afford to fly to California to promote the book, either to the Bay Area where the story is set, or to my hometown further north.

That leaves social media.

For years I’ve watched writers spin their wheels and waste hours on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Tumblr, Google+, etc. etc. etc. I’m sure, there are some sales to be had, but acquiring followers and friends is a far cry from acquiring readers.

Another spanner in the works: there will be no free promotional downloads for this book. In fact, there will be no digital version for at least six months after the hardcover is released. I hold the digital rights but am contractually bound to wait before exercising them. There will be ARC giveaways, but that’s down the road a bit.

Looking to my own buying behavior, I’ve purchased books both by other bloggers and by members of the reader/writer groups I belong to on Facebook. But the books were written by individuals with whom I’ve interacted.

Conversely, I have never once given a second look to a stranger-penned book promoted on Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media site. Moreover, I’ve seen no persuasive evidence this type of marketing works after the initial launch. Repeatedly trying to sell to the same audience is a dead-end. You can’t goad people into buying.

To conclude, I am an insecure writer. I have a print book coming out in June. It is a traditionally published, non-traditional mystery replete with profanity, sex (NOT romance, NOT erotica), and some epistolary WWII history. Hardback only. How best to self-promote?

Every article on self-promotion I’ve read is aimed at indie authors and digital formats.

How do I self-promote a print book in a digital world? HELP ME!