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Why I Quit Marketing – Book Marketing Part 1

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If you’re a follower of my blog, you may wonder: A series on marketing? I thought Celesta did that before?

Yes, well, I had but I deleted it…

I bet you’re wondering: Why?

It wasn’t because the information was outdated or unhelpful. It was due to intense internal turmoil. God keeps telling me that He’s calling me to write. I have been sensing for a long time that He wants me to let go of ‘marketing’ and focus on writing.

So about me – I’ll give you a little background on my book sales, which I think is only fair to require of anyone giving ‘marketing’ advice. In 2015, I sold, on average, approximately 5 books a day.

But in 2014 I sold, on average, 6 books a day! What happened? In 2015 I schemed, worried and tried more marketing ideas than ever before. And my sales went DOWN.

One thing was clear to me. What I was calling ‘marketing’ wasn’t working and it needed to stop. So, at the beginning of 2016, I made a commitment to stop marketing – to stop doing what I was doing that wasn’t helping and to focus on writing like God wanted me to.

So at this point you might be wondering: If she deleted the blog about marketing, why is she posting about it again, instead of focusing on writing like she thinks God wants her to?

Good question. I was asked to teach a session on marketing at a local writing workshop. At first, I wondered if it was a temptaion and if maybe I shouldn’t do it because I’m supposed to be focusing on writing. But I think God gave me the opportunity to speak on marketing because marketing is such an important topic to authors. It’s not like I’m never supposed to think about marketing books again. But I am supposed to think about marketing in the right way. And maybe what I’ve learned about marketing can help somebody. So I agreed to teach the session and I thought I’d share it here on my blog too.

So, first, I’ll share about all the marketing that I engaged in which did nothing to help book sales. Because it’s always better to learn from others’ mistakes, right?

Repeated Appeals for People To Buy My Books

Let’s just be honest, I know many of us have tried it but begging people to buy our books is unprofessional and it doesn’t work well to sell books. What does it say about our writing if we have to whine and hound people to buy our books?

I have to constantly remind myself: I can announce things once and a while, in a fun way, but I need to refrain from trying to push my books on people.

Slowly, I’ve come to the realization that my friends and family aren’t obligated to read what I write. I don’t go to all of their Tupperware, candle and Jamberry nail parties. I don’t buy all their diet and health products and essential oils. Not everyone is interested in the same thing. And people are lazy. When I held the expectation that people who cared about me would read my stories, I was setting myself up for frustration and disappointment. I’ve had to intentionally let go of that notion.

What I’ve learned:
Don’t beg people online or in person to buy your books.
Don’t expect family and friends to read your books.

Comments are welcome. I’d love to hear about your experience with marketing.

Book Marketing Part 2 – Why I’m Giving up on Giveaways
Book Marketing Part 3 – Unsuccessful Book Marketing
Book Marketing Part 4 – What Has Actually Helped Sell Books

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