Why Indie Book Marketing is So Darn Difficult

Authors often struggle with book marketing. After all, they’re writers, not promoters. It’s not easy to blatantly sing the praises of our own work. It can be downright uncomfortable. If you’ve uploaded and published your book on Amazon, yet sales are severely lacking it’s probably time to create a new marketing plan. There is no doubt about it. Marketing your book is darn difficult. Understanding why might help you along the way.

Fiction vs. Non-Fiction

If you’re a fiction author, congratulations. You’ve just made your marketing efforts twice as difficult. That’s because consumers choose fiction books purely for pleasure. In other words, they don’t need to read your fiction book. Whereas with non-fiction, consumers are seeking specific information that hopefully your non-fiction book will give them. Add in the fact that self-publishing is so incredibly simple to achieve now, and everyone and their mail carrier is publishing a fiction book, well… you have millions of books with which to compete. Your fiction book needs to be compelling, expertly edited, with an attractive and eye-catching cover or your book will languish among the masses indefinitely.


There is no denying the fact that certain genres simply sell better than others. If your book is among the less popular genres… or even more so, a sub-genre, your marketing job just became even more difficult. Trying to play the genre bending game will only come back to bite you… hard. Be specific about your book’s genre category or you’ll have some angry, spiteful (i.e. negative reviewers) to contend with.

Branding Yourself and Finding Your Following

Unless you’re Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, readers aren’t going to know who the heck you are until you really make a name for yourself as an author. Did you know that potential readers need to see your book mentioned at least three times before they even consider making a purchase? If you’re not branding yourself as an author and putting your book out on social media, etc. then no one will know who you are. Make no mistake, branding is HARD work, but it’s extremely necessary.

No one marketing plan is going to work for every book. Unless you’re content with simply having published a book, and you don’t really care if anyone else reads it, you’re going to have to roll up your sleeves and get to work.  As an indie author, you’ll need to continuously search for new, unique ways to promote your book to potential readers. Be prepared for the process to be a lot of trial and error. Be prepared for setbacks and disappointments, but don’t stop promoting. It will all be worth the tremendous effort when you begin seeing increased book sales and those coveted book reviews pop up.


If you’re overwhelmed with the marketing process, I can help with a custom book marketing plan. Submit a contact form here to get started.