When it comes to book publicity and marketing, resilience is a requirement
We all know what the word “resilient” means, but what exactly is the definition in the dictionary? Let’s look…
Re·sil·ience /rəˈzilyəns/ Noun
The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
“The often remarkable resilience of so many British institutions.”
The ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.
“Nylon is excellent in wearability and resilience.”
Why do you need resilience?
To be successful at anything in life, you need to have resilience, and that is particularly true in publicizing and marketing your book — because you are going to come up against obstacles.
Many people are going to love your book and they will sing it from the mountaintops. Some will write glowing reviews on Amazon. Media outlets and publications may also write wonderful reviews. Your friends and family will be proud of you, and work associates also will be happy for you. The best praise is having tons of people buy your book. Bask in this and focus on the good. You deserve it!
However, as is true with most wonderful things in life, there is another side to it. Some people will not love your book. Who knows why? But one thing to keep in mind is that you haven’t written the book for everyone, so for those who fall outside your target market you can take it with a grain of salt.
There are some people who are going to say untruths about you and your book. We’ve all heard of trolls, who can be quite nasty, but there are also people who are simply not going to agree with you and feel, for whatever reason, that they have to tell you all about it in excruciating detail.
This is where resilience comes in. You must be resilient. You must remain confident in who you are and what you’re presenting in the world, no matter what a few might say. You must be so confident that you’re unshakable. But that doesn’t mean that at times when you’re alone it doesn’t hurt. Sometimes it does. No one wants their baby to be picked on.
Criticism isn’t the same as an untruth, although sometimes it can be. Criticism is when someone gives you negative feedback, or what is ultimately (hopefully!) constructive feedback delivered in a hurtful way. Even if the intention is good, sometimes criticism delivered in the best possible way can still hurt.
Again: resilience. People will have opinions, and many love sharing them. Remember, if you plan to do great things, you are going to attract criticism from time to time.
What to do?
Ask yourself: “Is this something I need to publicly respond to? Or is it something I can ignore?” Great question. When dealing with criticism, how you respond really depends on the circumstances. Sometimes you may need to:
- Ignore the criticism.
- Bury negativity with other content.
- Clear up a misconception.
- Apologize and change your ways.
- Sue for libel.
Each of these options requires that you act in some way. Even the first option…
Ignore the criticism
In order to ignore something you have to actively redirect your attention to something else. Hopefully something good that is happening with your book or your life in general so that you can feel strong and optimistic. You may have to keep redirecting your focus until you’re able to let go of the urge to think about the criticism. In time, it will lessen.
Bury negativity with other content
If someone is commenting negatively on your blog or other social platform, do your best to continue to add content and comments so that theirs is pushed farther and farther down the page. Make it so someone would really have to scroll down to run across it.
Clear up the misconception
You can do this in many ways. One way is to address it on your blog, social media, or in the comments section wherever someone posted the negative comment. I encourage those who get a negative review on Amazon, for example, to address it by saying something like, “I’m sorry this book wasn’t your cup of tea. You aren’t really the intended audience for it, so I’d be happy to refund your money.” Of course, only say that if intend to issue a refund. The key here is to have the last word, not the person criticizing you and your book.
If you’re clearing up a misconception, rather than telling someone they’re wrong, start with the word, “Actually…” and then state the truth. That is a fantastic way to address misstatements without making the other person wrong. Those reading how you handled the criticism or misstatement that will be impressed with your communication skills.
Apologize and change your ways
This advice is mainly for companies that make mistakes and the general public is aware of; it falls under crisis PR. However, there are times authors have had to apologize. James Frey who wrote the book, A Million Little Pieces comes to mind. He lied in his book and ended up being taken to town by none other than Oprah. A bad idea. A very bad Idea. Lying is never good. Frey apologized to Oprah and her millions of fans on national TV, which I’m sure was very difficult.
Sue for libel
Only you and your lawyer can determine if what was said requires this kind of action.
Viva la Resilience!
Resilience means dealing with what comes your way, hopefully with a fairly good attitude. We all have challenges to face in life, and writing a book and then publicizing and marketing it means there will be challenges. I have a good friend who is a business coach, and she is fond of saying when something happens that makes you angry, disappointed, envious, jealous, etc., take it like a vitamin pill. In other words, take that energy and make it work for you.
– Take rejection and make it work for you.
– Take being ghosted and make it work for you.
– Take disappointment and make it work for you.
– Take criticism and make it work for you.
I find this usually means becoming more determined to get to where you want to be. And if you can be joyously determined, well that is the best of all worlds.
To your success!
P.S. I have the good fortune of working with some of the best business people and experts in the world, and I never take that for granted. One is Dr. Richard Bandler, the co-found of NLP. This month my article, A Publicist Does Much More than Land Media, is featured in their global newsletter. A very big thank you to John & Kathleen LaValle, as well as Richard Bandler.