I’ll say it right up front: I was nervous for this particularly personal post about marketing for self published authors. 365 days ago, I made it my public mission to complete one actionable book marketing initiative per day, all year long. I will say this: I worked my butt off. I did more marketing than I’ve ever done before. I wrote more blog posts than I’ve ever written before. I got more twitter and FB followers, grew my mailing list to over 1K, rebranded all my books, and learned how to use incredible platforms like Mailchimp, Instafreebie, and Bookfunnel. I sold more books. I took courses, found new information sources and made new contacts. And now I’m set to turn 365 Days of Actionable Book Marketing into a book and a podcast for 2017. But I did NOT achieve my original mission.
However, what I realized is that is perfectly okay. I didn’t need to. And the fact that I couldn’t means most other people probably couldn’t either. What I did learn is what goals are workable, what needs to be set up to be most productive, which initiatives are worth spending my time and money on, when I should be spending my time and money on them, and how to let people—the right people—know I’m doing these things, so they’re successful, and not just an exercise in busy work. I intended for 365 DAYS to be a resource that people like me can pick up without too much fuss, read a quick entry, and get started on something that will increase their visibility RIGHT NOW, to get them in a routine so it doesn’t all pile up and seem too daunting to begin. I don’t want to give any fluff, no talking around a topic—real, practical steps with direct resources, that are spelled out and tried out so the only one who’s wasted time and money on them is me; this way you don’t have to.
Now, when I say people like me, I mean people who aren’t starting out from a knowledgeable place when it comes to marketing for self published authors, who were maybe even a little afraid of it, might not be too social media or tech savvy, people who more often than not put “marketing” on their to-do list and don’t cross it off, perhaps rip the page out of their diary rather than actually face it. The truth is, marketing needs to be part of our daily routines. If it isn’t, we are not going to make money self-publishing. And whatever we are making, marketing consistently can certainly make it into more.
And consistently focusing on marketing for self published authors will make you more careful, more engaged, more switched onto the market, and more aware of what needs to be done. It will help you to consider the details of execution so a slight glitch won’t stand in the way of your discount or free download, or sign-up form. It will help you to know what to write, when to write it, and whom to sell it to, and how.
So. It might take me more than 365 days to put 365 DAYS OF ACTIONABLE BOOK MARKETING together to get all this actionable to-do list of marketing for self published authors together. But even this miscalculation reaped rewards: I realized that I create goals that are too difficult to achieve for a part-time working mother of two, and for marketing (and probably most things), this can do more harm than good. Failing to achieve the unrealistic goal will only make it more appealing to stop checking in each day. To stick it in the too-hard basket and give up altogether. Instead, this year I’m aiming for one new completed initiative per week, which will mean 52 completed a year. I’ll stick a bonus initiative on my to-do list, too. If I get to it, I’m ahead of the game. If I don’t, I’ve still reached my goal. And think about that goal: that’s 52 new ways I’ve made my books more visible, more valuable, more profitable, than the year before. And that’s nothing to sneeze at. Another way to think about it is this: when it comes to marketing for self published authors, we’re meant to market to fewer, more niche targeted audiences, so less eyes but more sales; in marketing, if we concentrate on fewer initiatives, but consistently achieve them rather than failing to achieve a larger goal, we’ve used our efforts more practically to a better result, too. When you think about it that way, it’s a no-brainer. Look for a 365 DAYS OF ACTIONABLE BOOK MARKETING that gives you a straightforward initiative, broken down simply with direct links to resources, so that you know exactly what to do when you sit down to your marketing tasks—whether it’s once a week, once a day, or once a fortnight.
This holiday season, I concentrated on two initiatives:
- A newsletter to my mailing list with a giveaway of FEAR OF DRIVING for a 3-day period, as a thank-you and to remind readers of me and my current and backlist titles. Having working links to my other titles inside my book is a MUST for making the most of an initiative like this.
- This blog post to writers, to let you know where I’m at with 365 DAYS OF ACTIONABLE BOOK MARKETING, because I’m getting new twitter followers on this platform every day, and this means I’ve got an interested audience to sell this book and podcast to. They have the same problems I do and they want to learn how to solve them.
Happy holidays to you and yours. Leave a comment and let us know where you’re at with your marketing initiatives at the year’s end.