Hello writers! As we begin the sweet and fresh year, it’s a great time to think about and plan our book promotions.
Before we get to planning, let’s think about the point of our book promotions. Ideally it’s to sell books, even though we can’t control the final step of our readers or potential readers buying our books. What we can more easily control is adding people to our mailing lists or inviting them to join us on the social media channels. Even if you don’t have a book out yet, you can invite people to join your mailing list. In fact, I highly recommend it. That way, when it comes time, you can announce your book to your list.
Next think about the criteria for a successful promotion. To get you started, I’ll share mine: 1) To have fun; 2) To not spend a lot of time; 3) To make book sales; 4) To get more sign ups on my list/social media channels; and 5) To spend little to no money.
Lastly, map out what books you’re publishing in 2014, and what marketing and writing activities you’re already committed to.
With that in mind, here’s a planning exercise for your 2014 book marketing and promotions.
#1: What worked for you in 2013? And why do you think that was?
As I reviewed what worked for me this past year, I saw I was able to double my author mailing list by participating in a Thanksgiving Gratitude Giveaway. Why I think that worked is that the giveaway was done in the spirit of generosity and giving for all the bloggers that participated. Also, I think the amount of bloggers participating helped — over two hundred bloggers. (See the Gratitude Giveaway here: http://author.bethbarany.com/2013/11/14/in-gratitude/.)
Another promotion I did in 2013 that was successful was participating in a fellow romance author’s launch party on Facebook. It was a last minute decision and a new-to-me launch event. (See Virna De Paul’s event here: http://www.facebook.com/events/189995631191396/.) I consider this successful because it was a quick and easy way to share about my book to new people, fans of Virna’s books. I gave away two copies of my latest romance and interacted with Virna’s wonderful fans.
Thirdly, what worked for me in terms of selling books was live events, either where I spoke or where I just set up a table at a book fair. I was also able to add people to my list and meet my readers. Nothing like it!
Your Turn! Take a few minutes and jot some notes down on what book promotions worked for you in 2013 and why.
#2: For 2014, what are you curious to try?
Based on what worked for me in 2013, I’d like to participate in more book launches this year with other authors since that was fun and worked well.
I’d also like to make sure I continue to do live events and presentations. This includes conventions and local events.
Lastly – since we need a third thing – I’d like to do one-to-two big hearted-type giveaways. When my heart opens with gratitude, I feel good. We all benefit. Love makes the world go ‘round.
#3: What do you really have time for?
I don’t know about you, but when it comes to promotions, I still bite off more that I can chew. I think it’s a side effect of being a creative. Pulling in stories from the ether, or wherever they come from, makes me feel magical and limitless. With that in mind, I have to put very clear criteria on how many extra blog posts and Q&As I can do. I also write a lot for my day job as an author’s coach, so I need to be clear on my time commitment.
Right now, I’ll commit to one guest post or Q&A per month, unless I’m launching a new book. I am planning on publishing one novel and three novellas next year. I know from experience that I actually need to block off promoting time on the calendar the way I’ve blocked off my writing time.
How about you? What can you commit and put on your calendar for promoting your books in 2014?
Good luck and happy sharing the news about your books with the world!
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