Distractions are everywhere. Every day. We have our mind-set to complete a task, and then: the phone rings, we are bombarded by our own thoughts and lose focus, or something else pops up and provokes our attention to divert. There have been so many times during our own self publishing process when we’ve lost focus or have found ourselves at a dead-end with no compass. But even in those times of seemingly inescapable aimlessness, we have found our way back to clarity by creating and implementing a plan.
Instead of publishing your book first and then frantically running around trying to promote it like a chicken with his head cut off, you must take precautionary steps beforehand. (Believe us…we were that chicken after we published our first book Humantics.) You’ll be setting yourself up for a frenzied failure if you think that you can publish a book with no plan to spread the word.
There are several things you’ll want to assess to create your own plan:
1. WHO is my target audience?
We recommend you read the Marketing Persona post by the marketing company Plum11 to help you find your target audience.
2. WHAT is my social media presence like?
If you’re asking, “what is social media?” then you really need to step your game up and leverage the free platforms that are available to you like Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest to name a few. Also, connect with people you know on Linked In, join a writer/author group on the web to support each other and share stories. Use the web to share short quotes, snippets, ideas, etc. from your book to engage your audience and invite them to read your book. The more active you are, the more connections you can make. We’ve met some wonderful people through Twitter/Facebook/Linked In who have reviewed our book and helped spread the word.
3. WHERE can you find me on the web?
One of the most disappointing things an author/self-publisher can do is fail to offer information on how you can contact them. People like transparency. People want to know the person behind the words. Include a professional picture in your author biography on Amazon like this:
Make sure that your profiles are updated on all your social networks with your picture. If you have a website or blog, make sure to include information about yourself, a picture and contact information.
4. WHEN is the BEST time to publish my book?
If you’re writing a book about gratitude and well-being, you may want to schedule your book to debut in early November and promote it as the “perfect Thanksgiving gift.” Or if you’re planning to publish a children’s book, think about launching in before Christmas and promote it as the “perfect stocking stuffer” to go along with your kid’s Kindle. You can use your book genre to determine when would be the best time to publish. For example, with our next book 30 Seconds to Health, Wealth and Happiness, we are planning to publish it just before the new year, when people have their mind-set on making new resolutions and shedding their old ways.
5. WHY am I publishing this book?
Some authors and self publishers never really pinpoint WHY exactly they want to publish their book. Of course one reason may be to acquire revenue…and that’s a very good reason! When you have readable material, you will have much greater chances of making money off of your publication. But that can’t be the only reason you want to share your ideas with the world. Do you want to publish your book to help others with an ailment that you’ve overcome and seen success with? Do you want to publish your book to gain popularity and instant success? If so, you are probably in the wrong industry. Think about WHY you want to publish your book, then capitalize on that idea and use it to appeal to your readers, not to “sell” them something.
We hope you enjoyed this post! Comments are welcome. Meanwhile, connect with us here: