What happens a few months after the release of your book, once the high has worn off and the reality and responsibility of marketing your work weighs heavily on your shoulders? Honestly, this is where I think I am now.
This past Sunday I had my first book signing at Chapters and it was a wonderful experience. Seeing so many people walking around with my book in hand was amazing. I was surprised by how many people, having purchased their books before the event, had brought them in to be signed.
With this event now behind me, I come back to my question…Now what?
I haven’t written a self-help book with the ultimate twist that everyone has to read. I wrote a YA novel, one of a million books released in 2011...so how do I let people know about it? How do I tell people my book is worth reading without burning myself out in the process?
Last week I was following a discussion with other authors who were at this point in their lives as well. Some authors, having published traditionally, were discouraged by the overwhelming amount of marketing required (something the publisher had taken care of in the past). Most everyone had some level of frustration because the marketing responsibilities were so demanding, leaving even less time to write. So it seems as though we are all in the same boat.
What am I going to do about it? ( I’ll let you know if it works.) Change the pace. I honestly believe I have no choice. The moment we start to despise a task, the less we take interest in it, and I want to be able to enjoy the experience, not feel as though I HAVE to do it. Thankfully I'm not there yet.
The first thing would be to pull out a desktop calendar, get a good view of the next six months and map out book activities. Signings, blog posts, giveaways, interviews and presentations. One appearance a week seems reasonable, and more important, manageable. By appearance I mean either on a blog or in person, since both require time and preparation. This will not only ensure a continuous visibility but also give you something different to talk about on fb or twitter every week (at a pace that won’t burn you out).
Next, pace yourself when it comes to the events your blog is hosting from other authors. A guest post/interview a week is also reasonable, though a minimum, but more than two can start to be a bit much. Remember, we are not bloggers first, but authors, and have to keep some time to write and edit our work. If you are hosting a guest post or interview one day, you can post a review another day and your ‘regular’ post another…changing your blog every two days or so. You probably have info about other stuff to share as well, and this makes your blog active enough to keep interest in your posts.
Limit the amount of time you spend on internet. Depending on your own schedule, you might have to limit this to an hour a day. Read through your messages, respond where necessary and then get off. Yes, I know you need time for research and posting on your blog as well as everywhere else…but limit that time and stick to it. I’ve tried giving up those wasted hours sleeping between midnight and 3:00 am to write…but that didn’t work out too well.
When was the last time you read something for the simple pleasure of reading, took a walk or shared a coffee with friends? If you can’t remember, maybe it’s time to cut down on some of that work load. Neglecting your down time is something that will have an impact on your overall performance.
Do you have any suggestions or comments to add? How do you cope with the demands of marketing?