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Archive for April 13th, 2012

Do you need to break your book marketing goal into bite-size “micromovements”?

While I wouldn’t say I’m a yard sale junkie, if time permits, I’ve got a few bucks in my wallet, and the sale looks promising, I’ll sometimes stop. A couple weeks ago, my sister and I pulled up to a sale in my neighborhood. The GIANT box of books and videos first caught my eye. Alas, nothing there that needed to come home with me. I wasn’t in the mood to shop for Christmas ornaments on a warm March day, and it was beginning to look like a bust.

Then I saw them, a bag of glittery plastic orbs. Ten rubber bouncy balls smiling up at me from the corner of a box of toys. “75¢” declared the bright orange price sticker. Seemed a little high, but I was willing to pay it. I’d always loved playing jacks, in particular the feel of the rubber and watching the ball bounce crazily. As I was reaching in my wallet to grab the money, I noticed two white legal pads, still in the wrapper, but without an orange price sticker.

Bouncy balls in hand, I took the notepads to the girl running the sale to inquire about the price. She looked over to another woman, who apparently had final say over such matters. “Twenty-five cents?”

The original girl shrugged yes, turned to me, and said, “It’ll be a dollar for both.”

Really? Now I love my jack balls, but to be honest, they’re likely to sit on a shelf at my house until I have a yard sale. The notepads, on the other hand, will be used in no time at all. How interesting to notice the difference in the way we value things. This idea of how we value things got me to thinking about something similar: priorities.

It’s been said that if you want to know someone’s priorities, all you have to do is look at their results. Does that sentence unsettle you or motivate you? Either way, it’s true, isn’t it? We can tell people our priorities and write things down on our to-do lists, but at the end of each day, what did we really get done?

If you’ve added “Make 5 new social media connections” to your calendar for today, CONGRATULATIONS! At least it’s become important enough for you to attempt to block out time for it. If, however, you added “Make 5 new social media connections” (or any other book marketing task) to your calendar, but at the end of the day you’re moving it to tomorrow’s schedule, or the day after that, maybe it’s time to reexamine how significant a priority it is for you.

Please understand, I’m not here to shame you, berate you, or in any other way make you feel bad. What I’d like to do, though, is encourage you to examine why you might be stuck or shuffling other things to take priority over marketing your book. We talked about this a long time ago when we discussed the difference between finding time and making time.

Your book’s not going to market itself. Elves aren’t going to visit your computer in the night to blog for you or gather up new friends or followers. And people can’t buy your book unless they know about it, but they won’t know about it unless and until you do something to get the word out.

Maybe you have a grand vision, but you need to start smaller. Inspirational writer Sark, “a recovering procrastinator and perfectionist with a short attention span,” has a concept that might work for you. In her book, Make Your Creative Dreams Real: A Plan for Procrastinators, Perfectionists, Busy People, and People Who Would Really Rather Sleep All Day, Sark introduces the idea of “micromovements,” a method of dividing a much larger project into tiny tasks that take no more than 5 minutes to accomplish. This way, you break down your process into small, immensely manageable steps. And at the end of the day, you KNOW you’ve actually take action toward that ultimate goal of (writing or) marketing your awesome book.

Sark describes her own success:

All of my 11 published books, posters, cards and company exist due to many thousands and thousands of micromovements all strung together. I think of the micromovements as tiny colored beads that have helped me be someone who lives in her dreams instead of talking about them.

You may want to download SARK’s worksheet to guide you through your own micromovement process. If you use the steps with some success, make sure you come back and tell us about it!

Happy accomplishing!

Laura

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