Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘goal-setting’

On baby blankets and book marketing plans

When you publish your book, you welcome it like the treasure it is. You cradle the new baby, maybe send out announcements about its arrival. You may plan a party to officially launch your marketing campaign.

But what comes next? Do you know? Do you have a plan?

Starting a marketing campaign without a plan is like trying to monogram a baby blanket before you know the child’s baby blanketname. It doesn’t make sense because it defies logical order.

Never fear if you don’t yet have a plan – many new authors find themselves in this position. But, if you intend to sell books to anyone besides your mom and your best friend, you’re going to need to make a plan – PRONTO!

The challenge is that there’s no one-size-fits-all book marketing plan – and anyone who tells you there is, is more than likely trying to con you … into buying their program, hiring them to help you out, listing with their service, etc. The reason is that pretty much every book is different – so in order to sell yours, you need to know who your readers are and how to get in touch with them.

BUT … there’s one other thing you need to know: YOUR END GOAL. What do you want to achieve with your book? The answer to this question will determine where you start and how you pursue those readers, now that you know who they are. You really can’t develop a book marketing plan until you know why you’re marketing your book.

QUESTIONS YOU NEED TO ANSWER

  • What’s your genre – beyond just fiction/nonfiction?
  • Who is your primary audience? Be as specific as you can.
  • What do you want your book to do for your readers? Entertain them, inform them, challenge them?
  • What do you want your readers to do after they’ve finished reading your book? The answer to this could run the gamut…
    • Write you a review on Goodreads.
    • Visit your website to sign up for your coaching program.
    • Buy your next book.
    • Book you to speak at their company’s annual meeting.
    • Recommend your book to their Facebook friends and Twitter followers.
    • Call you to schedule a personal consultation.
    • Choose your book for their book club and invite you to attend via Skype.
  • Where/how will you connect with your audience?

book marketing plan

Once you know what you want your book to do for you – as much as you know what you want it to do for your readers – you can begin crafting your marketing plan. But not a second before that. Why? Well, if your ultimate goal is to create a membership site that brings your readers together in a supportive community, it probably isn’t in your best interest to spend a whole lot of time, energy, and money booking in-person signings. But wait – couldn’t live events help me meet that goal? Sure – but on a much smaller scale than focusing on an effective website that converts visitors into subscribers.

What do you want your book to do for your readers – and what action do you want your readers to take once they are finished reading it?

The answers to these questions will lead you to the natural next step in building your book marketing plan.

Here’s to the research that will lead you to the perfect plan!

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

What are 3 biggest new author mistakes?

Learn the steps that will set you apart from 95% of all new authors.

(Hint: It’s NOT too late, even if you’ve already placed your first printing order for books!)

CLICK HERE TO GRAB YOUR FREE REPORT NOW!

__________________

Read Full Post »

One week down, 51 to go

2016 goals

We’re one week into the New Year. How much progress have you made on your book?

“What? It’s only a week. Why are you expecting me to be making progress already?”

Well – think about it. If we break our year down into 52-week units, we’ve already blown through the first one. So, yeah. You’ve got 51 more in which to achieve those goals … but if you haven’t started yet, when are you going to? In just seven more days, you’ll be two weeks into the New Year, meaning you’ll be at 2/52 … or 1/26.

“Oh my god – now she’s doing MATH!”

Yes – but the math’s not the point. The point is that all those hours we think we have at our disposal vanish one day at a time, one week at a time, one month at a time, until we look up and it’s the Fourth of July and we’re wondering what the hell we did with the first half of the year. Or we look up and it’s 2016 and we wonder why we still haven’t finished that novel we started writing in 2004.

The best way I know to create momentum and keep it going is a little process called goal-setting. I’ve written on it before, so I’m not going to hammer it too hard again here. But if you really want to write, publish, launch, or sell books, you HAVE to:

  • Know your BIG goal.
  • Attach a deadline to it.
  • Break the big goal into sub-goals, with deadlines of their own.
  • Write them down!
  • Have a plan to achieve the sub-goals.
  • Take action daily to achieve your goals.
  • Get an accountability partner to help you stay the course.
  • Check in with him/her regularly – and be honest about your progress.
  • Have a plan for correction if you find you’re not achieving your sub-goals.
  • Celebrate your milestones.
  • When things go sideways – as they are once in a while wont to do – get up, shake yourself off, and get back on track.

You can make excuses if you want to – sometimes they make us feel much better about why we’re not getting things done. Not enough time, not enough money, not sure what the next step is, family/work obligations, unreliable help – I’ve heard them and used them all. But excuses don’t help us move forward. In fact, they do the exact opposite: they keep us safe and comfortable and stuck right where we are.

If you really want to move forward, work when you don’t feel like it. Write when it’s inconvenient. Answer the email you’d typically put off until tomorrow. Make that phone call you’ve been resisting. Brew coffee at home for a month so you can take the class or hire the expert you need to take you to the next step.

We’re one week into 2016. What are you going to do to make this your best book year yet?

Laura

__________________

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

What are 3 biggest new author mistakes?

Learn the steps that will set you apart from 95% of all new authors.

(Hint: It’s NOT too late, even if you’ve already placed your first printing order for books!)

CLICK HERE TO GRAB YOUR FREE REPORT NOW!

__________________

 

Read Full Post »

Last week to do your 2015 book marketing plan!

With 2015 right around the corner, how well-defined is your book marketing plan for book marketing goalsthe coming year? Is it in your head? Have you jotted a few ideas down on random sticky notes? Is your book still in process – so you haven’t given much (or any) thought to marketing yet? Or do you have at least the first six months broken down, by weeks or in a way that makes sense, is achievable, and has an accountability system built into it?

Several things I recommend:

  • Get the plan out of your head onto paper, into a project management system, and/or onto your calendar.
  • Use the system that makes the most sense to you. If you’re a linear thinker, put it in calendar format. If you’re more visual, put images on the wall of your office or writing space. If mindmaps work for you, use one of those. Just be sure to include dates! Goals without dates are just wishes.
  • Put your planning session(s) on your calendar now. Get to it before January 1st. And prioritize and honor that time so that you keep your appointment with yourself. No moving a client project into that time slot, deciding you MUST do some end-of-year shopping, or heading out to the movies because your book planning can wait!
  • Start now. Even if your book is still in the planning stages, it’s never too early to begin your marketing. You’d much rather have people waiting eagerly for a book that takes a while than find yourself with a beautifully written, professionally designed book in your hands and no one to read it.
  • Once you make your plan, find an accountability partner – or team – who will help you stick with your plan. One of the most beneficial aspects of the Phoenix Publishing and Book Promotion Meetup is that we go around the room at the end of every meeting and each person commits to the task her or she will accomplish before the next meeting. Then, at the start of the next meeting, we check in to see how people did with completing their goals. You can create the same dynamic with one other person – or a group of people – with similar goals.
  • Celebrate your successes – and keep up the good work!

Here’s to a radically successful 2015!

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

2015 is RIGHT around the corner — are  you READY? If you haven’t begun 2015 Goalsmapping out your book marketing efforts for the New Year, it’s time to get started! Sit down with Laura – in person or via Skype – and review your book marketing plan. We’ll evaluate: what’s working, what isn’t working, and which new strategies you may want to implement for the new year (or your newest book). Regularly $150 for a 45-minute session. Marcie Brock special: $99 for the first five who respond. mktg@WriteMarketDesign.com

__________________

 

 

Read Full Post »

Goals are good, but they need to be REALISTIC

I always try to listen when the same question or lesson shows up in quick succession. Today’s was about realistic goals.

goals

At the end of July, I am hosting a live workshop in Phoenix: Learn to Design Your Book. Here’s the description of the event:

You’ve got the manuscript finished – now it’s time to actually make it look like a book so you can send it to the printer. But where to begin?

If you’re lost at this point, this workshop is for you!

We will cover:

• Book sizes
• Cover design
• Parts of a book
• Incorporating graphic elements
• Fonts
• Chapter headings
• Headers/footers/page numbers

If all that’s keeping you from getting your book printed is knowing how to lay it out, we’ll get you over that hurdle with this workshop. Bring your laptop, your final manuscript in a Word document, and a JPG of your cover if you have one – and come prepared to work!

Of course, this is an elementary workshop and will work best for fiction and simple nonfiction books without a lot of complicated graphics or design elements (e.g., columns, photos with captions, decorative margins, etc).

The most important part, perhaps, is the last section, explaining that this is an elementary workshop.

Today I received the following query about the event:

I have finished my second novel and received it from my editor. My cover guy is doing the cover this week. The document is 90% formatted for ebook and print. Last book I sent to Createspace for formatting and they did I great job.

I am not going to learn InDesign and yet want the final books to look good.

THE QUESTION: Will this one day session teach me to use InDEsign, Scriviner, Calibre, Sigil or ? to do the formatting?

WILL I LEAVE HAVING A CREATESPACE READY DOCUMENT? (spellings and all-caps as included in the email)

Please advise.
The expectations here are so grandiose that I was initially at a loss as to how to respond. First he’s not going to learn InDesign – but he wants to know if I am planning to teach InDesign in a four-hour workshop. Only a true savant would walk away from this session fully proficient at laying out a book. That’s not the goal. Between the workshop, the workbook, and an investment of time and energy, students should have a pretty clear grasp of how to get their book formatted for print. Here is my response:
What you leave the day with will depend on your own learning curve. More than likely I will use Scrivener, as they offer a 30-day free trial and their $40 price point is a low barrier to entry. It would be a fool’s errand to try to teach InDesign in a four-hour session.

I suspect you will be well on your way to a finished product, but this kind of work usually takes practice, refinement, and several passes before you’ll be ready to print to PDF and send it off to the printer. I might adjust my expectations or skip it altogether if I were you.

Next, I received a query about the Summer Author Event, a multi-author book-signing event I am hosting later this summer:

I am interested in attending the Summer Author Event (as an author of course) and I was curious what your previous attendance numbers were for this? I am JUST starting out (just had my first signing last Saturday) and and I just need to figure out could I expect after paying to get in to make that back and get more readers for my book.  

This author definitely has more realistic goals, but even he may have misplaced his focus. Here’s my response:

This is the inaugural event, so I can’t give you numbers. We will have nearly 30 authors participating, though. My goal is for each to do some marketing so we can bring in at least 300 attendees. As with many things related to book marketing, I personally believe it’s a bit short-sighted to focus exclusively on sales. For one thing, the quality of your book and your own ability to engage attendees will factor into sales, neither of which I have any input in.

And yes, you’d like to make your money back and then some, but even if you don’t, you will gain exposure, experience, and get to meet lots of other authors in the process. I will be sending out media releases and making postcards with every participating author on them. Would love to have you involved. We have about 4 tables left at this time.

This author thanked me for my fair response. I never heard back from the first guy.

Self-publishing is not for the weak-hearted. And it’s really important to have big goals – even a goal to write and publish a best-seller! But you’ve got to be willing to work to achieve those goals, often at the expense of other things. You need a plan, a system for implementing and adhering to the plan, and the commitment to see it through. If the plan appears stalled, you may want to rethink the plan.

What you can’t do is expect to achieve a best-seller with no effort – or having a completely laid out book on your first run-through. Is it time for you to revisit your goals to see where they fall on the realism scale, from certainty to pie-in-the-sky? Revising your goals to make them more realistic is not copping out – it’s advancing them to increase the likelihood of actually achieving them!

Here’s to a setting and achieving realistic goals!

Laura

__________________ Summer Author Event PHOENIX-AREA AUTHORS: If you or someone you know is an author in Phoenix, please consider participating in the Summer Author Event on August 16. This multi-author book signing and meet-and-greet will put you in front of hundreds of readers in a casual environment where you can sell and sign books. There are three levels of participation. The first 100 attendees will receive goody bags – and for just $25, you can put a promo for your book into the goody bags!  Learn more or register at SummerAuthorEvent.com.

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

 

 

Read Full Post »

january tip of day

January 1 Book Marketing Tip: Plan your writing and marketing!

More important than resolutions to achieving success are intentions. But intentions without a roadmap, plan, or schedule are likely to remain in thought form, without ever manifesting in the real world where we live.

You’ve heard it a thousand times, but I’m going to repeat it again here:

Create a plan for your writing and book marketing!

Below are two pyramid charts for ways to set goals.

writing goal pyramid

* * *

book marketing goal pyramid

We’ve published these before — and the feedback about the marketing goal pyramid was that if any author committed to it, they’d never have time to write. I will not deny that the platform-building steps and marketing efforts required to achieve successful sales — however you define success — take time and energy. Yes, you may initially have less time to write. But IF you want to SELL your books, you’ll find time to market them. You’ll MAKE time to market them. You will commit to the process and you will make even a small effort every day. When you fall down, get discouraged, or hear “no” — you’ll pick yourself back up and keep making those efforts.

Start your new year well by creating a realistic writing and book marketing plan. And then stick with it. Come back and tell us how it’s going. If you need support, we’re here! Just let us know how we can help.

And if you’d like to see a sample of a fleshed-out (4 pages) writing/marketing calendar and plan, just drop an email with SAMPLE MARKETING PLAN in the subject line.

Happy planning!

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

 

Read Full Post »

Are you organized for success in 2013?

Marcie juggling

OK, then. It’s the first Monday in February. How are YOUR book marketing plans for 2013 going? I was battling a fierce cold for the first two+ weeks of January. When I finally stopped coughing long enough to be able to hold a reasonable phone conversation, I looked up, and January was g-o-n-e. Now, I find myself back in work mode – and the ideas are swirling fast and furious.

I’ve been reading great stuff, meeting fantastic people, developing new projects, one after the other – all of which is very exciting, but I’m realizing that if I don’t rein it in a bit and organize these thoughts, they could be lost in the whirlwind of energy that carried them to me … and wind up going nowhere.

If you’ve ever heard of the Enneagram personality assessment, I’m a 7 – THE ENTHUSIAST. “Sevens are extroverted, optimistic, versatile, and spontaneous. Playful, high-spirited, and practical, they can also misapply their many talents, becoming overextended, scattered, and undisciplined. They constantly seek new and exciting experiences, but can become distracted and exhausted by staying on the go. They typically have problems with impatience and impulsiveness. At their best: they focus their talents on worthwhile goals, becoming appreciative, joyous, and satisfied.”

Some coaches refer to this as Shiny Gold Object Syndrome. Or using my catlike reflexes to chase a bird, eat food, climb on the dresser, sit in your lap, and bat at dust bunnies … all simultaneously. I think many creative types fall into this category. The goal is to work on that last line, “At their best: they focus their talents on worthwhile goals, becoming appreciative, joyous, and satisfied.” They say the teacher teaches what the teacher needs to learn … so trust me when I say I’m not necessarily the best-equipped person to tell you how to manage the 1,000 new ideas that may barrage you daily.

The following are a few things that are working for me. Please know, these didn’t come easily and I have yet to master them completely. But since I’ve been incorporating them, I’m definitely more productive, focused, and calm.

  1. WRITE IT DOWN. No matter how good the idea, quote, tagline, website, suggestion, or invitation may be, it’s not going to stay at the forefront of your mind for long. Because if you’re active and interested, another great idea, quote, tagline, website, suggestion, or invitation is going to come along right behind it. And then another. Do you really want to trust your memory to recall all of those opportunities, or do you want to be sure to be able to examine them again, when you have some time to focus on them?
  2. Which leads to the next point. MAKE SOME TIME. I used to have a really bad habit of not reading email as it came in. “Oh, that sounds interesting. I’ll look at it later when I have more time,” is what I told myself. Two hours pass. Another 137 emails poured in on top of the one I was going to “get to,” and before you know it, it was buried, deadline all but forgotten. And it wouldn’t come up again until someone mentioned having attended the event, met the speaker, or in some other way taken advantage of that email that I was going to get to. Now I schedule time to read – and ATTEND to – email every two days.
  3. PRIORITIZE. Try as you might, you cannot do it all. At least not all at once. This means learning to put an order to your goals and ascribing deadlines to them, too. You might think about creating a physical or virtual file for the things that are interesting but don’t practically apply right now. Then calendar some time (once a quarter, once a month, whatever works for you) to look that file over. At that point, you can reassess your current plans and determine whether the things in your Future Folder might have more relevance now.

One thing is true: it’s impossible to be successful if you’re overwhelmed. 2013 can be your best year yet – as long as you stay somewhat organized and VERY focused. Please share your suggestions, ideas, and experiences around what’s worked for you in the comment section below!

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________Microsoft PowerPoint - Create a Fan Page 2013 ebook

Need help creating – or updating – your Facebook Fan Page? At nearly 200 pages, this eBook is chock-full of screen shots and details about how to create or improve your Facebook Fan Page. Includes details about adding a MY BOOKS feature to your page. Grow your Fan Page and grow your list of potential readers! Get Using Facebook Fan Pages to Market Your Book and/or Build Your Business today!

Read Full Post »

Book Marketing Goals Pyramid – Breaking the process down into bite-sized bits

So after yesterday’s Writing Goals Pyramid, you pretty much had to know we’d be applying the same principal to book marketing, right? And voila book marketing goal pyramid… here it is. The fact is that book marketing is an ongoing process. It should properly begin as soon as you decide to write your book, and continue until you decide you don’t want to do it anymore (or forever – whichever comes first). I know a gal who wrote a book almost 10 years ago, and she’s still booking seminars and classes all over the country based on that one book. How is that possible? Because she never stopped marketing it.

The first step is setting an overall goal. Yours could be a number of books sold, or it could be hitting #1 on Amazon. Whatever it is is probably achievable if you’re willing to do the work to get there.

Next we move to monthly goals. Again, adjust this pyramid for your schedule and your needs. This chart gives you an overview of many of the steps you can (and should) use to market your book, but there are certainly other approaches that are not listed here.

My favorite step on the Weekly section is “Offer a giveaway.” With eBooks, that’s easier than it’s ever been before, but if you’re printing hard copies, be generous in giving those away, too. It will come back to you – I promise! You might want to investigate a service like Rafflecopter.com to help you manager your giveaway processes.

Lastly, we have daily goals. You’ll notice these are less about the marketing, per se, and more about creating a success mindset. That’s because ALL of your success stems from your belief that it is possible. So on a daily basis, take steps to foster the most positive environment in which to grow your success thought garden.

By the way, we’re participating in BlogHer’s January National Blog Posting Month Challenge … to write and post 1 original blog post per day. You can read posts from other participating blogs by clicking here.

Here’s to a brilliant and successful 2013!

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

Ready to make your dream of writing a book a reality? The Empowering Women Writers program will walk you through all the steps, at your pace and on your schedule! Launching January 15, 2013!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: