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One of the most common threads to come out of the recent PubSense Summit were valid author concerns about becoming overwhelmed with everything there is to know and do when it comes to promoting your work. And you’re right.
It’s a common lament among clients, too, and a subject we address occasionally in these pages. Let’s face it: all this “stuff” can be overwhelming.
We’ve been there. It’s one of the reasons we launched WWW and the Winner Circle – to help “shrink” the web for emerging authors. But with all the disruption in the digital publishing and marketing space, even we’re challenged to bring the resources down to a manageable workload.
Our reaction will typically wind up one of three ways:
- Some of us try to manage it all and do become overwhelmed.
- Others of us throw our hands up in despair and cry, “I can’t.” (In which case, like Henry Ford says above, you’ll no doubt be right.)
- The wise among us will bite it off in manageable chunks.
The third option is the one that will allow us to shout “Yes, I can!”
So, which chunks work for you? And which are the things an author shouldn’t be without?
For us, it begins with your author website, and scheduling that once-a-week blog post. That needs to be shared with the appropriate social media, dependent on where your audience lives. That may be Facebook or Twitter, Google+ or Goodreads, LinkedIn, or an outlet specific to your book’s audience.
In each case you’ll use your site, blog and social media to build your e-mail list, the keystone in any author’s ability to directly communicate with readers with less “noise.”
From there you’ll have that solid foundation to explore other areas, and here’s where to keep in mind that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. For our clients we recommend pitching just one or two reviewers a week, and/or a book club, and/or a media or speaking opportunity.
Two easy goals to keep in mind:
- Pick a number: Your number may be 3 or 5 or 10 or 50 or 100. My number right now is 10. I endeavor, through whichever channels, to make just 10 new connections a day. Meaning, at the end of the day, 10 new people will know/see the name, “Where Writers Win.”
Because I know, between blogging and clients and Winner Circle research that we’re simply not going to get to every social media channel every day. Some days it may be Twitter, other days it may be Facebook, etc.
But at the end of a year, that’s still over 3,500 new connections. And, as we’ve quickly learned by doing this, those 10 new connections always include a handful of folks who share our news with their own tribes, vastly multiplying the number.
By slicing off this overwhelming task into manageable, bite-sized chunks, just like plodding through a novel at 500 words a day, you’ll find your “just can’t” will quickly turn into a “sure can!”
- Pick a block of time and stick to it: Again, this needs to be what works for YOUR schedule, not your writing friends or advice you’ve read online. If you can manage just 20 or 30 minutes a day, do that. If your schedule allows a full hour or ninety minutes, great.
The important thing is that you make your author marketing consistent, and establish a routine so it doesn’t disrupt the rest of your schedule, especially your writing time!
The bonus of attacking just a little bit every day is that you’ll consistently know what kind of feedback you’re getting from which outlets, which will let you know which may need more or less of your attention. And the other bonus is that it’s easier to dig in to do a little bit of marketing/networking each day vs. being faced with those overwhelming piles of to-do’s once or twice a week.
How do you manage your own schedule? We want to know and share with fellow tribe members! Let us in on your secrets with your comment below, or drop us a line at email@example.com.
Creator of Where Writers Win, Shari Stauch has been involved in publishing, marketing and PR for 30 years. She is also the principal author of the WWW blog, and speaks at conferences around the country. The Where Writers Win team’s newest collaboration is The Winner Circle – vetted book review directories, book clubs and other cultivated resources for emerging authors.