If you are an author then you are also a marketer. Long gone are the days when you could just upload your book to Amazon and it would sell itself. Increasingly author life is one of entrepreneurialism. You are responsible for not only writing but also the marketing of your book and balancing both is an ongoing juggling act. So before you self-combust from overwhelm at all the tasks you have ahead of you, here are our tips for mastering the balance between writing and book marketing.
Focus on marketing that you enjoy
Stop making book marketing into a dreary chore! If you don´t enjoy being on video don´t force yourself to do YouTube. Not a fan of the transient nature of Twitter? Then don´t spend your time there. Instead, seek out the type of marketing and social media you do enjoy and try to make it as fun and creative as possible. Take some inspiration from these creative ideas: Jody Sabral’s crime scene recreation to launch her debut thriller and Manoj Jain's dystopian novel book launch in the form of a skit. The best marketing is more than random efforts, it is a complete reader experience taking your fans into the world of your novel. A fun example of this is the Harry Potter Pottermore website filled with fun quizzes and information about worldwide magic academies. Why not make your author website into an immersive experience mirroring your books?
Don’t do it all
Spreading yourself thinly is a surefire way to decrease marketing effectiveness. Cut back your promotions to what you do well. Focus on the intersection between what you enjoy and where your readers are found. This is the ‘sweet spot’ where you want to direct your marketing efforts.
Look for the gaps in the day
As with writing, book marketing works best if it is built into your daily routine and done consistently. Seek out time of day that works best for you and identify gaps of time. Setting up your initial marketing strategy will be a commitment, depending on how much current marketing you are doing, but as you become more comfortable and confident the time you need to do a task (such as share a post across social media) will decrease.
Save time by seeking out ways to reuse and repurpose your existing content. Can you post an Instagram photo to your blog? Make a blog post into a YouTube video? Or turn an article into a Pinterest pin? Post a quote from your book? Cut down on your workload by making your content do more.
Create a Content Schedule
Make life easy for yourself by planning out your content in advance. Ideally you want to plan out most of your content at least two weeks in advance. Keep it manageable otherwise you’ll never stick with it. Start small if you need to. It’s better to consistently post once a week than do a blitz of posts followed by none at all. You want a steady flow of content in the lead up to events AND during quieter times. A content calendar ensures that you can get to work on your writing knowing that your marketing is taken care of. Schedule your posts in advance with free tools, such as Buffer or Hootsuite.
Many authors plan to fail when they don’t prioritize. Focus your attention on areas that will bring in the best return. Put these at the top of your to-do list. Having trouble getting it done? Check out our article on procrastination: Putting Off Book Marketing? Do This Instead.