In my most recent blog post, I stressed the importance of knowing when to take a break from book promotion and then doing so. I also answered several FAQs regarding how to deal with overwhelm, what to do when you feel like your publicity and marketing efforts are stuck, and learning how to procrastinate procrastinating. (Get it?)
Assuming you’ve read part 1, now we can dive into some more action items.
Here we go: Taking action on the publicity and marketing efforts of your book:
- Have a vision, and give it time to manifest. You need a vision for your book and for you, but remember the old saying: Rome wasn’t built in a day. This totally holds true with book publicity. Building a brand, platform, credibility and visibility does not happen in a day…or even a week…or a month. You must be determined, diligent, persistent and keep in mind that nothing worthwhile is instantaneous. Keep going and you will reap the rewards. Remember, just because you see someone as an overnight sensation, doesn’t mean they are. I guarantee you they’ve been working on it for a while.
- Begin with the end in mind. Once you know where you want your book to take you, then it’s time to plan. Begin with the end in mind. Are you dreaming of the New York Times bestseller list? Do you wish to be in the top ten of your genre on Amazon? Are you looking for your book to help you build out your business and your brand? Do you desire top-tier media hits so that you can demonstrate how credible you are? Maybe you want a movie created from your book. Whatever the dream and the vision, write it down and work backward from the end goal.
- Create timelines. No one can predict exactly how the future is going to unfold, but we have to start somewhere, so make plans for how you are going to bring your vision to fruition. If you have big plans, then give yourself three years. For example, a movie deal is probably going to take longer than getting a feature in a popular media outlet, so put that further out on your timeline. Once you list the big vision three years out, then where do you have to be two years from now to be on track for that? Then one year out? Then break it down into months, weeks, all the way down to each day.
- Do the prep work. What do you need to do, learn, and know to reach your intended goals and vision? You may have to do some serious research. It might require classes for learning new skills. You may need to hire a professional to help guide you, whether that’s a coach, a consultant, marketer or publicist. Tell others within your networks what your dreams are and ask if they have any suggestions for you. People love to help others, so tap into that wealth of knowledge. Be sure and schedule time on your calendar for taking these actions, otherwise it may not happen. Don’t wait until you are “in the mood” to get something done. Make your own moods. You have to plan for it and then take action.
- Book Campaigns. I may sound like a broken record here, but the date you start the launch campaign for your book depends on your goals and objectives. If you’re only planning a launch within your own networks and perhaps through joint partnerships, that is very different than if you want to see your book in libraries and book stores. As a general rule, I suggest doing a soft launch to your own communities and saving the hard launch for when your book is actually going to be for sale. As you enter these things on your timeline, give yourself a year before pub date to really focus on platform building, 6 months out for reviews and galley mailings (some will take exception about this, and while it’s true that industry trades need 3 – 4 month, women’s and men’s magazines need 6 months, so plan accordingly), three months to create the press kit, and then six weeks out for interviews to coincide with your publishing date.
- Book is already published. If your book is already out and you’re looking for steps to promote it, here are some ideas for you. Make a decision to do five things for your book each day, and commit to that. It could be pitching five media outlets. It could be writing a blog post, sharing on social media, working on a presentation, or calling some book stores. Whatever it is depends on your book, your vision and your plan, but commit to doing five things each and every day.
- Do it yourself. Publicizing your book isn’t rocket science. That’s the good news. You can do it yourself. What you need to ask yourself is this question: Do you have the time to learn all you need to learn in order to do it yourself? Can you find the appropriate contacts and build the relationships needed in order to get coverage? If not, it’s time to find someone to help you. A good publicist familiar with your genre knows the appropriate media to pitch. They have a track record of creating successful campaigns, and they’re easy to talk to and get along with. They “get” you. If not, they’re not the right professional for you. Keep moving. You will find the right one.
All in all, you need a vision, a plan that begins with the end in mind, and then the appropriate actions to take on a daily basis to have the kind of success you want and deserve.
Have we connected socially yet? Let’s! Here’s the scoop:
And if you haven’t taken my How Media Savvy are You Assessment, give it a try and see how you do!
To your success!