One of the biggest complaints I hear from authors is lack of time to do it all.
Blogging, finding Facebook friends, Tweeting, surfing Ning for new networks, keeping abreast of new social media trends, attending critique group sessions, sending out e-mail newsletters, doing book signings, holding Web site contests…
And then, you have to WRITE.
Thing is, you don’t have to do it all. You just have to do what works best for you. Too many times, authors overwhelm themselves as they try to keep up with marketing trends and pressures from others in publishing who are now on the social media bandwagon. They also don’t plan accordingly once they find promotional gigs that work.
Check out the tips below to help you better manage your marketing time. Be sure to leave your tips for time management in the comments for other authors struggling with this issue.
Market My Novel Tips for Author Time Management:
- Create a blog editorial calendar. Many authors have a hard time figuring out what the blog about. Plan to entertain your readers, share bits and pieces about writing your work – with a few sneak peeks when you can, your cover art and talk about life in general. An editorial calendar will help you stay on target with consistent content – which is key to blog success.
- Look outside social media for promotions. As you know, Market My Novel is a huge proponent of social media for free or low-cost publicity. However, sometimes you need to get offline, get some sunshine and actually meet real people. For some authors, this is even better than networking online. For example, some authors like to speak in public – and are quite good at it. Not only can they promote their books at events, but they can also get paid to speak. Make a list of activities you like to do offline and research their potential for networking.
- Limit social media networks. There are hundreds of networks online that beckon to your marketing sensibilities. There is also a lot of pressure from agents, editors, publishers and other authors to join them. Play around with different networks to find the ones that work for you. Then, close the accounts that are not working and focus your efforts on those that show a return on your time investment. The number of social networks you end up and the time you put into them will be different for every author, so don’t try to keep up with Joneses.
- Make friends with the time clock. Use your kitchen timer to keep yourself on a rigid marketing timetable. That way, your tasks don’t absorb valuable writing time.
- Make writing your No. 1 priority. Marketing will do you no good if you don’t have more content for your fans to read. That means that producing needs to me your first priority. Marketing is always secondary – until your book hits bookstore shelves. When this happens, plan to make marketing your priority for at least two months before you switch your schedule back to a writing focus. This will help you touch base with fans, new readers and reviewers during critical sales times.
The trick to time management is to not only find the formula that integrates well into your writing and family life, but to develop a strategy that targets your fans with each event and online activity. Once you have that plan, creating a workable marketing schedule will be a piece of cake.0