I learned a lot from the publication and release of my first book. Instead of dwelling on what I did wrong or inefficiently, I’m focusing on improving those areas when Getting Through What You Can’t Get Over releases in April, 2015 via Barbour Publishing.
For instance, while writing my first release, if I had known then what I know now, I wouldn’t have held my enthusiasm back. I would have let my natural flow of excitement transfer into some of my Tweets, Facebook posts, LinkedIn shares, and Pinterest pins. I wouldn’t have sold to people, but would have offered a few teasers, a new sentence, a punchy line taken from my project, while I was writing it, getting people interested early. Word of mouth is still the best marketing vehicle around.
I would have blogged about the process more. (Something I just started doing on my Writing Wednesday posts.)
I would have posted a few videos on YouTube about struggles, victories, disappointments, encouragements, life interruptions, cave-dwellings, along with other writing downs and ups. Adding more visual author media to marketing efforts enhances the experience for readers. This allows audiences to read tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language, as well as words.
I would have listened to Michael Hyatt’s fantastic audio series, Get Published!, while I was writing, not shortly after my book released. Then I would have acted on many of his insider suggestions.
While I juggle writing, marketing my current book, pre-release marketing for my new one, family, friends, speaking, coaching, and the occasional unexpected crisis, I’m also celebrating a few things I did right on the first go around.
I made new connections, and built some solid and life-long relationships with people who can benefit my writing career, but more importantly, are now my friends. We help each other, encourage, pray, and genuinely care about what happens to each other, more than we care about what happens with our careers.
I proved myself capable as a professional writer and marketer. Building credibility and practicing integrity at the foundation of your career provides a solid footing to propel you forward as you move ahead with new books, articles, and posts. I see myself as a slow and steady author, who will win the race through consistency and solid growth. I’d rather experience longevity, versus a fast start that sputters in a flash.
I made some marketing mistakes, but didn’t let them become catalysts for giving up. Instead, I evaluated where things fell apart, and used those insights to make informed decisions and new plans. Some things I need to cut out completely, but most only require a few tweaks, and my updated marketing plans will prove more profitable.
But the most powerful thing I did right the first time, and am continuing to do now, is this: I am not leaning on my own understanding. Instead, I am asking God where to invest my talents. Who are the readers? Where should I market? What is the best use of my energy? When should I time marketing efforts? How should I balance the juggling act of marketing while I write?
In the end, none of us knows the perfect marketing plan. But, those who succeed exhibit similar qualities. Guts, consistency, resolve, humility, a teachable spirit, listening ears, watching eyes, and a quitting-is-not-an-option determination. No matter how much juggling is required.
What do you know now that you didn’t know before about marketing?
14 Replies to “The Juggling Act of Marketing While You Write”
This post comes to me in perfect timing. Thank you. I’m new to all this and have been trying this juggling thing, while trying to figure out when it’s a distraction from the writing.
I’m honored the post helps you.
You are right, trying to determine when marketing is a distraction versus necessity is challenging, but here’s some encouragement. The more you do it, the more natural it becomes. You’ll find less energy is needed, and you’ll accomplish your marketing more fluidly and efficiently as you practice. Keep on keeping on consistently, and you’ll keep those juggling balls in the air. 😉
Thanks for the extra words of wisdom.
Thank you for sharing your experience. I’m trying to figure this all out for my first novel and sometimes feel like I’m just not getting anywhere. I appreciate your insights!
You will get better at this with time, if you keep practicing. You may drop a couple of things the first few rounds of juggling, but before you know it, you’ll be a pro. 😀
Great tips! I often say we have to believe in our books more than anyone else–and believe in them so much we’re willing to promote them to readers! I think pre-release book buzz is very important and that’s where having followers on twitter/Pinterest/FB can be a wonderful boon to the author. I used to poo-poo social media platform, but it really is one of the best ways of getting word on your book out to the greatest number of people, unless you’re a public speaker. Thanks for this post and sharing!
I agree Heather, if we don’t believe in our books, why would anyone else? And social media is simply another form of communication, we simply have the ability to talk to more people.
Wonderful insights, Anita. Learning to juggle it all is an ongoing task for me, too. But as you’ve described, each experience makes us better at what we do the next time around. I am also in the writing business for the long haul, which forces me to find patience and regularly review what has worked and what hasn’t. With my memoir, Saved by Gracie, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a bigger publisher than with my cozy mystery series; I now intend to apply all those marketing lessons to the launch of my next installment of my series, which affirms to me that each publication experience can be different, yet very educational! I’m going to venture into some video, too, to make stronger connections with readers. See you on YouTube!
Regular review is critical, isn’t it Jan? I have learned a lot from watching others as well, people like yourself. Saved by Gracie is one of those books that I believe will do well over the long haul — well written, insightful, interesting, and fun.
And yes, I’ll see you on YouTube soon. 😉
Great post, Anita! It has been a juggling act! I had done all those things you mention at the right time. I had attended all the conferences and listened to all the experts. BUT, I was still completely surprised by the balancing act involved in marketing after the launch while continuing on with getting the next book ready. Because it’s my first novel, I’m largely unknown, and my publisher is small, I’ve often felt like I’m pushing a boulder up a hill. But I’m gradually gaining momentum. It’s sort of like giving birth – no one can tell you exactly what that’s like either.
The balancing act of writing while simultaneously marketing is crazy, Melinda. But I love your analogy to child birth. It is kind of like that. You feel like your pushing, and pushing, and that baby will stay stuck, and never arrive, until suddenly — breakthrough! After taking a deep breath, you finally get to enjoy your little one, and almost forget the pain.
But you’re also correct in your statement that no one can tell you exactly what it will be like. Because two births or juggling acts are quite the same. Many blessings on your endeavors! 🙂
Oh wow I needed to hear this today. I have been so discouraged trying to juggle all this the last couple of weeks! There is grace in the learning and growing. Thank you!
I am so glad this helped you, Kariss. May God richly bless your efforts! Proverbs 14:23 ;D
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