7 New Year Resolutions for Authors — Resolve to Boost Your Book Marketing this Year

by Karen Jonson

Here’s How I Plan to Accelerate My Book Marketing Engine this Year — Want to Join Me?

2015 calendar

You have a whole new year to market your books smarter. What are you planning to do to rev your book marketing engine this year?

There’s nothing like a new year to get off to a fresh start.

I spent the tail end of 2014 making my book marketing plans for this year. I’m excited about the possibilities.

Have you made your plans yet?

If not, let me share some of my goals with you.

Throughout the year I’ll be reporting on my activities and results. So be sure to subscribe to my blog, if you haven’t already. I’d like to invite you to follow me as I maneuver the ever-more complex, but exciting, world of self-publishing.

As a bonus, subscribers get a 15-day free 101 blogging course — that will guide you through the essential steps of blogging (one of the smartest things you can do as an author is to have a blog).

If you don’t want the blog course, but do want to get my blog updates, just go here to subscribe.

7 Smart Rules for Marketing Your Books this Year

Here’s how I’ll be revving my book marketing engine this year. Why not join me and see how far you can take your book marketing success this year?

1. Visualize your goals as an author.

What is your picture of your ideal success as an author? You may think the answer is obvious.

You want to sell a lot of books. Okay. But what does that look like? How many books? At what price?

Will you have fans, if you do? If so, how will you interact with your fans?

Do you want to become a public speaker? Do you want articles written about you? Do you want to be interviewed by reporters? Do you want to contribute articles to magazines and blogs?

You should know the answers to these questions and others. Moreover, you should have a clear picture of what it means to you to be a successful author — and what your life will look like when you are. Then you’ll know exactly what you’re aiming for.

So, make your goals as big as possible.

2. Map out a strategy to reach your goals.

Now that you have a clear vision of your goals, determine how you are going to reach them.

What do you have to do to make your vision a reality — including both the big and small steps you have to take to get there? In other words, start with your goals and work backwards.

To do this, it helps me to sit down with a piece of paper and map out every detail of the process. I write my goals to the far right of the page, and then create a map of the steps needed to get there — from left to right.

3. Add practicality to your goal map.

In this exercise, you can now start adding reality to your dreams — because you may have great, big goals, but not enough resources to reach them.

For example, say one of your goals is to be interviewed by radio stations across the country. Achieving that goal takes many steps, such as, identifying all of the radio stations, determining who books authors for talk shows, composing an email to pitch them an idea, sending the email, then following up, plus more. It could take you weeks to do all of that.

But identifying one radio station close to home and sending a pitch letter is faster and easier to accomplish in an afternoon. Then you can start repeating that step over and over as you reach out to more and more radio stations, gathering experience — and hopefully readers — along the way.

4. Get to know your book’s readers.

Knowing your audience is marketing 101. Yet, authors typically do not spend any time getting a firm grasp of their book’s target audience. This could result in a loss of significant book sales.

Like any business, the business of selling a book is all about understanding the needs, wants, and desires of a particular group of people; then meeting those desires.

When people feel you understand them, they are significantly more inclined to become your fans. So carve out some time in 2015 to start learning about the future readers of your books. Find out their sex, age, education, careers, hobbies, interests, and, of course, what kinds of stories they want to read.

5. Build a network.

Networking isn’t just for salesmen in suits. It’s a critical component of success today — perhaps even more than ever before.

Spending time networking gives you several advantages, including the opportunity to help your book reach a wider audience.

For example, say you form a relationship with a book blogger. They agree to review your book. The review appears on their blog with a readership of 10,000 people. That’s a lot of new people who have the opportunity to discover your book. Are you prepared to take advantage of this kind of opportunity?

Or say you make a connection with someone who heads up a writers group. Then they plan a conference and need authors to appear on several panels. Thanks to your relationship, they think of you and add you to a panel. You’ve netted another opportunity to reach new readers. But, again, how will you maximize the opportunity.

This is the power of networking — where even one good connection can present new opportunities to expose your books to new audiences. As an author, you have to be prepared to take maximum advantage of every opportunity you find.

6. Get active on social media.

There’s no getting around the power of social media. However, many people believe “it doesn’t work.”

But that’s because they are using it incorrectly. And they are using it incorrectly because they mistake social media for a sales platform. It’s not.

Social media is a relationship-building platform. Change your perspective first, then go tweet, post, and chat — and see what happens. Report back to me!

7. Start using email.

So if you can’t sell on social media, where will you sell your books?

That’s what email is for.

I’ve written about this a lot already, including in my free blog course. So I won’t go into great detail here. But here’s the bottom line: All of the major marketing surveys show that email is the best-performing mechanism for sales messages today.

Many savvy authors who are already using email wisely are reaping the rewards. To use email effectively, you need three things: a great blog, an email service, and a free offer. I cover how to do this in detail in my book marketing courses.

To find out how you can learn more, go here. I offer three ways to learn book marketing: a 30-day independent deep dive, a 90-day coaching workshop, and a 15-minute a day course for a year.

These seven steps are the core elements of a successful book marketing program.

I’ll be working each of these points to their fullest this year for my books — and sharing what I learn along the way with you here.

So please join me on the journey — and learn how to become a better book marketer in 2015.

Happy New Year!

 

Photo credit: © mattasbestos

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Catherine H. Dorsette January 1, 2015 at 6:24 pm

I am looking forward to your free blogging course.
thanks

Reply

Karen Jonson January 2, 2015 at 6:55 am

Hi Catherine. That’s great! Please let me know if you have questions along the way.

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Andrew Bright Ikeogwu January 2, 2015 at 2:34 pm

Hi Karen!

You doing A GREAT JOB for people like me. I hope to reach you soon for some book business guidance. Until then, please keep up the good work. God bless you real good!

Reply

Karen Jonson January 2, 2015 at 3:16 pm

Hi Andrew, You have just made my day. I’m so happy to hear that — and appreciate your support. I look forward to talking with you soon. Happy New Year!

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Edward Cook January 3, 2015 at 6:23 pm

Karen, thank you for sharing your information and helping others. my question is how and where can I find major bloggers with large followings?

Thank you, have a great 2015
Edward Cook

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Karen Jonson January 3, 2015 at 8:47 pm

Hello Edward, You’re welcome. I hope my plans inform and inspire other authors. I’ll email you to discuss your question, because I need more information about exactly what bloggers you want to reach.

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Gary R. Gasaway January 4, 2015 at 9:02 am

Great new years tips to live by … Nothing like having SMART goals to start the year! Thank you Karen …

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Karen Jonson January 4, 2015 at 3:30 pm

Thank you, Gary. It’s great to share similar thoughts with you.

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Iva Ursano January 4, 2015 at 9:39 am

Great article Karen. Thank you! I need to focus on the 1st 3 tips. I already blog and am quite dedicated to building and maintaining a social media presence. But the mapping out, great tip. I need to do this!!

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Karen Jonson January 4, 2015 at 3:31 pm

Hi Iva — Thanks for letting me know you liked it. Happy to hear you are way ahead of me – congratulations. And best of luck on meeting your additional goals.

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Elke Feuer January 5, 2015 at 6:39 am

Great post! I’m a huge believer in mapping your goals and you give me a few things to think about. Thanks!

I’m looking forward to your posts about your book marketing activities. Have a wonderful week!

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Karen Jonson January 5, 2015 at 2:50 pm

Hi Elke, It’s wonderful to know that my post gave you some ideas!

Yes, I’ve got some fun things planned to share about book marketing this year. So happy you are here.

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Andi January 5, 2015 at 6:16 pm

Thanks and I sure could use as much knowledge as possible being a first time author. I am going to do a local presentation real soon. My memoir about bipolar illness is cathartic. I’m hoping that it is not only informative but entertaining. It is in Amazon and Barnes and Noble but would love to get it into our local university bookstore.

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Karen Jonson January 5, 2015 at 6:42 pm

Best of luck, Andi! I’ve done several talks. It gets easier the more you do. When you care about your topic it shows, and people respond. Stay posted — I’m planning some good blog posts this year.

Reply

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