One of the toughest challenges in self-publishing is juggling time and mental energy between writing and marketing.
How many times have you heard of an author with a book they’ve poured their heart and soul into, only to have it fall flat, due to a lack of marketing knowledge and ability?
Even in an ideal world, where the author has no other responsibilities or distractions, writing and marketing effectively are difficult things to get right. And how many of us operate in an ideal environment? Most writers actually juggle their creative pursuits with the mundane stresses of life and possibly a day job as well.
In such a demanding context, it’s absolutely essential to think ahead and make your life as easy as possible. If you struggle to find the time for book marketing, the following ideas can help smooth the process and increase your efficiency.
Plan Your Entire Process
One of the main roadblocks to effective book marketing is a failure to plan ahead and understand the role marketing will play in your project before getting started.
Writers often come unstuck when they try and haphazardly write a little here, market a little there, and end up seeing little benefit from either activity.
Instead, it’s better to sit down ahead of time and understand when and how you will write, and when and how you will market. Having a clear plan in place before getting started helps in several ways –
- You can give your full mental attention to whatever you are doing at the time, because you know everything else is accounted for, and has its proper place in the process
- It’s easier to stay motivated when you have a clear path ahead of you, rather than stumbling along and figuring out your next move as you go
- You can anticipate the time and other resources needed to finish any given stage of your project, rather than being surprised by how long things take, or what you need to do to complete them
If precise planning sounds sterile and antithetical to creativity, think again. By putting your marketing plan in place ahead of time, you allow your creative mind to engage fully with the task at hand.
Give Everything To Your Writing
There are some situations when you will be able to write totally at leisure. Some projects don’t have any urgency at all. In such cases, you can afford to write in whichever way feels most comfortable to you, without any particular regard to efficiency.
However, if you are serious about completing self-publishing projects, it’s vital to put in place a writing process which allows you to output the highest quality within the least time.
Part of this writing process is internal. By aligning your internal motivation and external energy, you will find it easier to stay focused when you write. If you are able to think about the reasons why you are taking the time to write something, and the benefits you will experience by doing so, it’s easier to avoid procrastination and stay on task.
The other part of the process is technical. Finding the right tools to make your writing life easier, and the best ways of using them, can greatly help with the writing stage of your project. One such tool is Scrivener. It’s a powerful piece of software which allows you to focus on writing by having everything you need in one place. You can have all of your research at hand, allowing you to retain focus and stay in a flow state. If you want to learn more about Scrivener, and save money with a Scrivener coupon, check it out.
By having the right combination of internal motivation, and the proper writing tools in place, you can ensure that the writing phase of your self-publishing project is as productive as possible.
When it comes to the marketing phase of your project, it’s important to be aware of your own strengths and limitations.
Some marketing tasks might instinctively appeal to you as a good fit for your skillset and interest. However, you don’t want to spread yourself too thin. It’s better to outsource any crucial aspects of your marketing plan which you don’t feel able to personally handle.
By the same token, it’s important to only spend money on marketing when the benefit is clear. There are an endless array of marketing options out there, and it can be tempting to get swept up in the hype of the people trying to sell them to you. Before spending money on marketing, it’s worth considering if –
- The marketing is a good fit for your personal project. For example, some services will promise to promote your book to their list of Twitter followers. But are these followers the type of people who will actually want to read your book, or could your ideal audience be better reached elsewhere?
- The marketing service has a suitable track record and reputation. You should be able to see a track record of not only success, but success for similar projects to your own.
- The cost of the service is worth it. If it’s something you have the time and ability to do yourself equally well, consider which is worth more – the time taken to do the task yourself or the money spent having someone else handle it.
Don’t expect to have the perfect marketing mix fall into your lap at the first time of trying. Figuring out the right approach for your needs and aims takes time and is something to be perfected from project to project.
Book Marketing Efficiency Final Thoughts
Hopefully the tightrope between creating and marketing is now a little less daunting to walk.
Just as you probably didn’t expect your first ever piece of writing to be a masterpiece, try and set realistic expectations about finding the balance between writing and marketing. Understand that –
- Writing and marketing are both demanding skills which take time to learn
- Finding the right balance between marketing and writing is tougher than having to focus on either activity individually
- Discovering your own process and balance is something you will grow into over time
Getting to grips with the book marketing process actually helps your creative side. Once you feel marketing is something you understand, and are competent at, your mental energy can again refocus on what you truly love – creating awesome art.