I n today’s hi-tech environment of do-it-yourself publishing and marketing, it can be easy for an author to get lost in the noise of what you should and should not do. To add to the confusion, even experts don’t always agree on the most important things you must do to be successful.
If you’re like many authors, you like to write. That’s what you’re good at. You don’t want to be a professional marketer but you do realize that, like it or not, you’ll still have to wear that marketing hat if you want to succeed.
So, how do you navigate the confusing rapids of publishing and marketing your book? Here are a few strategies to consider to help you keep your head above water:
1. Don’t Try To Do Everything At Once- Even the most tech-savvy person would be hard pressed to do everything possible to market their book. It’s okay to live with the reality that you don’t need to do it all to be a success. You don’t have to be on every social media site and you don’t have to incorporate all the latest technologies into your book marketing plans. Choose a few that you want to get really good at and start from there. You can always add more later. And yes, no matter what you do today, there will always be more you can do later.
2. Model Someone Who You See As Successful- If you don’t know where to start, look at an author you follow and study what they are doing. What ideas can you get from him or her? What social media sites is he or she on? What technologies does your favorite author use to market his or her books? You don’t have to copy everything someone else does, but you can always choose one or two people to help you come up with ideas for your own marketing and publishing plans.
3. Limit Who You Listen To, But Continue To Read Widely- There are are a lot of smart people out there and they don’t always say the same things. In order to cope with all the information available to you, limit who you really listen to. At the same time, continue your research so you can adapt what you hear to your own marketing plan. By doing this, you can cut through the noise while still making informed decisions.
4. Master A Few Things And Outsource The Rest- No one says you have to be an expert on every publishing and book marketing activity you engage in. Consider getting really good at what you enjoy and let someone else handle the things you don’t want to learn or things you don’t want to spend the time on.
5. Don’t Fear Trial And Error- Even the greatest marketers have engaged in trial and error. If you sit at the feet of the great ones, they will share stories of lessons they learned the hard way. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t use due diligence to make sure your marketing activities are efficient, but don’t be afraid to try something new just because you don’t understand it perfectly. It’s often better to try and fail than never to try at all.
6. Ask For Help- If you’re stumped or you have a big decision to make, lay it out there and ask someone for their advice. If you don’t know how something works, ask someone to show you. You can do this by:
- E-mailing someone directly
- Googling your query
- Visiting message boards
- Searching YouTube for how-to videos
- Posting questions on your blog, tweeting your question, or ask your group members
The point is that you have a lot of resources available to you. Don’t be afraid to use them.
7. Barter- If you have a skill that someone else needs, consider offering a trade in services. If they help you, you’ll help them. This is one of the oldest and most effective ways to cope with information overload. Just like the barber would cut the hair of his shoemaker for a pair of sneakers, you can find ways to trade your skills for the skills of someone who can help you with an aspect of your marketing plan.
These are a few ideas on how you can cope with information overload. As a writer, you want to make sure that you don’t get so bogged down with doing what everyone says you need to be doing that you don’t have time to write. There will never be a shortage of advice out there for you; you just need to be judicious on how you choose to take action on that advice.