As many of you know, I am well into the marketing stage for my debut novel’s release next month. Consequently, I am having to face a steep learning curve as marketing is certainly not my strong suit. What am I doing to overcome or even begin to tackle this steep curve?
- I searched the web and found some resources (such as Joanna Penn’s books on Marketing).
- Visiting the writer’s conference was a huge first step. I learned a bit about my author platform and marketing there.
- But I also picked up some further resources. One such resource is Bob Mayer’s books on writing. I am working through his “Write it Forward: From Writer to Successful Author” right now. I also picked up his “The Novel Writer’s Tool Kit” (which I have yet to start…but you’ll probably hear more about it in another blog).
One of the things Mayer talks about in his book is having goals. I would say that I have goals as a person and as a writer (for certain). But did I have honed, defined goals that I could spout out if asked? Not really. He challenges the writer to do just that: create targeted, or “strategic” goals. And then post them. That’s another thing I was missing. To be honest, I’m still not sure how necessary that part is, but I’m willing to give it a try. So, I have crafted a strategic goal and a one sentence statement that is my “brand”. These are things I can easily share if someone asks, but more importantly, can keep in mind when I write and when I market. They will be what I base everything on. I need to do something every day toward my goal and everything I do needs to fit into my brand.
THE “TO DO” LIST
Beyond these main statements, I have crafted (based on his recommendations) business goals, book goals, and short range (daily and weekly) goals. So, my daily “TO DO” list has grown. But it includes things I wouldn’t have thought to put on there before and just assumed I would get around to. Such as write “x” amount of words per day. It wasn’t on my list before, so I didn’t get to it every day. I also planned out which of the four remaining unpublished works I’m going to spend time smoothing out each day this week and next week, so that when I sit down for my (very limited) writing time, I know what I’m doing.
GIVING YOURSELF SOME GRACE
Now that my list is way long, I also have to take this and marry it with the other side of things. The recovering perfectionist. The side that has received the wisdom of grace and counseling. If it were up to me, I would take this list as law and base my daily worth on whether or not it was completed. Truly. My fellow perfectionists out there can relate I’m sure. Counseling has taught me to give myself grace when the list has remaining things at the end of the day. I don’t know what Mr. Bob Mayer would have to say about that. But I have to take my desire to be a successful author and make it work with the reality that I’m a stay-at-home mom of three very small, very active kiddos. I have to prioritize and be okay with things remaining undone on the list.
In closing, I’d like to encourage you whether or not you are a writer, to take on this exercise and create a targeted goal. Really hone in on what you want to accomplish in 5 years, or whenever. Even if it’s a “blue sky” goal that seems impossible right now. Whoever it was once said “if you aim for the moon and miss, at least you’ll land among the stars”. Aim high. Work toward that goal. And let the chips fall where they may.