Structured and manageable goals are important to those of us who consider ourselves works in progress. Well, it’s that time of year when we all start thinking about those goals — in this case, New Year’s resolutions. They’re especially necessary to moving a book from an unknown publication to a chart-topper. It’s a big project!
But, whether you’re just starting to figure out marketing or already a best-selling author, there are simple things you can resolve to do in 2021 that will make you an even better at selling … or simply a better you. Here are resolutions for published authors or anyone bent on self-improvement.
- Set goals. “Wait, I thought a resolution was a goal!” Well, yes, it is, in a sense. Ideally, your New Year’s resolution is the culmination of your goals throughout the year. It’s important — and ultimately more productive — to make goal-setting a habit, not just a tradition we do once a year and promptly forget. So set lots of small, attainable goals rather than one insurmountable to-do you never actually do. For example, if your resolution is to sell 2,000 copies, break it down into smaller goals. Resolve to promote one giveaway in January, schedule a book-signing in February, then a book fair in March and so on for the entire year. Or, set a goal to schedule 20 book-signings next year and average 10 sales per event. Way less intimidating, right?
- Facilitate goals. If you’ve resolved to sell big in the new year without so much as a marketing calendar in the house, you’ve not facilitated your goals or your year’s resolution. Remove barriers to progress and instate conditions that help you achieve. Buy an entry-level PC for getting on social media to promote or gather a list of bookstores you can call to set up events. Then, resolve to reach out until you get the bookings you need to fulfill your resolution.
- Make marketing a priority. Once you’ve divided your marketing resolutions into smaller goals, it’s much easier to give them top priority. Knock out those little to-do’s first thing in the morning!
- Read, read, read. Top-notch authors are always top-notch readers. Get to know your genre not just by practicing it but by being an avid consumer of it. That way, you’ll get to know your audience and what appeals to them.
- Master the basics of social media. No matter what your stripe, there are many others with similar interests on social media. Facebook “friend” other authors and readers, and learn from them. Follow publishers. Rub elbows with book clubs. You’ll find kindred spirits in the virtual world who can enlighten you with real wisdom. Use that wisdom to refine how you communicate with potential readers.
- Try something new. Make 2021 the year you branch out. Start a blog. Meet new people with similar interests. These new experiences will all enrich and inform so many other aspects of your life. At the very least, you’ll be a more social and well-rounded person. Hey, you might even discover a whole new audience for your book!
- Just do you. Yes, you should be reading a lot, meeting people and making connections that pay off in sales. Ultimately, you’ll assimilate all these influences into a voice that is uniquely yours, and you’ll find your true audience. Don’t fight it — feed it.
- Consider “cheating” a little. Many of us are afraid to ask for help. It feels lazy, like we’re cutting corners. Let us put your mind at ease: It’s not cheating to ask for help reaching your marketing goals! In fact, it’s pretty smart, if you ask us. And, if you’ve tried new things, delved into social media and checked off other goals, you likely have crossed paths with new people who may be able to help you get past the hump. Reach out to friends and family to help you get the word out or purchase inexpensive marketing service options to help you reach the goals you set on the road to your resolution. (Even full-time professionals parse out their duties from time to time.)
Whatever your resolution, the important thing is to keep moving, to take whatever steps necessary to move you toward fulfilling the great things you planned for your life.