Set your new book promotion year off to a great start with this cheap and easy tip that will cost you only pence/cents.
Invest in a simple “date book” – the kind of pocket-sized planner that most card shops display by their tills at this time of year. These small lightweight notebooks provide a handy at-a-glance chart of each month’s calendar, with a square about 2cm x 2cm for each day.
One day’s square allows just enough space to insert a single key event, such as a new blog post on your author website, a guest post on someone else’s or a special price promotion. Inserting your key activity each day will allow you to see at a glance how your promotional plan is panning out:
- Looking back each month will help you plan future activity
- Spotting future gaps will prompt you to fill them
- Seeing each page fill up with constructive activity will keep you motivated as the year goes by
Useful for Many Things
If using just one date book sounds too restrictive, try investing in a separate date book for each type of book marketing activity. Having snapped up half a dozen when I was out shopping just after Christmas, I’ve already found a use for them all:
- 1, 2 & 3: planning the posts on the three blogs I run (this one, my author website at www.youngbyname.me and the self-publishing advice blog for the Alliance of Independent Authors, for which I’m commissioning editor)
- 4: keeping track of my invoicing (something I was always behind on in 2013)
- 5: monitoring URL renewal dates for the author websites that I manage for other authors
- 6: monitoring my progress up the Amazon reviewer ranks (they update the listings once per day (I started the year at #1,514 on the UK site)
I’m also planning to buy another to keep track of my progress on Twitter (where you’ll find me at @DebbieYoungBN, by the way):
- number of followers/following each day
- number of retweets received
- number of new tweets made
- schedule past posts for retweeting
I plan to do this via a series of colour coded dots. It’s either that or learn to write as small as a fairy to fit it all in!
My eighth date book will enable me to schedule various self-publishing projects I have planned for the new year – writing time, editing time, publication date and book launch. These projects include The Author’s Guide to Blogging (to be published by SilverWood Books in the spring) and some collections of short stories, flash fiction and travel memoirs.
Keep It Simple
This may not be rocket science, nor is it high technology, but I do believe it’s a simple way to monitor my progress, keep my spirits up and maintain momentum – and much more sustainable than setting up a series of spreadsheets or online calendars to do much the same thing. When we have so much high technology at our fingertips, at work, at home and on the move, it’s too easy to aim for the complex and fail, when sometimes simple tricks may be just as effective and considerably less stressful.
So here’s to a less stressful 2014 – and I wish you a very successful New Year of book promotion!
- If you like this tip, you may also appreciate this earlier post about how to use high-street photography printing services to promote your books.
- But if you’re looking for a comprehensive beginner’s guide to book promotion, check out my highly-acclaimed handbook Sell Your Books! – available in print and as an e-book at good book retailers everywhere.
Throughout 2014, new book promotion tips will appear on this blog every Wednesday. To receive every tip in your email inbox, complete the subscription box at the top right of the homepage. To receive a monthly newsletter including these tips, plus more news and giveaways, email me a message with “OTS Newsletter Request” in the subject line.