This is a guest post from Kristie Foreman. We connected with Kristie many times with our live episodes of The Author Hangout. She has shown an eagerness to learn and grow when it comes to promoting her books. Book marketing takes work… constant work. The work you do now, will pay off in the long run. Gain motivation and confidence about your own self-publishing journey from Kristie in this guest post about making a marketing plan and following through with that plan!
Your Beginning To A Great Future
“What if my book is no good?” “What if I find out I can’t write after all?” “What if nobody buys my book?” Have you asked yourself any of these questions? I have, many times. I have cried and cheered. I will save the crying story for later. I refuse to let these negative thoughts enter into it. I just keep taking action. I think to myself, “What do I need to do next? What is my new plan?” Life has gotten in the way many times. Don’t be your own worst enemy.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
When I first wrote my book, I think the best thing that happened to me was I found and downloaded the free Ultimate Author Checklist from Book Marketing Tools. I studied that guide. I decided to take action. This guide gave be some great advise and an anchor of where to begin. I made many mistakes such as when I titled my webpage under my book name instead of my name, an author of many titles. These titles may be in my future so a webpage about 1 book is not good.
Is Your Plan Liquid?
My plan changes all of the time. Of course I try to keep my list until I complete it. When number 3 on my list isn’t working it gets scratched out and a new idea comes along. Your plan needs to be fluid and changeable. Finding your comfort zone. I am sure you have heard that before. I think the zone that makes you just a bit uncomfortable, the one that may take some effort, is the one to look for. That is the one that makes you stretch your thoughts. It may be a new area that you know nothing about. If you stay where you are, you will stay exactly where you are. I joined most of the social media sites and now have to figure out what to do about all of them. I can’t maintain all of them. I had never tried some of them. Now I can step back and see which ones are working and which ones I like the best. Keep it liquid. Change is good.
Do you know, there are many people included in your plan?
Whether you realize it or not, you need many people. I love staying in my cave. I love the quiet contemplating time. I can think there. This only works for writing. It doesn’t work for selling or marketing your book. You are not always selling the book many times you are selling yourself. Let people get to know you. Don’t be afraid to join in a group. There are rules to groups but there is no group police. If you need time to write take it. If you need family time take it. Communication with others is good. Let them know you need some time or try to reconnect later. It is okay. It is your life. Don’t stress over it.
What hat will you wear today?
Knowing authors have to be a bit of a chameleon, dividing your time is a smart way to go. Setting up a calendar and a schedule may help you to stay on task. I like to keep an old fashioned, notebook sized, real calendar. I haven’t found a digital calendar that I am comfortable with as of yet. I like to look back even a week ago and see what I have accomplished. Below is a list of some of the hats you may need to wear:
- Author – Actually writing -Take your time. My best advise is to set it down, do other things, come back later to look at it again. You will find many things you never realized you did or didn’t include. Do it again. When you are actually sick of your own book it is probably time to give a good last once over and kick it out there to the next step.
- Social networking expert – Experiment, pick your favorites. Where are you getting the best results?
- Marketing – Reviews, Analytics, sales, promotions.
- Coordinator – Checking in on your plan or writing a new one, adding new ideas.
- Family hat – In person, family/social time. – Are you a hermit at home too? This relationship may not last long. Share yourself. Give back to the people who care about you.
- Fun – This is the most important one if you ask me.
All of these things give you well rounded experiences to the great author you are becoming. If you find things are not working, switch it up. Switch your strategy. Talk to people who know. Join with other authors. Step away from any negative. Switch it up. Stay on the positive road and believe me it may be “the road less traveled”. I even found many close to me that do not support me in my journey. Let it go. They are not on your journey. They want to see me as I was not as what I am becoming. Let it go.
“It is our choices, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” – J. K Rowling
What is That Going to Cost Me?
My husband has been supportive in the many great ideas I have had during our 31 year marriage. Many of them were not successful. I decided I would try to do this all on my own. I wanted to be able to say I wrote a book and I am a successful author. Of course, going to him for money didn’t sound fun. I know our expenses. I have managed to do it on a minimal amount of money. He is learning right along with me the quality of professional proofreading, book cover art, promotions. He is becoming my biggest fan. He is sharing my christian children’s book with the guys at work. I think that is hilarious! Maybe he has more faith and pride in me than I thought.
Seriously you do need to determine a budget for your plan. Start researching things. I love to test Google to not give me what I am searching for. Google usually wins. I have learned so much information by asking some of the craziest questions. If you have the means to get the best services for your book by all means it is worth it. If you are on a limited budget, you can still do it. I pay for book covers because I absolutely cannot draw, I also pay for my webpage but this is minimal. I paid for business cards. Lastly, I paid for a few copies of my book. Many new authors trade services to help with these things. Don’t let money be a deterrent to sharing your stories.
What Will You Say?
At the beginning I asked you “Who are you and what is your plan?” I started writing many years ago. I raised kids, worked different jobs. As of 1 year ago, I started writing with more sincerity. I have now published my first book of 4 stories and am just about to launch my second book of 4 stories. I had to write my elevator pitch, my about the author, my back of the book, my dedication page, my small descriptions for webpages, I was getting an idea of who I was becoming and I wrote it. I did it. Jump in, the water is warm.
The day I received my book in the mail, I was speechless. I felt a great wonderment, I wanted to cry but I found myself wanting to stare at it and think of the next idea. By the way, I promised a crying story. I did cry when I reread my own dedication page. I also cried the day my husband came in from work and I said, “Today is a special day.” My husband was probably trying to remember our anniversary date. I told him, “My book went to amazon and is for sale.” I could barely get the words out. Of course we both knew it was a special day. He gave me a big hug and congratulations. The entire next week, he teased me. He said things like “I was wondering, If you are a big time author now, can you still make dinner? Or I don’t know now that you are a big time author… I actually liked it. He was supportive and I did have a book for sale. It didn’t even matter that I was the only one who had actually bought it as of then.
Don’t let the negative hold you back. Don’t let the unknown scare you. Make a plan, practice your elevator pitch, pretend you are on a podcast or book signing telling others about your journey.
What will you be able to say one year from now?
“It is not what we get. But who we become, what we contribute … that gives meaning to our lives.” ― Anthony Robbins
Kristie L. Foreman is a Christian children’s book author. She is married, has 4 children and 5 grandchildren. She is working on book #2 for release at the end of the summer of 2014. She loves nature, especially flowers, and a hot cup of coffee. When she is not writing, she enjoys gardening, playing fetch with her German shepherd, making quilts and watching a good movie. You can read Adventures of Petal Flower here. You can connect with her at facebook, google +, twitter, linkedin and goodreads.com