It didn’t take long for me to realise my researched and well-crafted books weren’t selling and I needed a launch strategy: only ten years! Don’t let it take you this long… Here I share my own book launch process and project management style for non-fiction books (indie authors). It takes a bit more work than a written plan, but the fact that it reminds you daily of your tasks is enough impetus for me. Asana is a Project Management tool, which is a SAAS (so yes, you can pay for more features by the month) and I use the free version. How Did I Set up a Book Launch Plan? First, I used the ‘Project Launch’ template in Asana. But I changed the headings to ‘pre-launch marketing’, 'planning', ‘creative deliverables’, 'monitor results' and ‘post launch’. As I remembered things to do, I added them as tasks and set a date. Another awesome feature is the fact you can add a list. I just copy and pasted a book launch list from off the internet and…
Novice writers, pro authors and business owners alike need to focus on their marketing plan, particularly with limited time available. But, which elements do we need to work on—and why?
Ironically, you should first work on your Why: your reason for writing.
Coming from a ‘why’ perspective, it gives any author a strong motive to move past their comfort zones. I lived my fear-of-being-seen for ten years, so I know first-hand how this inhibits sales. Therefore, identifying a good reason to spread your message is imperative.
As you undertake self-publishing lessons, you will be learning about author brand, reader benefit writing, landing pages, keywords, and teaser lines. These may be outside your comfort zone as well, but are all helpful for attracting the right people to any book.
Besides, planning your writing from an audience perspective has three other benefits.
- Rather than worrying over your ‘product’, your message is front and centre. This is great because it means more people connect with your ‘hook’* or your ethos.
- You’re motivated to write every day to help a certain sector of people. You can even see them in your mind’s eye as you write.
- A niche marketing mindset helps save you advertising dollars. That’s because choosing a niche will help any type of author attract fans. Using certain words, a phrase, an acronym or even a book title that shakes things up can be an ‘attractor factor’. E.g. ‘Joyful Eating’, ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F#$$’.
* A hook is just an angle that will engage a consumer’s mind quickly. It doesn’t need to be misleading or ridiculous to be effective.
What Not to Do: Novice Writers
In my experience, if novice writers just pop down ideas and stories into a book form without doing any audience research first, they often come out with a book that does not hit any mark. It is far too broad or it is full of their own opinions and not that of the target reader. One author went so far as to make up her own spelling (to prove a point) but starting the book like this is sure to confuse and ostracise the English teachers she wanted to reach.
So, what can we do to plan a best-selling book? Firstly, open our eyes very wide and then use competitive research practices.(more…)