We talk a lot on our blog about how to promote your book once it’s been published.
There’s a good reason for this. So many authors spend months and years working very hard on completing and publishing a book.
But their downfall is actually selling their book.
When it doesn’t sell, they think there must be something wrong with the book itself; the quality of the writing, the planning of the plotline, the believability of the characters.
But it’s likely to be none of these things.
There’s usually only one reason a book doesn’t sell:
It’s no good publishing your book on Amazon and expecting that prospective readers will miraculously find it.
You have to make some efforts to promote your book and bring it into people’s consciousness.
We’ve written several articles about how to actually do this, which I’ve listed again here:
How to attract more readers and sell more books
3 reasons why your book isn’t selling
7 ways to build your audience in 30 minutes a day
3 top tips to make blogging easier
How to make your Amazon author page work hard for you
Three ways to use Twitter to spread the word about your book
What to include on your author website
7 strategies to sell more books
But once you’ve started your marketing, how do you go about keeping track of everything?
It pays to be organised, at least until you’re acquainted with the marketing aspects of writing, and are feeling a bit more at home with the whole thing.
Here are six top tips for being organised:
1) Have a dedicated file/notebook/notes section in your phone where you record the username and passwords for all the webpages you sign up to.
There’s nothing worse than going to log in, and finding that you can’t remember the details to access a site!
During your marketing, you’re going to be signing up to lots of new sites, so the easiest thing at this stage is to make a note of all log-in details.
It will save you a lot of time in the future, I promise.
2) Keep a list of all websites you’ve signed up to.
These websites could be forums where you can sign up to chat to other authors, sites where you can find reviewers, or buying marketing software such as Aweber.
Note down the website, the date you signed up, what that particular site actually does. You can also add a link to the actual website on your document, just for ease.
3) Keep a diary/calendar showing what promotions you’ve done, and when.
In my view, having a calendar view of your marketing activities is pretty key. It allows you to plan and back-track dates so you will always be organised, and always have a reason to contact your fans and readers, that’s appropriate to the season.
If you have a closing date for a promotion (example: like and share my page on Facebook by 1st October to be in with a chance of winning a signed copy of my new book) make a note of this on your calendar too.
Your calendar can also help you plan a promotional calendar for new book signings, and seasonal offers and giveaways.
You can also plan out a timeline for your next book on your calendar, allowing you to pre-plan promotions around title reveals, character previews, and other sneak-peaks that you will let your fan-base in on.
You can order large poster-sized calendars online, if you prefer to have a large visual reference on the wall.
Alternatively, you could order a large whiteboard, and mark out the days, weeks and months on it.
Or if you prefer pocket-sized, simply use a diary or notebook, or your phone or computer’s calendar.
4) Take copies of and organise any reviews you receive.
Reviews and testimonials are worth their weight in gold.
Even if they come via Amazon, make sure you keep your own copy of the review too.
You can use a positive review on your own website, as part of a press release, or on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to show what great things readers are saying about you.
5) Create folders within your email account for correspondence with difference professionals.
The more promotions you undertake, and the deeper you get into your writing career, the more email correspondence you will have to keep track of.
Create separate email folders at the start for each individual and organisation you correspond with, and file emails as soon as they have been received and dealt with.
This will keep all the relevant communications together, and save you from spending your time searching your inbox.
It’s also really nice to have an inbox that isn’t jam-packed with emails and outstanding issues that still need to be sorted.
6) Keep a separate file for press releases.
Keep a copy of the actual press release, along with a list of all the journalists you sent it to.
This will help you create a database of receptive journalists, and also allow to follow up responses and start a dialogue with people who may be able to maximise your press coverage. It’s worth investing time in cultivating these relationships.
Do you have any more tips for how you organise your marketing and promotional activities? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
We’re Peter and Caroline O’Connor. Creating beautiful book cover designs for authors all over the world is our passion. Every author should be able to benefit from a beautiful book cover design (not just the lucky few who get signed by a big publisher). We design, podcast, and coach authors full-time so we understand your struggles. Currently accepting new clients.