How to Make Time for Book Promotion by guest @PaulineWiles

By Rachel Thompson | #NaNoProMo

May 08
How to Make Time for Book Promotion by guest @PaulineWiles via @BadRedheadMedia and @NaNoProMo #Time #BookPromotion

Making Time For Book Promotion

As authors today, we’re compelled to juggle more tasks and responsibilities than ever before. Given the colossal effort you’ve invested in writing and publishing your book, you know you’d be crazy not to dedicate some energy to promoting it. But with all that’s going on in your life, how do you make the time for this?

Here are four different approaches to carving out some precious minutes or hours for boosting your book. Experiment with these, and you’ll find they’re a big help in making sure you undertake regular promotional activities, without becoming completely overwhelmed by all you have to do.

  1. Time Blocking

Time blocking involves analyzing your schedule, typically on a weekly basis, and designating specific chunks of time for book promotion. This is a great approach if you like a lot of structure in your days and have a fair amount of control over how you spend your time. On the other hand, if you feel constrained by making firm plans in advance, or if your days are highly unpredictable, this method may not be for you.

To get started, review a typical week and figure out how much time you can spend on your author business as a whole. This includes writing, admin, and promotion. Then decide what proportion you would like to devote to promotional activities. This will vary according to your preferences, how far along you are in your career, the size of your backlist, and so on.

Now, get out your calendar and make appointments for yourself. Set reminders, create do-not-disturb signs, and use any other tricks you like so that your promotion time is protected.

  1. Theme Your Days

If time blocking feels too rigid, another approach that works well is to theme your days. You might have certain days each week where you concentrate on writing new content, a day for business admin, and one or more days where you turn your attention to promotional tasks.

This approach is particularly useful as it gives your brain a break from worrying about promotion all the time. If niggling marketing thoughts and to-dos pop into your head, simply make a note and reassure yourself you’ll get to them on your next book promotion day. Having one central place (either digital or on paper) to serve as your promotional brain dump is a great tactic here.

How to Make Time for Book Promotion by guest @PaulineWiles via @BadRedheadMedia and @NaNoProMo #Time #BookPromotion

  1. “Binge” Promote!

Have you heard the time-worn advice to write every day? Did you know that more and more writers are, in fact, setting aside time to binge write on a far less frequent basis?

You can tackle your promotional efforts in the same way, by designating, say, one weekend per month for your book promotion activities. This is regular enough that you can stay in contact with readers, and it provides some good quality time to really dig deep into your marketing project list. For the rest of the month, your creative muse can get on with that task, safe in the knowledge that your promotion slot is coming.

An optional extra for this approach would be to form the habit of taking yourself off to a different physical location, like a library or coffee shop. In time, you’ll associate being there with wearing your promotional hat. You may find this brings extra focus, allowing you to power through your promotional tasks with added efficiency.

  1. Divide Your Year

I’m not a huge fan of this approach, as I believe you should ideally aim for regularity in when you show up for readers. However, if you simply can’t juggle writing and promoting on an ongoing basis, you might decide to nominate short seasons where you do nothing but promote.

You might, for example, designate promotional months either side of each book release. During these months, you throw yourself 100% into being visible and building readership. Outside these months, you do only the bare minimum.

This approach feels a little dated, and it relies heavily on readers getting excited for your book around the time of its release. There’s definitely a risk your sales rankings will slip without ongoing attention. So, use this approach with caution and only when you’ve found the other methods really haven’t worked for you.

Whichever Approach You Choose, Here Are Some Further Tips for Using Your Time Well

  • Don’t expect to hit upon your ideal promotion schedule first time. You’ll almost certainly need to iterate and adjust your approach until you find a rhythm that works for you.
  • Save your brain the effort of remembering everything and create checklists for any promotional task you are likely to repeat.
  • Realize you can’t do everything for book promotion! Try keeping a list of ideas and pulling from it as you have time available. Make a note of all the great tactics you’re learning during #NaNoProMo, but don’t try to implement them all at once.
  • Promotional activities you dislike will be a drag on your time. If you’re lacking either skills or enthusiasm, the worry and hassle will chew up a disproportionate number of hours. Always look for the intersection of where your readers can be found, and what types of promotion you enjoy doing.

Many authors admit to feeling overwhelmed by book promotion tasks. I hope you find one or more of these approaches frees you up to write more joyfully and with better focus, as well as safer in the knowledge that you have set aside time for book promotion!

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THE GIVEAWAY

Giveaway bundle (worth $95)

Pauline Wiles - Indie With Ease

Want to win this giveaway? Simply leave a comment WHY below!

All comments must be left prior to midnight on Monday, May 13th, 2019 in order to be eligible to win. Winners for the week announced on Tuesday, May 14th.

Good luck!

Pauline Wiles is the author of three light-hearted novels as well as Indie With Ease, which helps self-published authors conquer stress. She believes pragmatic self-care is the foundation of a long and happy writing career. Her own version of this includes plentiful tea, cake, and running.

Get more tips on purposeful productivity for writers and a free mini-course, Focus for Writers, at https://www.paulinewiles.com/writers

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For a more detailed plan on developing your book marketing, purchase Rachel’s new book,
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About the Author

Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge: How to energize your book sales in a month - created to help authors market their book. She is also the author of Broken Places (one of IndieReader's "Best of 2015" top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival), and the multi award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post IndieReader.com, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, BookPromotion.com, and Self-Publishers Monthly. Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs,  #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with Melissa Flickinger) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with certified therapist/survivor, Bobbi Parish all live Twitter chats. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.

Leave a Comment:

(17) comments

Pauline Wiles May 8, 2019

Thanks so much for including this post. I’m really excited to see how week 2 of #NaNoProMo unfolds!

Reply

Love the time blocking tip. Now I just actually have to use that time rather than letting it get overwhelmed by other to-dos!! Why do I want to win? I have a 3-book deal and the first book is coming out in October, so I need all the help I can get launching this career!

Reply
    Pauline Wiles May 8, 2019

    Congrats, Angelina on your book deal! Hope time blocking helps you juggle this exciting time.

    Reply
D.B. Moone May 8, 2019

Pauline,

Although, I’ve never considered the term “binge promoting” before. I can see this as being useful for some authors who are doing all things writing and promoting and becoming overwhelmed by it all. The only downside I see is as you mentioned, not having a consistent interaction with one’s readers. I’ve noticed that readers stop showing up when authors stop showing up.

I believe time blocking for promoting makes the most sense. Also, I think that having helping hands conduct some of your promotion gives the author the ability to be present long enough to endorse the promotion, or comment before slipping off to return to their writing. I see this as a means of removing some of the overwhelming feelings of writing, promoting, et cetera.

You provided some great choices, along with the pros and cons which are helpful and couldn’t have come at a better time. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Donna

Reply
    Pauline Wiles May 8, 2019

    Yes, Donna, binge promoting is my least loved option here, but it’s better than nothing… And definitely, getting help where it makes sense to do so is always a relief!

    Reply
Linda Moran May 8, 2019

Some great ideas, especially the “binge” promoting. That seems to be how I do things. I’d love a copy of your book – I definitely think I’m going indie.

Reply
    Pauline Wiles May 8, 2019

    Depending on your skillset (and mindset!) going indie can be a terrific choice, Linda. I’m so happy I opted for that.

    Reply
Raiscara Avalon May 8, 2019

I have one heck of a time with this. Though I don’t have much to market just yet, I should be getting the word out about what I do have, and get readers excited for what’s coming (eventually). The funny thing is, I have time – it’s just low on the totem pole of all the things I have to do in a day.

Reply
    Pauline Wiles May 8, 2019

    Raiscara, it might make sense for you to start with some “baby steps” until you get used to doing a few small things to beginning to connect with readers. And yes, everything has to be judged against the other stuff on that totem pole!

    Reply
Justin Bienvenue May 8, 2019

Excellent article! The four tips are very reasonable and are totally doable. I enjoy how you state you don’t have to do it all if you don’t want to or can’t. I’m currently in the full on big time promotion swing of things right now for my upcoming novel so even though I have time it’s the managing it and figuring out what works for me that I’m having trouble figuring out. This would certainly help me figure things out.

Reply
Dana Lemaster May 8, 2019

Thanks, Pauline, for a helpful article. The concepts of time blocking and binge marketing both strike me as being in tune with the way most of us live now, which means they should be relatively easy to implement and stick with. Consistency is key here, and you’ve given several excellent ways to achieve it.

Thanks again,
Dana Lemaster

Reply
    Pauline Wiles May 9, 2019

    Thanks, Dana. Yes, I really do believe that small, regular steps add up more than we sometimes appreciate!

    Reply
McKenna May 9, 2019

Some great tips here–especially since blocking time doesn’t really work for me. I like having alternatives, like theme days!

I’m better at promoting than many of my friends, but I probably still don’t do enough in a structured fashion…

Reply
    Pauline Wiles May 17, 2019

    Yes, I *really* love my theme days. My brain appreciates the Scarlett O’Hara approach of knowing it doesn’t have to worry about something today, and can think about it tomorrow, instead!

    Reply
Marianne May 11, 2019

I love the idea of binge promote. I feel so overwhelmed at times, but putting aside a weekend a month seems so much more doable than a little every day for some reason…

Reply
    Pauline Wiles May 17, 2019

    I agree, Marianne. Even just once a month, we can create a lot of momentum for our books with the “binge” approach!

    Reply
Monica-Marie Vincent May 11, 2019

I need to make scheduling a habit, not only for,my book promotions….but my book writing as well. 🙂

Thank you!

Reply
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