by Sherrie Wilkolaski

As an author, you MUST take control of marketing your book, your brand and your platform. With the New Year upon us, what better time to make a change for the better.  Whether you’re a first time author or a seasoned professional writer, it’s always a good idea to get focused on your marketing. Keep it simple, steady and you’ll be bound for success!

Top 10 New Year’s Marketing Tips for Authors:

1. Take control of your personal Amazon page.
As an author you have the ability to manage your own Amazon author page. Personalize it with your author photo, add your Twitter feed, add book reviews and sync with your blog. This will help improve your search on Amazon. Don’t forget to use the “Search Inside the Book Feature” if you’re not already. Make the most of it!

2. Create your book marketing plan and stick to it!
Every book needs a marketing road map to be successful. You don’t need anything fancy, just getting something down on paper to help keep you on track. Break down your marketing goals by month, then week. Include book signing events and your blogging schedule. Plan out your blog topics and create your own editorial calendar. Create a monthly marketing budget for things like ordering books to send to reviewers, book fairs, and online marketing campaigns. If you’re not sure how to create a book marketing plan, invest in a professional publishing consultant who can design one for you. It will be worth the money and you’ll save in the long-run!

(Tip:  I’ve already outlined a 12 Month Book Marketing plan for you.)

3. Set realistic book sales goals and make it happen.
“I want to sell 1 Million copies of my book!” Every author would love to be a best seller. Setting unrealistic expectations will just set you up for disappointment. This year, get real and set sales goals that you CAN achieve. If you could sell 1,000 copies of your book this year, would that make you happy? Look at how many you sold last year. What marketing was done and what could you do better this year to improve your success?

Let’s say selling 1,000 books this year is your goal, don’t let that number overwhelm you.

Break it down:

1,000 books ÷ 12 months = 83 books a month
83 books a month ÷ 30 days = 2.76 books a day (3 books a day)
That is not so overwhelming, 3 books a day!

Author, Randy Kearse has what it takes and does it one book at a time, read his success story (after you read the rest of this blog post of course.)  Let this author’s story inspire you, he doesn’t stop each day until he meets his daily book sales quota. It does work!

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4. Connect with other authors to discuss your craft.
Surround yourself with performers and you too will succeed! Get out there and connect with other writers, specifically in your genre. They are not your competition, your allies. If you like romance novels, you don’t stop after you’ve read just one, you are a serial reader. Cross promote with another writers and do the same for them. You’ll find out what is going on in your niche and it will help improve your marketing, sales and writing!

5. Find the social media tool that works for you.
Online is where it’s at. If you’re not into “tweeting” or don’t know what a backlink is, this is the year you need to get on the social media train. Find an online medium you feel comfortable with. Take it one step (or site at a time). A great way to get started is by looking for blogs that you can start posting on, just hop in and join the conversation. From there you may decide to start your own blog, hop on Facebook and make some new friends. Use social media to reach potential readers or connect you with other writers. If you’re just not into it, hire a book marketing expert to help get you on track.

6. Find a NEW marketing channel to promote your book.
Don’t let your book sales be supported by your ISBN alone. Think outside the box this year. Find a new avenue to market your book. Go to your potential readers. Don’t wait for them to find you. Find other books like yours and see where other authors are selling, speaking and participate. This exercise could be the most valuable of them all, you may be surprised how creative you can be and who knows what could happen to your sales!

7. Plan one book event early in the year to inspire you!
Getting out and talking about your book, whether at a book signing, as a guest speaker or among friends at a dinner party is always a great reminder of why you write. It will establish you as an author, give you the confidence you need to stick with all the items on this list and who knows what other doors it may open!

8. Become a guest blogger.
If you’re already doing your own blog, you know the dedication that is required to keep it alive. Help a fellow blogger out and volunteer to do a guest blog! Whether you have your own blog or not, use this great cross-promotional tool to increase your online exposure. Don’t forget to include your bio and photo.  Author’s Boutique is looking for guest bloggers.

9. Write more!
In addition to blogging and posting on Facebook, set a goal for yourself to find places where you can post your work. Do you have a favorite newsletter? Email the editor and see if you can submit an article. Contact your local paper to see if you they’ll give you a guest column.  There are so many online publications that are looking for good content, you’re bound to pick up a writing gig, which will give you more exposure while helping you to continue building your craft.

10. Use your book as your calling card.
A book is a vehicle to establish you as author and an expert. As a published author (yes, even self-published) your book offers the potential for so many opportunities, both personally and professionally. People are always impressed when they find out you’re published! Work it!

Happy New Year!

~Sherrie

Sherrie Wilkolaski is a public relations and book marketing expert for independent authors and traditional publishers. Her unique balance of real-world experience as a best-selling author and her insider knowledge into the mechanics of the publishing process has allowed her to help thousands of authors successfully translate their creations into published works of art. A former Director of Publishing Services at Lulu and Director of radio show, “The Publishing Insiders.” Currently, she is a columnist for Press Pass and a variety of other publishing sites. She is a consultant and publishing services broker for a variety of small to mid-sized publishers, including Infinity Publishing. In December 2011, she launched a traditional publishing house, with modern-day twist, Pressque Publishing with partner Ellie Maas Davis. She is the author of best-selling book, “How to Start a Wedding Planning Business” and the “Cookies and Cocktails” series.  She has several books coming out in the new year and will also be launching her radio program, PubSmart.  IFWTWA board member and treasurer.  www.authorpublishingservices.com