The holiday season brings many opportunities for authors. Families, co-workers, friends, networkers and even the Grinch shop for the perfect Gifts for book-lovers. From fiction, non fiction, Poetry, Sci-fi and sweet holiday romance for those hallmark enthusiasts who dream not only of movies but to curl up in the warmth of Christmas bliss. Their goal? To get lost in the world of the ideal relationship.
Marketers go crazy to capture the holiday magic for those on the naughty or nice list. So why shouldn’t authors…well author-preneurs participate? It’s become a common trend for non-traditional publishers to want to optimize the sweet fruits of their labor. They want to see their hard work nicely wrapped under the Christmas tree or at minimum, stuffed into Christmas stockings.
So how can authors prepare? I was chatting with a group of self published and traditionally published authors who long to boost their holiday sales. Why have the books gathering dust on Amazon’s platform or even yours? It seems the practice is to write it, publish it, and forget it, with the hopes that writing and publishing the book will attract sales. Not so. It does not work that way. Not for any type of author. The point is, after your book is published… unfortunately that’s when the hard work begins. You have to make the world know that it exists. So here are a few simple tips to help get you started. Don’t be overwhelmed. Choose one, two or a few and prepare for the most wonderful time of the year.
Create That Holiday Plan
Create a plan for the holidays. I am a firm believer in the saying if you are not planning you’re just practicing.
Evaluate where you are now and where you would like to be at the end of the holiday period. For example, you could include factors like doubling or tripling your year-to-date sales. If you are an experienced author with several books, take a loo at your past holiday sales. Project an increase in sales over past years.
Plan to up your Marketing and Promotional strategy. Sometimes just a little effort goes a long way from doing nothing at all.
Update your book covers. Make it festive (easier if you’re self-published) but whatever you do, make sure your cover looks professional.
Your Holiday Author Platform
Become more visible
Get your website holiday ready
Update your Amazon Author Central profile
Get more amazon reviews
Make your book covers more festive
Update your book description
Update your author bio. It’s a good idea to edit and review often on your amazon page. You would be surprised when you look back you seem to be looking at a stranger who essentially is a person you hardly recognize. Think of this like a resume. Update frequently.
Get a professional photo done and spread it across the different media networks
Build That Strategic Audience
Set up or expand your mailing list
Write blog posts
Create a newsletter… if that’s on your agenda
Find and connect with your audience. Engage, engage, engage them
Goals…There’s no telling what you can do when you get inspired by them. There’s no telling what you can do when you believe in them. And there’s no telling what will happen when you act upon them. —Jim Rohn
Over the past few months we had lots of birthdays at the office. So we could all enjoy, I bought candies! More specifically M&M’s with all the nuts and stuff. Yum! Staff was thrilled. Another liked to chew on pens when thinking. Don’t we all know someone like that? Anyway, I bought a pack of pencils in her favorite style and gave to her as a precursor appetizer to a group lunch. She found it hilarious!
Then as she was about to consume the M&Ms, she cried out omgeeee it has nuts! I’m allergic to nuts! The pencils were a trip but then she exclaimed ‘ you want me to die? I don’t chew on pencils. It has lead!
So though I meant well, those gifts were harmful. I replied that I love you guys so much I am killing you softly with my love.
Aren’t We Like That With Our Goals?
Often we are like that with our goals. We mean well but the activities we engage in softly jeopardizes our progress …or in some cases, kills it softly. Lets today take the time to look closely. Lets examine our efforts and make sure they are headed in the right direction. Only then will we achieve. Need help? Lets connect.
The daily grind. Don’t you just hate it? Day after day you get up, do the same thing over and over, and over again. Alive but never really living. You dream of lazy days; or those days when you’ll be able to do just what you want to do. Be careful what you wish for though, because that too can become….. exciting? a thrill? mundane?
But if your dreams, hopes and aspirations is to break the montony… then Go for it!! Here are 9 Things to do:
Inspired To Change
1. Learn a new language.
2. Learn to play a musical instrument.
3. Travel for fun (not business).
4. Write a book.
5. Reflect on your spirituality.
6. Mentor youths (helps you stay young).
7. Become a trader (for fun). Helps keep your eye on your financial viability.
8. Get involved in your community.
9. Expand your mind, earn a PhD
Did any of these spark your interest? Can you add any? Do share. We would love to hear!
If we stay where we are, where we’re stuck, where we’re comfortable and safe, we die there. We become like mushrooms, living in the dark, with poop up to our chins. If you want to know only what you already know, you’re dying. You’re saying: Leave me alone; I don’t mind this little rathole. It’s warm and dry. Really, it’s fine. When nothing new can get in, that’s death. When oxygen can’t find a way in, you die. But new is scary, and new can be disappointing, and confusing – we had this all figured out, and now we don’t. New is life.” ~ Anne Lamott
You can’t think yourself out of a writing block; you have to write yourself out of a thinking block. ~John Rogers
Writers block is a common phenomenon among writers. It’s the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing. The question was asked and the list was compiled from advice gleaned from a Book Writers’ forum. The ideas are simple and delightfully thought-provoking. Here I share 21 of the more exhilarating.
Embrace it as gestation
Listen to music
Take a break or work on something else
Go back to what inspired you first
Change your scenery.
Go for a walk
Write something personal
Read. Get motivated. Then go back
Put the pen and paper down.
Leave it alone and the ideas will come home
Ask questions of your stories
Try writing something different
Take a shower. Let the water flow and the ideas will come
Free write. Write about your day. Just write
Ask another writer what they are working on. The change of focus will inspire you
People who succeed as writers write
Take a writing course
Be in a group
Write about writer’s block. Something will inspire
Watch a movie
Get physical. Go to the gym. Break a sweat
Did any of the above resonate? Can you add any? Do share! We would love to hear!
Rushing to a place where you don’t want to be. Why? Why do you do that? Why do you spend your life rushing around? Rushing to work? Rushing home to a place where you do not want to be. Rushing to water a failing relationship with family, friends or foe? Rushing to do what others want you to do?
Then after all the rush…when you finally arrive at your destination, you are miserable. Life seems hard. Unfair. So many questions. Why do you do it? Is it because you can’t do any better?
The Answer Is In The Why
You rush to the job because you need to pay the rent-to have shelter. A place to rest. A place where you want to feel the solace of those who care. You need food. Independence. You need to feel worthy. To avoid the shame. To avoid the dread of what others may think.
Forget them. Take the steps needed to do you. To go after that dream. Make a plan. Work that plan. Keep it at the forefront of your mind. And when the going gets rough…work it even harder. You will get there… someway, somehow.
Years ago I managed the process that led to GlaxoSmithKline capturing the coveted Employer of Choice Award. It was indeed a great place to work. Since then I have always been encouraged by other companies who achieve the same feat and become the envy of many who long for a great place to work…somewhere you can’t wait to jump out of bed in the mornings to get to.
Life changes. Careers that once were exciting later becomes a strain or even boring. Sometimes the organization changes or a beloved supervisor leaves and the environment becomes unbearable. Other times you may simply want more…or less as with managers who no longer wish to lead. Newly weds may want to start a family and just want to do enough to get by.
Well if you haven’t looked at your resume for a while you’ve got some work to do to capture your the journey your career has been on to start your search. Don’t rush it. Take your time to get it done. You may not get it perfect immediately, but in time you will.
A new writer shared her Instagram name. It was nowhere close to her real names . I beckoned to her… smile in tow…”you do make it hard, don’t you? In haste she retorted “it’s so my employer can’t find me”.
Our Lives In Compartments
How many of us are like that? We live our lives in compartments trying to separate our true selves from what those around us see publicly.
To Hide To Be
It’s a hard choice but sometimes you have to hide in order “to be“. I pray one day that you will be able to just be. To reveal your true identity and just be the you that you want to be.
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
― Maya Angelou
A public writers forum asked the question “what is the single biggest challenge you as a writer face?” Here I share responses as writers chimed in:
Not enough erasers
Find an agent
A full-time job that isn’t
Learning all the required skills – writing, editing, cover art, publishing, marketing, salesmanship, accounting …
Identifying my audience
Getting books sold
Butt in chair
Marketing costs. Dispite what some may say, it is expensive to self-publish. Editor, copy editor, cover design, copyright, ISBN numbers, authors copies, advertising, website, domain name, contests, give-aways, and on and on it goes
The list goes on. Are you a new or published author? Is anything missing? Do share. We would love to hear.
Little 7 year old Xavier quietly whispered that he captures his dreams in the morning in a journal. Often I encourage individuals to keep a journal to capture thoughts on their dreams and goals. This will help them to work on them to achieve.
Unknown to me he has been listening and took it literally by writing his ‘dreams’ every morning.