Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly celebration created by VikLit and now hosted by Lexa Cain to celebrate the happenings of the week, however small or large. You can learn all about it and sign up for it here.
Today I’m celebrating getting my van fixed, though I’m definitely not celebrating the large hole it made in my finances. I’m also looking forward to VT Comic Con coming up this weekend! Can’t wait to see the cosplay and all the exhibits! Last year, we had a lot of fun and sold some books. Hopefully, we can repeat that this year.
And now I’d like to welcome the fabulous children’s author, Stephanie Faris! She’s celebrating the release of her Piper Morgan books, and she’s here to share some tips on how to balance writing and the dreaded marketing. Don’t miss the Giveaway at the end!
Take it away, Stephanie!
Writing While Marketing Your Books: Finding the Right Balance
by Stephanie Faris
For authors, writing a book is only the beginning. We go through multiple rounds of revisions before our books see the light of day. In the weeks before and after release day, life is chaotic as we do everything we can to get the word out about our books. Children’s authors do school visits in addition to social media marketing, mailings, and bookstore schmoozing most authors do. It can easily become a full-time job, even if you already have a “day job” that takes up 40 hours of your week.
At the same time, though, most book marketing experts will tell you that the best marketing you can do is to write another great book. When a reader discovers one of your books, she’s more likely to look for other things you’ve written. But how can you find time to write when you have a book to promote? Here are a few tips to help you with the juggling act.
Set a Schedule
One option is to set time aside every day to work solely on writing or marketing. You may find that you do your best writing first thing in the morning. If so, set your alarm clock to wake you an hour before everyone gets up and find a quiet place to write. Dedicate 30 minutes to an hour each day to working solely on your marketing efforts, as well.
Use the Pomodoro Technique
Many professionals now use the “sprint” method to ignite productivity. With the Pomodoro Technique, you work for a set period of time (generally 25 minutes), then take a short break before working for another interval. Don’t allow yourself to do anything but the designated task for those 25 minutes. You’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish in a given day.
Write AND Market
At some point in your career, you’re going to find yourself sitting awkwardly at a table alone in the middle of a bookstore. Customers will walk by, smile at you, then ask where the restroom is. If you’re lucky, they’ll stop and ask you some questions about your book. This interesting article from author Peter Damien says when you stare at passersby, they see you as the equivalent of the DirecTV salesperson at Sam’s Club. He has found that people are much more likely to approach if you look moderately busy. So take a pen and paper and write longhand. Or catch up on your reading.
Learn to Say No
This is one of the hardest things for all of us, but my freelance-writing friends are always pointing out that, “’No’ is a complete sentence.” As your schedule gets busier, become more selective in how you spend your time, turning down things that won’t sell a minimum of ten books (unless you simply want to do them for fun).
No plan is perfect, but hopefully these tips will help you find a little more balance in your writing/marketing life. If you have any tips for being more productive, I’d love to read about them in the comments!
By Stephanie Faris
When Piper Morgan has to move to a new town, she is sad to leave behind her friends, but excited for a new adventure. She is determined to have fun, be brave and find new friends.
In Piper Morgan Joins the Circus, Piper learns her mom’s new job will be with the Big Top Circus. She can’t wait to learn all about life under the big top, see all the cool animals, and meet the Little Explorers, the other kids who travel with the show. She’s even more excited to learn that she gets to be a part of the Little Explorers and help them end each show with a routine to get the audience on their feet and dancing along!
In Piper Morgan in Charge, Piper’s mom takes a job in the local elementary school principal’s office. Piper is excited for a new school and new friends—and is thrilled when she is made an “office helper.” But there is one girl who seems determined to prove she is a better helper—and she just so happens to be the principal’s daughter. Can Piper figure out how to handle being the new girl in town once more?
Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go outside and play with the other kids. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science in broadcast journalism, she somehow found herself working in information technology. But she never stopped writing.
Stephanie is the Simon & Schuster author of 30 Days of No Gossip and 25 Roses. When she isn’t crafting fiction, she writes for a variety of online websites on the topics of business, technology, and her favorite subject of all—fashion. She lives in Nashville with her husband, a sales executive.
What other celebrations are going on out there? Any tips to add? Don’t forget to enter the Giveaway!
© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2016. All rights reserved.