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How to Promote Your Book (When You’re Scared Out of Your Mind)

I’ll never forget my last day of college.

Don't hide behind your computer!I was an advertising major, and our final project was to create an ginormous, cohesive campaign for Coca-Cola.

Being a total design geek, I used my skills to help our team create a project that blew away our competition. But, I never got much credit for all of that work.

Why?

Because, when it came time to present and defend the campaign to our professor, I opted instead to run the Powerpoint presentation (which I totally rocked, by the way).

Even though I was proud of my work, I couldn’t muster up the courage and confidence to promote it to others.

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The Ultimate Guide to a Killer Book Signing

I’m a little nervous.

photo by Iris DragonLike, butterflies in my tummy that sometimes feel a little more like angry pterodactyls.

Really, it’s more than nerves. It’s that unique blend of excitement, hope and a tiny twinge of sheer terror.

It’s a trademark sign that you’re about to host a book signing.

You remember when I told you about my book signing fail, right? Well, I’ve decided to get back on the proverbial horse this holiday season and have another one.

But this time, my excitement far outweighs my fears because I know I’m going to have a better experience.

Why? Because I learned from my mistakes (I know, what a concept, right?)

Seriously though, I learned so much from my traumatic *facepalm* experience, including what an idiot I was for not applying my marketing knowledge to actually plan and execute a successful event.

A successful book signing is not something you can throw together at the last minute. But it is something you can use to boost your sales and your fan base — if you know how to do it right.

So I thought I’d share what I’m doing differently this time around so you can rock your next book signing too!Continue Reading

The 5 Key Personality Traits of Successful Indie Authors

http://www.flickr.com/photos/soldiersmediacenter/3751544831/sizes/l/What does it take to be a successful indie author?

I’m not talking about things like a great cover, professional editing or a dedicated fanbase — I’m thinking more along the lines of the introspective, self-helppy (sure, that’s a word) qualities which set you up for success.

Looking at that self-helppy side of things, there’s plenty written about habits of successful people. You know, things such as being proactive, rarely complaining, focusing on solutions, creating success and never playing the blame game.

While those habits also sound like a pretty good recipe for self-publishing success, I want to tackle this subject in a different way — kind of like you would, as an author!

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Are Your Book Marketing Goals SMART?

Have you written a blog post about your personal goals/resolutions for 2012? Be sure to add it to our Self-Publishing Linkup!

The start of a year new year often means setting new goals — but how can you be sure you’ve set proper goals? Aiming too high or too low can be detrimental to the success of any goal, both in terms of you sticking to and ultimately meeting it.

Book marketing goals, in particular, can be problematic. Do I try to shoot for a certain number of sales? To add 50 new fans on Facebook? How do I know if a goal is appropriate and reachable?

The SMART system for evaluating goals gives you 5 quick and easy points with which to evaluate your goals. To make sure your 2012 book marketing goals are SMART, they must be:

Specific

Your goal must answer the following questions: Who (is involved)? What (do I want to accomplish)? Where (will the goal take place)? When (due date or period of time)? Why (benefits/reasons for accomplishing the goal)?

Measurable

You must have a way of objectively identifying progress toward your goal — be sure there’s an aspect that answers the questions “how much?” or “how many?” This can be easy for many marketing goals, as the end goal is a certain number of sales, new readers, likes on Facebook or followers on Twitter.

Attainable

Any goal you set can be attainable — but this is totally up to you. Ensure that you are completely willing to put in the time and effort to reach your goal. You MUST be realistic (see below)! If you think your goal seems out of reach, perhaps split it into two smaller goals that are more easily accomplished.

Realistic

As we said above, your goal must be something that you are WILLING and ABLE to work toward. Don’t be scared by lofty goals, however — they are often more frequently reached because the motivation (and reward) is so much greater. More work, more reward!

Timely

There’s no way around this one — you MUST have a due date/deadling for completion of your goal. Establishing a timeline allows you to not only create “baby steps” to get there (which hold you accountable) but also gives you the motivation to work harder as you see that due date approaching.

Is Your Goal SMART?

If your goal meets each of the criteria above, meaning it is (S)pecific, (M)easurable, (A)ttainable, (R)ealistic and (T)imely — congratulations! You have a S.M.A.R.T. goal!

Evaluation is Key!

No matter your goal, we always want to note that you MUST evaluate it on a regular basis (monthly usually works well). This lets you make any necessary adjustments on-the-fly while still moving forward. Don’t wait until the goal is totally lost (or, even worse, the end of the year) to take another look at it!

What Do You Think?

What book marketing goals have you set for 2012? Is the SMART system a good tool to use to evaluate goals? Share your thoughts in the comments (or, on your own blog)!

Review Your Marketing Progress & Make Resolutions to Improve!

Note: This is our last post of 2011! We’ll see you all back on the blog on January 9, 2012!

It’s not quite time to break out the champagne yet! Before you ring in the new year, take a few moments to evaluate 2011. If you’re in the writing phase of your self-publishing journey, take a good, hard look at Shannon’s Writing Review and Resolutions post from last week.

Regardless of where you are in the publishing process, however, there are always marketing actions you can take to garner a bit of publicity for yourself and earn new readers. Let’s evaluate how you did in that arena this year and begin thinking about how to accomplish even more next year!

The positives: What did you accomplish?

Even if you did nothing else this year, taking the time to sit down now and THINK about marketing is a gigantic positive. Aside from that, however, jot down anything else you did to get your name out there — tweeting, newsletters, selling books, blogging, etc. We’re all about motivation and positivity here, so pat yourself on the back for any and all positive marketing steps you took this year.

The negatives: Where did you fall short?

The best laid plans of mice and men…well, you know. Continue Reading