Finding the time to write your books
It is quite hard to be a one-man band when you’re bootstrapping a business as an author. You don’t have the money to be able to afford help to do the marketing of your books for you. So it is quite likely you spend a lot of time doing that of work when you would rather be writing your next book. If you are a proper writer though, then you don’t really have much choice, you just have to find the time to do what you have to do. I think that the problem with the marketing side of being a bestselling author is that there are so many suggestions of what you need to do to be successful that it is quite bewildering. You have to ask yourself how long you are going to spend testing one way of building your business compared to another. Even then, things change and what worked six months ago might not work during the next six months. So when you are starting off, what do you do?
One book is not enough
It seems to be a particularly good course of action right at the very beginning to just get those books written. It isn’t a good plan just to write one book and then spend the next six months to a year promoting the book using whatever means you can find. From what I have seen so far, it seems that the best thing to do is to write two or three books, or more. While you are writing those spend a basic amount of time building up a website with a following and in particular an email list. This is my plan for my Good and Geeky Books brand.
Give your audience some content to find
If you’re going to have a website then you need to have some content on it. So the thing to do is to spend 15 minutes to half an hour per day adding small articles to your website. Write about things which are connected to the topics of your books. Maybe when you have been doing this for about six months or more you can cut back to only once a week of making a longer blog post. Anyway, you are going to want to have some content on your website to draw people in and to start a conversation going with your projected audience. You can be letting your audience know how things are going with your writing. You may ask your website viewers if they would like to be beta readers for your upcoming books. This can be very useful if you don’t have a lot of money to pay for a professional editor.
The email list is priority one
You need to start creating your email list as soon as possible. For this you will need to set up an account with something like MailChimp to collect those email addresses. On your website I suggest that you put on something that gives you friendly pop-ups inviting people to subscribe to your email list. You could just get a form from MailChimp that you can post onto your website, but I have found that using the pop-ups, people are more likely to subscribe. You will need to write a couple of welcome to the email list messages, to send out automatically when people sign up. You might also want to encourage subscribers by giving away something that they might find useful and makes a connection to your content. This could be a useful info-graphic or it could be a short story, or maybe at the early stages you could promise that you will give them your first book for free. When you have a few names upon your list you should then schedule to send an email once a week to your subscribers. In these emails you can put in links to your website highlighting a popular post from the week. It seems to be a good idea to try and engage with your subscribers and to ask them questions. Find out from them what they would like to see in your website and your books. So this could be quite a good way of gathering in ideas for your digital content.
The priorities for the self published author one-man band
- Write your books – Launch with three or four e-books as it gives your audience other books of yours to buy after they have read one of them.
- Create a website – Give your audience something to read that is connected to your stories so that you find people that are interested in what your books are about.
- Start your email subscriber list – It is never too soon to start collecting email addresses. These are the people that will be your fans and hopefully super fans.