Hey, y’all! Today’s post is all about the tricks and tips I’ve found to make writing and marketing a bit easier for myself. Even with all the passion in the world, there are only so many hours in the day, you know?
Writing books, as much fun as it is, still presents challenges. Especially when the need to research comes into play. Here are some of my favorite tricks for making sure I’ve done everything in my power to get the setting, or other details, right.
- Choose a real state, but make up a fictional city or town. This will allow you to draw in readers who enjoy stories about certain locations while giving you freedom to create the town the way you see fit.
- Google Earth. I’ve talked about this fantastic tool before, but to me, it bears repeating. Google Earth allows you to walk locations you might not be able to visit otherwise. You can also get an idea for what a real town, where your fictional one is supposed to be, looks like so it matches the area.
- Writing sprints. If the story just isn’t coming out easily, try a writing sprint. Set a timer for the length of time you prefer (I like 15-20 minutes), and block out everything for that time. Write whatever comes to you for the scene. You may need to polish it later, but you can’t polish what isn’t on the page.
- Set a word goal for the day. In this way, you have something to work toward. It’s also encouraging to see the total word count tick toward your goal which can help you keep going.
- If there’s a technical topic you need to research, use websites ending in .gov or .org. The information posted there is more likely to be accurate.
One aspect I certainly didn’t think about when I dreamed about being an author is that for each book you write and put out into the world, you also need to market it! More books=more marketing. If you’re under contract with a publisher, marketing may even be a stipulation of your agreement with them; meaning that by not marketing, you’re in violation of your contract. If you’re self-published, then when you don’t market, you’re robbing yourself of sales and readers of the chance to find out about your book. Somehow, my brain didn’t think this far ahead which left me overwhelmed, until I put a system in place. Add in the most effective place to market is on Facebook (and I’m not talking paid ads) with the majority of my publisher’s sales coming from their users, one of the most difficult sites to work with, and I was ready to pull my hair out. Here are a few of the key elements I’ve put into place which allows me to market 12 books each day, on my own.
- Facebook has many groups made specifically for marketing books. Search keywords like “book pimping,” “kindle unlimited,” “paperback readers,” and so on depending on the readers you want to find. Once you’ve joined those groups, keep their links in one place on a document so you can be organized and quickly pull up the groups you want to market to for that day. *Note* Most groups also list any rules they have about how many times to post a day. Make sure to make a note of this beside the links. Keeping them in a file also allows you to use the search function to make sure you don’t have duplicates.
- Keep another document with your marketing posts. A marketing post should include the book’s title, name of the author, links for ebook and or paperback (a combined link also works), and the book’s blurb. If you keep all your posts in one document, you won’t have to search for them.
- Keep all your marketing images for each book in separate files on your computer or a flash drive. This will allow you to move quicker too. No searching, and the computer will automatically pull up the last file you accessed when you go to post a picture on Facebook.
- When you’re ready to market, pull up all the links you want to hit at once. I usually hit 30 groups per book. A lot of groups allow you to post at least 2 books at a time. I copy the book post I want to work with first and click the first link, add my photo to a post, paste the marketing text, and I can hit post and be off to the next group in a matter of seconds. I do this with the first 15 groups, switch to the next book, hit the second 15, switch back to book 1 to post it in the second set of groups, and then go back to the first set of groups to hit them with the second book. I keep working in this way using pairs of books and 30 groups at a time until I’ve gotten all of my books marketed for the day. What used to take me all day takes a couple of hours.
I hope these tips will make your writing life a little easier.