Posted on April 13, 2023 at 8:54 AM by Guest Author
When it comes to book marketing, one of the biggest challenges is time management for authors. Get practical tips to maximize your book marketing efforts.
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If marketing time management is something you struggle with, rest assured you’re not alone. Many indie authors say, “I just don’t have time for marketing. It’s way too labor intensive, and I need to focus on writing!”
Depending on your situation, there may be several reasons you tend to put book marketing on the back burner (besides hating it, which warrants a change in mindset).
You’re not marketing savvy and spend more time learning than implementing.
You’re in the midst of writing a new book, so you don’t have time to market old ones.
You have a full-time job on top of writing and can’t add marketing to the list.
You often waste hours trying to create the perfect graphic or social media post.
You get so overwhelmed by what you have to do that you end up doing nothing.
Finding the time to tackle marketing — and do it right — isn’t easy. But that’s one of the challenges you have to overcome when you opt to publish your book on your own. Although it gives you greater control over your work, it also means you’re solely responsible for marketing.
Here’s the good news…
Learning to manage your time wisely and make your marketing efforts count is possible. There are plenty of things you can do to start incorporating marketing into your daily tasks and get good results. And you don’t have to figure them out yourself.
We’re here to help!
Below are seven tips on marketing time management for authors. As you start to really dive in, you’ll probably gather some of your own tricks and processes. But for now, following these best practices can help you make the most of the time you spend marketing your work.
ADD IT TO YOUR SCHEDULE.
First things first — make marketing part of your daily routine by adding it to your schedule. If you do this for writing, you’re already familiar with the concept. The point is to assign a specific time (or chunk of time) to marketing.
If it’s on your schedule or to-do list, then in theory, you’re less likely to skip it. After all, no one enjoys seeing missed “appointments” or unfinished tasks at the end of the day.
The amount of time you dedicate to marketing may vary. Some experts recommend spending 50% of your time writing and 50% of your time marketing. Other authors do anywhere from 6-11 hours of marketing activities per week. And a few consultants say that 30-60 minutes per day of strategic marketing is all you need.
Decide what works best for you based on your other responsibilities. And feel free to break up your activities into chunks (e.g., 30 minutes on social media in the morning, 30 minutes on email in the afternoon).
STICK WITH A FEW CHANNELS.
Many authors have issues with marketing time management because they (falsely) believe they have to be everywhere. But the truth is you can usually get better results when you put effort into just a few channels.
If you spread yourself too thin, you won’t be giving each platform your all.
Your target audience likely doesn’t hang out on every platform.
Not every platform will be well suited to your goals.
You may not be comfortable with every platform, and it will show.
So, start by researching where your ideal reader spends their time online. Then, choose a couple of those platforms to focus on based on your experience, comfort level, and goals. In doing so, you can make the time you spend there count.
USE TOOLS TO YOUR ADVANTAGE.
Even though marketing seems like a time-consuming job (and it can be), there are countless tools available to make it easier. By using them to your advantage, you can reduce the amount of time you spend manually creating, building, sending, etc. Plus, many are free or have an affordable monthly subscription.
Here are a few examples:
Canva: This is a great option for creating eye-catching social media graphics with little to no design expertise. There are also templates for newsletters, infographics, and more. And the free version comes with a lot of features.
ChatGPT: This chatbot is one of many AI tools for authors, and it can come in handy for generating email subject lines, book blurbs, and other content. At the time of writing, ChatGPT is free, though a paid plus version has been introduced.
MailChimp: With MailChimp, you can automate your email marketing efforts and collect valuable data on things like clicks, opens, and unsubscribes. The free version even has some pre-built email templates available.
Buffer: This social media tool schedules posts, shortens links, suggests hashtags, and more. With the free version, you can connect up to three channels.
Give some of these a try and see how much time they can save you!
REPURPOSE YOUR CONTENT.
If you spend a lot of time creating content from scratch, it’s time to try a better approach. A popular tactic for marketing time management for authors is repurposing content and using it differently.
For example, you can take parts of your book and turn them into graphics, pick out lists from blogs and turn them into infographics, share blogs in newsletters, transcribe Q&A sessions and turn them into blogs, etc. The possibilities are endless. It’s all about finding creative ways to do more with what you already have.
LEVERAGE PROMOTION SERVICES.
Often, you can get great results in a brief time by leveraging promotion services. Of course, not all book promotion services will be a good fit. Additionally, you will need to make sure the one you choose fits your budget. But what they allow you to do is tap into their existing audience, so you can get more eyes on your book than you’d be able to do alone.
The promotion time varies by site, but even running a one-day giveaway can increase your book’s visibility, downloads, and rankings significantly.
Tip: With The Fussy Librarian-Freebooksy bundle, you can feature your free ebook in two newsletters and extend your reach even further!
PRIORITIZE RELATIONSHIP BUILDING.
There’s a reason so many authors, marketers, and consultants stress the importance of relationship building. It can help your marketing efforts in the long term. In fact, it can actually save you time, as those you connect with can end up doing a lot of work for you.
By developing relationships with…
…you can reach even more potential readers. For instance, interacting authentically with readers can turn them into fans who recommend your book to others. Collaborating with influencers can expose your book to those who read their blog or follow them on social media. Partnering with fellow authors can result in a mutually beneficial relationship where your readers try their books and vice versa.
In short, there’s a lot to gain from relationship building, which is why you should put effort into this area of your marketing.
FOCUS ON WHAT WORKS.
Last but not least, focus on what works.
Easier said than done, right?
But this is why it’s important to measure the results of your activities. You should consult the data from the tools and channels you use. This allows you to see what’s working and, more importantly, what’s not. When you know which of your marketing activities are paying off, you can put more effort there and trim those that haven’t yielded results (even after testing and adjusting).
In addition to making marketing time management easier by reducing the amount of work you have to do, it also helps you capitalize on the time you do spend on marketing.
As a bonus, letting go of some marketing tasks that aren’t benefiting you anyway leaves you more time for self-care.
Marketing does take a lot of time, but it’s necessary for your success as an author. After all, you’re in charge of marketing your book. So, it makes sense to do whatever you can to maximize your efforts.
Use the tips above to get the hang of marketing time management and make every minute count!
(Want to get the most of your time and marketing budget? Schedule a free-ebook promotion with The Fussy Librarian and reach 600,000+ readers!)
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