Last year was the first year in several years that Nick and I really set some book related goals for ourselves. Both of Nick’s books were published in 2012 and for the first year or two after that we were very persistent with our marketing and outreach. However, due to the different challenges and opportunities in life these actions were moved to the back seat.
Fast forward to 2018. Nick has been working on a new book for the last several years and it is close to publication. With that, we realized the importance of having an audience and a following to promote the new book to so a year ago I set out to get Nick back in the spotlight. One thing that really worked for us was creating a monthly calendar to outline different things we wanted to do each month of the year.
On the calendar we would highlight major events happening for the year including book birthdays (the anniversaries of the days Nick’s books were released) and holidays related to his books (i.e. International Sloth Day). I would also add monthly goals (i.e. how many books we would want to sell that month and how many additional “likes” on Facebook we would like to get) to the bottom of the calendar as little notes. We would try to mark off several days a month, some dedicated to Nick for his writing and some for me to work on marketing information.
These tasks helped us sell more books in 2018 than we had sold in the previous several years combined. We also increased our reviews on Amazon by 100%. Last year we connected with many people in the industry, both in person and via social media. Though these tasks seem minimal as they happen and may not provide instant fame, they are making long lasting effects on our book journey and industry relationships.
Other actions you can take to begin growing your business include:
Participate! Comment on blogs and respond to other people's questions about industry related news. Attend monthly meetups or create some of your own. Volunteer to help others in your social groups or communities with items that interest you.
Like, share, comment, follow – do whatever you need to do to support fellow creators you know on social media.
Reach out to local businesses that you can partner with to promote your work. For example, Nick partnered with a local pet store on his book Sloth Vs Turtle.
Consistently post a variety of content (but related content) on your social media accounts. Make note of different “holidays” (i.e. National Spaghetti Day) and write or draw something to share in relation to it.
Become a member of local groups related to your work (i.e. Nick was a member of the Arts Council of Greater Lansing and the Capital City Writers Association). You’ll meet some great people and make lasting connections within your community.
Attend and promote events for other creators in your area. Nick and I always try our hardest not only to attend other creator’s events but promote their events to our circle of friends as well. Win-win for everyone.
Go the extra mile! Don't just buy someone's book to support them. Take a picture of yourself with the book and post it to your social media or share it with you circle of friends in a way that you are comfortable with. Reviewing the book online is also a huge help! Asking your local library or independent bookstore to carry the book if they do not already would be amazing too.
Overall, 2018 was a great year for us and we made some really great connections. And here is to hoping for another great year of growth in 2019 for all of us!