How Much Time Should You Spend Marketing Your Books?
Writers often face this familiar conundrum: How much time should I spend marketing my books? There are no hard and fast rules that you can follow to market your books. The much-sought after book coach and an independent publishing expert Kristen Eckstein recommends spending 50/50 time, which is 50% of your time on writing and 50% on marketing existing or soon-to-be published books. This means you need to block some time as your “book” time and the rest for marketing in your weekly calendar. Many writers may be so passionate about writing that they want to spend more of their time writing instead of marketing. When you do that, you will obviously be disappointed by the lack of sales.
All this may make one believe that success is a matter of luck and beyond one’s control. For first-time authors, it is crucial to get good reviews in online sites, like Amazon for instance or Goodreads. If your books do not get good reviews, then there are chances of nobody reading your books. That is why you should promote your books. How do you promote? You need to go out into the world, meet friends, colleagues, relatives, reviewers etc. You can talk to them or leverage the power of social media like Facebook or Twitter. Befriend your readers through social networks. Join a discussion forum or become a valuable contributor on social sites. This is a self-promotion strategy that you can use.
If you are not confident to promote, then you should consider outsourcing your promotional activities. This solution works if you have sufficient savings to fall back on. This is not a suitable solution if you still need to work to earn an income. Another thing authors can do is to continue writing and getting more books put up for sale. When you have multiple books in your kitty, then sales are likely to increase as readers who like one of your books may go on to buy more books.
It is also important to have a realistic goal in mind regarding your books. Based on your goal, divide your time appropriately. If you end up spending all your time marketing, then you may have no time to write. Similarly if you keep writing, you will not be promoting any of your books. The upshot is you need to strike a balance between writing and marketing. It is hard for people to buy your books when they are not aware that they exist!
Make a point to spend some time every day to build brand awareness and subsequently your sales will boost over time. Spending just ten minutes a day is worth it. Gradually you will find yourself surpassing your own limit. If you can devote more time, the better will be the outcome. This way, you are allowing yourself to write and promote. This makes you feel more fulfilled and eventually your confidence will boost. In a nutshell, there is no fixed time that needs to be allotted to market your books!
Editor’s Note: This article was first published on e-Books India (the former name of Writing Tips Oasis) in January 2015.