So many of my posts focus on specific tools or micro details that you can use in your book marketing efforts, but for this post I’d like to step back and talk about a mindset that will increase your ratio of success and help you not feel so overwhelmed. (A win-win, yes?)
John Maxwell, the great leadership guru, has taught for years about his “Rule of 5” daily practice. The Rule of 5 is simply a series of activities that you do EVERY DAY that are fundamental to your success. For John, his Rule of 5 are as follows: every day he reads, every day he files, every day he thinks, every day he asks questions, and every day he writes.
Picture a forest of trees in your backyard – massive pecans and oaks. If you choose one tree to strike at with five swings of an ax every day, eventually you’ll cut down that tree. If you take five swings at five random trees each day, what will you end up with? An ugly forest full of scarred trees.
I love this concept for so many reasons, but mostly because it makes succeeding at huge tasks manageable, and helps build productive habits. When you write a book, you most likely use the Rule of 5 concept to make it to The End. Breaking those 75,000 words into a daily count makes the long haul less daunting, right?
This same concept applies so well when growing your email list, or even getting approved for a Bookbub Featured Deal. It’s all about being Intentional and Consistent (in that order).
So what are my Rule of 5 for book marketing? What are the 5 things I do every day that help grow my readership? As I put together my writing and marketing plan for 2017, I decided to write out my personal Rule of 5 for book marketing this year.
- Work on my WIP. Whether I’m in the plotting/planning stage, writing the first draft, or editing, I always touch the book I’m currently writing, because that’s what I must do to make forward progress with it. I always have goals for how much progress I should make daily, so it’s great if I meet that goal. But even if I don’t meet the goal, I need to do something. Because producing regular content is critical to keeping (and growing) a happy fan base.
- Answer emails. For me, I need to set aside time for this so I can give my responses the focus the recipient deserves. It’s just the way my brain works. 🙂 So to give this task the priority it needs, I’ve made this one of my 5.
- Think about my email list. Do I have specific list-building tools in process that need attention (like FB Lead Gen ads)? Or do I need to schedule some? Maybe my auto-responder needs to be updated.
- Prepare for my upcoming book release. When I’m in typical book production mode, I try to always have a book available for pre-order with a firm release date. At the beginning of a pre-order, I create a plan to market the book, although the plan is very flexible! I implement the marketing plan as I go, and it’s best done in small, daily pieces. So for today, maybe I need to schedule a blog tour, or maybe I need to schedule free days for the previous book in the series, or maybe I need to write an email to my list. The possibilities are endless, but I should already have a list of my planned actions for the book release, and every day I need to accomplish a small something from that list.
- Think about Paid Advertising. Separate from a new release, do I need to submit for a Bookbub or ENT ad for a backlist book? I put reminders in my calendar for when each book is likely due for one of these larger ads, but it’s not completely auto-pilot. I still need to tweak submission timing by number of reviews on a particular book or my release plan for other books.
So there you have it, my Rule of 5 for book marketing this year.
And how about you? What are some of the things you do intentionally each day to keep yourself on track? Maybe it’s not specifically for book marketing, but part of your Rule of 5 for all writing-related activities. Please share!