"Ugh! Terry, I am just too busy to do anything to help market my book. There is just too much to do. How can I possibly do it all?"
First of all, I think they were overlooking the fact that they are not in this alone. As their marketing representative, I'm here to help authors create sales and promotional opportunities for their book. But, I get their point. Marketing and promoting a book IS a lot of work, and authors MUST be involved in the marketing and promoting of their book.
This was my response:
"You don't have to do everything all at once. Just do it in baby steps. Pick one thing to do each day to help spread the word about your book. It could be anything. Write a blog post. Post a message on your Twitter or Facebook profile. Call a bookstore and see if you can do a signing. Just do one thing each day. By the end of a year, you will have done 365 things to help market your book."
That's a lot of marketing and promoting, and the cumulative effects of those tasks do add up, in a positive way.
When an author's book is first released, they are excited. They should be. They authored a book! But, all too often, they feel like everything has to happen NOW. Unfortunately, publishing isn't an immediate-results type of business. Just like it takes time to build traffic to a new web site, or bring customers into a new business, it takes time to develop a loyal readership. It doesn't happen from the simple act of a book being released. That's just the first step.
So, market and promote your book in baby steps, but remember: there is no expiration date for your book. Many of these "baby step" activities can be done in just a few minutes. Everybody can find 10-15 minutes in their day.
A sample marketing schedule could look something like this (assuming you're only going to work on your marketing Monday-Friday and do book signing events on Saturdays):
Monday - Call a bookstore and schedule an event.
Tuesday - Update your Facebook and Twitter pages.
Wednesday - Send out press releases and invitations for your upcoming events (at least a week before the event)
Thursday - Identify at least one new niche marketing venue for your book and try to schedule an event there (not a bookstore). These could be speaking engagements, book fairs and festivals, trade shows, etc.
Friday - Send an email to at least five new bloggers, book reviewers or publications introducing yourself and telling them about your book. Spread the word!
This isn't a carved-in-stone schedule, of course. It's just a sample of what can be accomplished over the course of a week in just a few minutes a day. Over time, these efforts add up and begin to pay off. Try it. You may be pleasantly surprised by the results!
How much time do you dedicate to marketing and promoting yourself and your book each week?