Update your website
I don’t mean an entire overhaul but our indie author brands really do develop over the years, and what you wanted to portray at the start of your career may be very different than the direction you’ve taken.
Don’t update it so much you’re unrecognizable (unless you’re really new to this, then go for it) but consider the psychology of color, and the mood your covers invoke.
Another thing to consider is your social presence, your website and social should play off of each other and support the overall look you’re going for.
There’s also some basic housekeeping that should be done every year like removing old events and dated announcements, checking to make sure all your links work, of course adding new books and awards, and updating your author photo.
If the photo on your website isn’t professionally done consider giving yourself the gift of a professional headshot this Christmas.
Clean out that newsletter list
I can speak from experience that this is a scary thing to do, but it’s totally worth it.
My stats were all off because I had this massive newsletter list, which sounds impressive to rattle off at events, but the reality was my open rate was terrible because there were so many people on the list that really weren’t interested in what I had to say.
You’re better off catering to 100 super fans, than 1000 people who don’t care.
Most email marketing programs have ways to sort out subscribers based on their engagement with you, so bite the bullet, clean that list, and I promise you’ll be rewarded with way better stats than you’ve seen in a long time!
If you don’t have a newsletter now is the time to consider one. It’s a great way to personalize your message without competing for attention on social media.
That nasty ‘b’ word
As an indie author in charge of your own promotion your budget is critical, you need to find the balance between being smart, but not losing great opportunities.
I’ve written a lot about marketing in 2018 already so check out this post in particular to remind yourself what kinds of book marketing strategies you’re going to take on.
There are a number of things to consider and every indie author has slightly different goals, but here are a few things to get you started:
- eBook promotions
- book giveaways
- swag and prizes like gift cards
- conferences you want to attend
- memberships to writer groups and organizations
- book cover updates
- professional marketing help
- new releases!
Take a fine-toothed comb to social
Similar to your website, make sure all your bios and about pages on social are up to date.
If you haven’t spent time finding new industry people or other authors in your genre to follow, do that now. On the same token, if you haven’t followed any super fans in awhile, those that engage with you all the time, do that as well.
This is also the time to examine what social channels are really working for you. For example, if you haven’t jumped on Pinterest in over 6 months, it’s likely time to just shut it down.
I tell this to clients all the time, but having a social channel featured on your website that you don’t use just makes you look lazy and disinterested. You’re better off focusing on one that you get a good return from.
Clean out your computer
This is both psychological, and it can help your book marketing.
Clean out your email, delete things you don’t need, de-clutter your brain so you can better focus on marketing and writing in 2018.
I also suggest you clean out old folders as well, but keep an eye out for cutting room floor content that you can turn into fun behind-the-scenes or bonus pieces for social media or your newsletter.
Maybe pull out some old book covers you didn’t use and treat your fans to a “it could have been this!” post.
Update your author pages
Anywhere you have an author bio needs your attention this time of year.
Amazon and Bookbub are just two big ones, but sites like Smashwords need to be considered as well.
Updating your bio, getting creative, highlighting upcoming books in the works, are all great opportunities to draw in new buyers.
Update your books
As an indie author you have it within your power to never let a book die. Cool, right?
Maybe your cover needs a makeover and in hindsight the design really doesn’t fit your genre anymore. Change it!
You likely have a bigger library now. Go in and update the back matter to include links to all your new books.
Maybe you’re no longer working with an agent you thanked. Or you’ve gone from traditional to self-published. Make sure all those references are gone.
If you write non-fiction, your topic has most definitely evolved over the years. If you don’t have enough changes to make to warrant an entirely new book, that’s ok! Update what’s required, including the cover to note the current edition. Voila, new book with a new publication date.
Keep this in mind that no matter what genre you write in. If you update your book, you can garner a new publication date. This will give you an entirely new reason to rev up that marketing machine.
The Take Away
There are a lot of moving pieces when it comes to solid book marketing.
As an indie author, much like a small business, you will need to assess and reassess quite frequently. Keep these things in mind to perform a tune up on your book marketing.
We have many tailored book marketing programs available, to help where you need it most. I hope you have a great rest of 2017 and are able to use this time to think about how to rock 2018!