“We can either make a habit, or some habit will form and start making us,”—Ken Hughes
The other day someone on Facebook asked, “if you had to pick a song to be the theme song of your life, which would you choose?”
Several people commented that there were too many to choose, but I knew right away after reading it which song I’d pick. I already call this song the theme song for my life.
The song, Make Yourself, by Incubus, has been the theme song of my life for more than a decade now. Because the lyrics fit exactly what I believe about life—that you have to create who you want to be and what you want your life to be like.
Some of the lyrics…
“If I hadn’t made me
I would have been made somehow
If I hadn’t assembled myself
I’d have fallen apart by now
If I hadn’t made me
I’d be more inclined to bow
Powers that would be have swallowed me up
But that’s more than I can allow
If you let them make you
They’ll make you papier-mâché
At a distance you’re strong
Until the wind comes
Then you crumble and blow away…”
I consciously took the wheel of my life when I left for college at age 17 and went off on my own. But over the last few years as I’ve worked a lot more on my mindset, I’ve been consciously creating myself in a whole new way.
Which started with a total revamp of my habits (multiple times over).
The things we do every day are the things that are making our lives. The things we get used to; the things we do by default, those are the things we are living for.
Which means you’re either living for your writing dream and for doing the writing that will get you there… or you’re living for Resistance or procrastination or numbing out with food and TV or whatever else you’re doing in place of doing your writing.
The choice is always yours. You get to decide, every single day, what will make you.
Whatever habits you currently have—aka: the things you do daily—that’s what you’re giving your life for.
So the thing that needs to be looked at here is—what’s your default?
Because unless you’ve been intentional about your life and have created the things you want and the habits that will support you in getting it, you’re operating and living by default with whatever default programming you picked up throughout your life so far.
Really think about this one and don’t be afraid to take an honest look at the things you’re doing every day. It may even help to keep track of everything you do every day for a week and then look back at what you’re giving your life for.
If it does’t look how you want, it’s time to consider a habits overhaul.
To do this, just pick ONE habit… one thing that if you did it every day (or stopped doing it every day) a year from now would totally transform your life. And then start doing (or not doing) that habit every day.
Be consistent. Stick with it.
What you’ll find by changing one habit is not only will your life start to change, but you’ll want to add in more new habits (or continue removing old ones you no longer want).
But the best thing to do is to pick one to start with. You don’t want to try and change everything all at once or go cold-turkey on everything because that’s just setting yourself up for a setback.
Pick one thing. Choose something massively important that would actually transform your life. Do that one thing every day.
And can I make a recommendation? Choose the one thing that will totally change your writing life first (‘cause you know you want to!).
A couple months ago I tried to change EVERYTHING all at once. I started new daily writing habits, I changed my diet completely, I started new exercise habits…AHHH!!!
It was all too much too fast. My body went haywire and it took me almost 3 weeks to get back to feeling normal again.
So I decided to take a step back and just do one thing. I picked building a daily habit of doing my writing (blog post and work on my fiction) every morning first thing before I do anything else.
And I’ve kept it up. I’ve been on track for almost 2 months now with doing a daily blog post and working on my fiction. I give myself a break on the weekends, meaning I still make a point to write something, but I don’t force myself into it has to be a blog post or I have to work on my novel.
Usually that’s what I end up working on anyhow, but I give myself the freedom to write or work on whatever I want on the weekends, as long as I write something.
I’m starting to feel pretty stable with my daily mindset practice habit, as well as my daily writing habit. So I’m to add in some food-related habits, a little at a time.
Creating yourself exactly as you dream of being is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight.
The important part is that you make the decision that you will consciously create yourself and who you want to be, and not continue to live your life based on default programming that may or may not actually align with who you want to be.
Write with a purpose, live with intention,
P.S. Writing Life Rehab is happening later this month!! This workshop will kick your ass and get you out of default mode and into creating your writing life exactly as you want it to be. Best of all, if you’re a member of the Bestselling Author Mastermind, you get the Writing Life Rehab workshop for FREE! Doors to BAM open to new members next week. Get on the waitlist so you’re the first to know when the doors open.
There was a point in my writing life where I made way more excuses than I did put words on the page. Back then, I used to say, “I don’t have time” on a regular basis. I was working a full-time day job and trying to run a blog and write books and maintain a personal life.
It was a lot to fit in.
So I’d constantly find myself saying, “I don’t have time” or “there’s not enough time in the day” or [insert whatever other time excuse you can make]. But then one day a thought hit me…
What if “I don’t have time” and “there’s not enough time in the day” are just limiting beliefs that have been programmed into me… and I can choose to create new beliefs around time?
So I started writing in my journal every day: I am productive as fuck today. I bend the fuck out of time today.
I’ve now instilled beliefs in myself that there’s always plenty of time for everything I need to do, and I can bend time at will. And funnily enough this has become true for me.
My productivity is at an all-time high right now, and it gets better and better every day.
I can now intend that I will bend the fuck out of time for the next 30 minutes or whatever, and somehow I always manage to get everything I need to done in that time.
Because time is an illusion. Einstein proved it. So that means you get to decide how time feels for you.
You know when you go to work on a slow day and time seems to drag on? Eight hours feels like 20 and when you finally get to leave at the end of the day you’re spent. But then when you go on vacation to your favorite beach resort, the week flies by faster than you can blink.
That’s a perfect example of time feeling different based on the situation. But you can change the way time feels at any point during that work day or that vacation.
You can choose to live in the moment on your vacation and savor every little second of the day and fit in as much living as possible. Suddenly it feels like enough. You can choose to take advantage of your work time and work on something you’ve been wanting to work on, but didn’t have time for, and suddenly your day flies by.
You can make it feel like you have time abundance.
And here’s the other thing about time abundance: it will always feel like you don’t have enough when you’re not doing what matters every day.
When I look back at the years of my life where I felt like I didn’t have enough time in my day, it was the years when I wasn’t doing what actually mattered each day. I was putting the things that mattered off to do all these other things—a lot of which I didn’t really want to do.
But as soon as I started doing what matters every single day and doing it first, before I do anything else, suddenly I had all the time in the world. Suddenly by dedicating 1-2 hours of my morning to what matters, my entire day opened up.
And because what I really wanted to be doing—journaling, writing, creating—was finished early in my day, my mind was free for the rest of the day.
When I wasn’t doing what matters, I’d find myself thinking about my writing or my stories all day long. But when I sit down and do my writing and work on my fiction first thing in the morning and get it done, then I’m not thinking about it all day long, which gives me free mental space for other things that need to get done.
Sure, my story may stay on my mind as I go through my day, but I’m not feeling resentful that I’m having to be doing other things, because I’ve already done what matters.
Time abundance comes from doing what matters, doing it daily, and doing it first things first.
Here’s what to do next…
1. Figure out what old, limiting beliefs you have about time (there’s not enough, etc), and then flip them into new beliefs that will allow you to feel differently about time (There’s plenty of time for everything that matters” etc).
2. Start doing what matters, every day, first things first. It will change your life, I promise you.
Write with a purpose, live with intention,
P.S. I get it now. I saw this light around doing what matters a year ago around this same time, but somehow managed to forget and get lost again. But thankfully it came back to me, and this time around I’m holding on to it and creating the discipline and habits that I need to have to turn it into a daily thing.
I’m now fully, 150% committed to doing what matters, every day, before I do anything else. I can’t wait to see where I’ll be a year from now!!
Want to join me in doing what matters, every day and doing it first? Stay tuned! Doors to the Bestselling Author Mastermind are opening soon!! And since it’s the one-year anniversary of the group, I’m doing some MAJOR celebration bonuses, including a workshop that will kick your ass into finally making your writing a priority.
BAM is a high-level community and mentorship for writers who want to create the habits, mindset, consistency and follow-through of a bestselling author. You get insanely awesome tools and resources every month to help with whatever stage you’re at in your writing journey, plus we do 3x weekly work sessions where we meet up virtually and work on our writing projects together.
There will be a bonus for anyone who signs up that was on the waitlist, so get on the waitlist here: www.jenniferblanchard.net/
As I sit here writing this, there are dishes in the sink and on the counter; there’s a pile of towels and pajamas on the big-red chair in my living room, which my dog, Weiland, has now made his little nest for the day; while we’re at it, my living room could definitely use a vacuuming; and don’t even get me started about the laundry baskets and clothes rack in my bedroom with last week’s laundry still hanging-dry on it.
But this blog post is getting written.
And when I’m done writing this blog post, I’ll work on my novel revisions. Then I’ll work on my sections in the eBook I’m coauthoring with a friend.
The dishes and laundry and vacuuming will still be there. But my writing will be done. And I will have made progress on my goals and my writing dreams.
This is the way of the writing warrior—the writer and author who refuses to let anything get in the way or stop them from getting their words and stories out into the world.
There will always be life chaos. Wait, let me repeat that one… on stereo… THERE WILL ALWAYS BE LIFE CHAOS!!
It never goes away. If you do the dishes, there will be more soon after. If you put the laundry away, more will take its place on the drying rack.
You can always find something that needs cleaning or organizing or repairing or whatever. It’s a never-ending cycle.
But if your writing—your soul work—isn’t getting done at the expense of the cleaning, organizing, repairing, etc., it’s time to make some changes.
You’ve been waiting your whole life to be the writer and author you dream of being. How much longer are you willing to wait for? How much longer are you going to put your dream on hold for bullshit excuses and housework (or whatever you’re doing that stops you from writing)?
I used to think all that stuff mattered. That I had to have a perfectly clean house and everything had to be put away and neat and organized before I could spend time doing what I really wanted to do.
And some days I’d procrastinate and resist my writing so much that I actually made the housework more important, even though deep down I knew it really wasn’t.
Do you know what happened?
I had a neat, clean, organized space to live in, but was dying on the inside from not letting the writing out.
It wasn’t until a couple of years ago when I finally allowed myself to do the writing—the stuff that really mattered—before I did the housework. It was magical, because after I finished writing and finished doing what really mattered to me, not only did the other stuff get done, but I didn’t resent it anymore.
The laundry, the dishes, it all gets done eventually. (You can even hire someone to do it for you, amazing, right?) And now so does my writing.
I’ve learned to embrace the chaos. I’ve finally accepted that I’ll never get it all done and I’ll never really keep on top of everything in my life. But so long as I’m keeping on top of and doing the things that really matter to me—my writing, creating and teaching—then everything else will work itself out.
How can you embrace the chaos in your life and get your writing done anyhow?
Write with a purpose, live with intention!
P.S. Could your writing life use a pick-me-up? Then stay tuned… more details about the Bestselling Author Mastermind, my high-level community and mentorship group for writers who want to create the habits, mindset, consistency and follow-through of a bestselling author, are coming soon. Get on the waitlist here so you’re the first to know when the doors open (and you’ll get access to a waitlist-only bonus!): www.jenniferblanchard.net/mast
While so often writers want to believe otherwise, most of what makes someone a bestseller is marketing. But while marketing is a hugely important part of the bestseller process, it’s not the whole thing.
Because you have to also consider what got the writer to the point where they were able to do the marketing to become a bestseller—the mindset, the habits, the consistency, the visibility, the follow through.
You may not be able to replicate the exact results of a bestselling author’s marketing campaign, but you can replicate the thoughts, beliefs, behaviors and actions that made the result possible.
1. Develop A Pro Writer Mindset
Bestselling authors are pros. They think like pros and that’s what allows them to have pro results in their writing careers.
And they also believe in themselves.
That combination of pro-thinking and confidence is a key in becoming a bestselling author. You have to not only believe it’s possible, but you have to believe it’s possible for you.
Action Step: start a daily mindset practice that gets your thinking aligned with the bestselling author you dream of being
2. Create Aligned Habits
If you want something, like to be a bestselling author, you have to take a look at your habits and daily activities to see whether or not they’re aligned with the goal that you have. This is huge, because you can’t get where you want to go without being in alignment with it.
Alignment simply means, is what you’re currently doing on a daily basis gonna get you the results you want? If you walked on a straight line, would you eventually end up at your goal? Or you on a totally different path?
For example, if you want to be a bestselling author, but you’ve never finished or published anything, that’s not in alignment. You need to finish and publish something before being a bestselling author is even a possibility for you. If you haven’t finished or published yet, you’re not even in the game.
Action Step: take a look at what you currently do every day (your habits) and determine if they’re in alignment with your writing goals or not. If they are, great! And if they’re not, time to make some changes so they are.
3. Be Consistent (No Matter What!)
This is probably one of the hardest parts of being a bestselling author. Consistency is tough. There’s so much going on in life, and chaos happens at seemingly random times. It’s hard to know what things will look like day-to-day, so committing to doing something daily is scary.
You know what I call that? Excuses.
Because consistency is only tough when you’re allowing yourself to make excuses. (I do it at times too.)
But when you’re focused on the results and outcomes that you’re after, and you’re all in and unwilling to let anything stop you or get in your way, consistency is easy. You just show up every day and do the work, and then repeat it the next day and the next day and the next day…
You either have excuses or you have results. Which do you have?
Action Step: pick one thing that if you did it every day for a whole year would totally change your life. Commit to doing that one thing consistently every single day from here on out.
4. Get Visible
This is another very tough one for writers. Because writers are mostly introverts who like hiding out behind the scenes.
But in the digital age, hiding out spells death to your success as an author. Visibility—especially online—is a must. It’s a nonnegotiable.
Bestselling authors become so because they’re visible. People know who they are, they like them and they trust them.
With a big enough following that spells instant bestseller status.
Action Step: how can you start to be more visible as an author? Again think of one thing you could do daily to be more visible online and then commit to doing it every day from here on out.
5. Finish What You Start. Repeat.
Ah, follow through. Probably the toughest out of all the things I’ve listed here.
Starting a writing project is easy. You’ve likely done that dozens of times. Maybe more.
But finishing? Finishing is a whole other thing.
Finishing means following through with the project until it’s done.
And done doesn’t just mean completed first draft or even revision. It means published. It means the book is out in the world, ready to be read.
You have to train yourself to become a finisher. It’s a skill that takes practice.
I’ve trained myself over the last decade+ of my life to be a finisher. It’s not always the easiest thing, but I always find a way to just do it anyhow. That’s how I became a finisher.
Action Step: don’t give yourself a hard time if you’ve not finished up ’till now. Just choose a writing project right now, commit to finishing it and then do the work to actually follow through on that commitment.
When you get your mindset and habits aligned, and then create consistency, visibility and follow through in your writing life, you’ll be on track to eventually hit bestseller status. You just have to commit to it, keep going and never look back.
Write with a purpose, live with intention,
P.S. Do you want to create the mindset, habits, consistency and follow through of a bestselling author? Then stay tuned… doors to the Bestselling Author Mastermind are reopening to new members soon.
You are the brand. You and all the things that come with you, including your thoughts, feelings, opinions, likes, dislikes, preferences, non-negotiables, and multiple passions, talents and interests.
Sure, I’ll always write about writing because I’m a writer and it’s in me to do that. But now I’m allowing myself to let out that other side of me. That side of me who wants to see others succeed. That wants to inspire, motivate, educate and empower others to live their dream lives and know that anything is possible when you believe it is and and change your thinking around it.
And right now, you get to decide if you want to keep being who you’ve been being. Or if you want to be who you know you really are and who you know you’re capable of being, if only you gave yourself permission to play full out, trust that what you feel inside is real, and go after all your dreams.
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Marketing is a big part of being a successful author. It’s almost as big as writing a book that’s worth publishing and selling (as that is definitely the pre-requisite to marketing).
Problem for most authors is they have no idea how to do marketing. They either never learned, don’t want to learn, are afraid to learn or think they don’t have enough time/don’t have what it takes to build a following.
I often hear writers in my free Facebook group say that they have no idea how to market themselves. And while it’s totally fine to not know what you’re doing, it’s NOT fine to let that be an excuse that stops you from learning what to do and then doing it.
I talk to a lot of writers on a regular basis, and one of the commonalities is their ultimate dream—to make a living from their books, to have their novels turned into movies, to have millions of readers all over the world, to land on the NY Times Best Seller list.
Sure, not all writers want this, but I’d argue most do and just aren’t willing to admit it or to fully allow themselves to want it because they have no idea how they’ll bring it to life.
And the truth is, all of those dreams stem from one thing: marketing.
If you’re a professionally self-published author (or are going to be) or even if you go the traditional route, marketing is absolutely a skill that you must master. Because in the digital age, authors aren’t just writers, they’re also marketers and sales people.
I know—SCARY, right?
Because now you can’t just sit in a room all alone writing your books. You have to actually put yourself out there and be seen and get known.
At least if you plan on accomplishing your dreams of making a living from your books, hitting the NY Times Best Sellers list and having millions of fans all over the world who love your books so much Hollywood decides to turn them into movies.
None of those dreams can be achieved without visibility and mastering marketing (unless you hire someone to do all the marketing for you, but even then, you still have to be visible).
And one of the BEST ways to do marketing that doesn’t feel sales-y or self-promotional is to learn how to create value for an audience.
Now I’ll that there’s nothing wrong with being sales-y or self-promotional IF you are creating massive value for the people who follow you (aka: your audience). Value + Selling = Making Money from Your Books. Selling or Self-Promotion by itself does not.
Example: I create a TON of free value for my audience on a daily basis. And that’s also why I sell 30+ books a day and growing, and get people signed up for my workshops and programs that I offer.
Because when you create value for an audience, they will buy from you. Multiple times over.
So what does “create value” even mean?
Value just means creating something useful. Something your audience can enjoy, be entertained and/or educated by.
I did a livestream the other day all about creating value for an audience (you can watch the replay here). If you want to become a master of marketing so you can grow your readership and your author brand, and sell more books, here are 8 ways to create value for an audience:
1. Share Your Thoughts and Feelings On A Topic You Care About that They Also Care About
This may sound strange, but people love to see what other people think and feel about a topic they care about. When I go off in a blog post, ranting about my opinion on professional self-publishing or believing in yourself or whatever other topic I decide to share my views on, that’s when my audience becomes most engaged. It’s when I get the most emails from people, replying to what I sent out, sometimes even sharing their opinion back to me.
So consider the topics that would be of interest to your audience and share your thoughts and feelings on it with them. Doing this builds the Know, Like and Trust factor, and gives them a deeper look at how you think and what you believe, and why.
I know this may seem strange—why would anyone want to hear me talk about my opinion on a topic? But that is what connects people.
Think about anytime you’ve met someone new. When you’re conversing with them and discovered all the things you have in common, didn’t it just make you like them more? Didn’t it make you feel more connected to them as a person?
Well, the same thing works for your audience.
Sure, you have to know who your audience is and what they care about, but once you figure it out, you can create some seriously awesome value for them by starting a conversation around a topic you all care about.
2. Teach Them Something They Want to Learn
People go online to be entertained, educated or both. So think about ways that you can teach your audience something they want to learn.
I’m always teaching in my free content (this blog post would be a great example). Because I know my audience well enough at this point to know exactly what they care about and the struggles they have and where I can most help them.
I teach the stuff my audience most needs to know. And that creates massive value for them.
3. Teach Them Something They Need to Know But Don’t Realize They Need to Know It
I love this one. You may not have realized that you need to learn how to create value for an audience if you want to grow your readership. But now thanks to this blog post, you know.
And not only are you now aware that you must create value, but you have a whole list of ways to do it.
That’s what it means to teach your audience something they need to know but don’t realize they need to know it.
The awareness alone creates a ton of value—because not knowing what you don’t know can cause you to get stuck or to feel like nothing is working.
4. Entertain Them
Like I said, people go online to learn how to do something or to be entertained because they’re bored. So if you can find ways to entertain your audience (and as a writer and author, you ARE an entertainer), you’ll be able to create value that makes them want more from you.
Think of all the stupid memes and videos you see online. While you may not think about them as marketing (especially when they’re random and have nothing to do with anything) they are still creating value.
Because when you watch or read, you’re being entertained. You’re laughing or having fun or enjoying the moment.
And that’s what makes it valuable.
Most people aren’t having enough fun or laughter or enjoyment in their lives. So if you can give that to them with the content you create, you’re giving them something they badly need in their lives.
5. Make Them Think
I love this one. Because as humans, we’re thinkers. It’s a part of our nature.
Which means if you can create content that makes people think, you can also give your audience value that connects them to you and makes them want more.
Making them think can be as simple as asking a question that goes deeper than just the surface-level stuff. Questions like, what would you be doing right now if you already achieved your dream life? or if you were already the author you dream of being, what would you do first thing in the morning? actually help people figure things out.
Questions create an open loop in our minds and we have to find an answer. So we think about it. And in the thinking about it we come to a conclusion of some kind.
That conclusion or response to the question could be something that totally changes your life.
And that is valuable. Insanely valuable.
6. Share Your Message
I talk all the time about how authors need to have a message to share. And that message becomes a part of your marketing and a big part of the content that you create that gives value to your audience.
For example, my message is that you can create anything you set your mind to. That is the core message in my life and in my writing business.
I share this message every day, in all different ways, through the free content that I create. And sharing this message is valuable for the people who need to hear it.
I sent you an email yesterday that talked about the fictional stories that we tell ourselves. In it, I mentioned over and over again that you can create and achieve anything you set your mind to. I may not have said it exactly like that, but it’s the overall message you pick up from reading the blog post.
I shared that post over the weekend on my personal Facebook page. And one of my college professors loved it so much she shared it on her Facebook page and told people to follow me. From there, another woman saw it and reached out to me to tell me how much it resonated with her and that she wants to step up her career as an author.
And then she joined my free Facebook group.
So by sharing my message, I connected with people and created new audience members who love what I have to say and want more of it. And, of course, created a ton of value for whoever read it and agreed with it.
Now your message may not be for everyone and some people may be turned off by it. That’s OK! Those are not your people.
A really important thing to remember about marketing is that you don’t want to reach everyone and you don’t want to target everyone. You want to think very specifically about who needs to hear your message the most or who will resonate the most with it.
For me, I know multi-passionate writers, authors and creators are the people who need to hear my message. And that’s who I tailor it for. Because those are the people who make up my audience.
7. Tell Them A Story
You may not realize this, but stories are valuable. Not just fictional stories that you make up for a reader’s enjoyment and entertainment (although those are insanely valuable too), but also stories about your life and your experiences.
When I share stories about things that have happened to me, I always get people who respond and resonate with it.
For example, last week I told you I’ve been dealing with an annoying health issue that flared up from making a massive overnight change to my diet. I didn’t even share a ton of detail, just that little bit and that I’d been a lot less productive because it was causing me to need more downtime.
From sharing that little bit of story about my life, I received a bunch of emails from people wishing me well, telling me to feel better, giving me suggestions for how to move forward, and even sharing their own experiences with annoying heath issues.
I created a connection with my audience by sharing this story. And that is valuable, especially since humans crave connection.
8. Get To Know Them
This also comes down to creating a connection. When you know your audience and know them well, you will know exactly how to create value for them.
I no longer have to think about what to write my blog posts on or what freebies to create or what workshops or programs to offer. Because I know my audience super well. I know what makes them tick, I know what they love, I know what they hate, I know what they dream of.
And all of this came from spending time getting to know them.
I run a free Facebook group which creates a ton of value for my audience and allows them a safe space to learn and grow in their writing lives, and get support and guidance when they need it. And when I first launched my coaching business, I gave away a ton of free sessions so I could get writers on the phone and get to know them better.
You can create value for your audience by getting to know them too.
Ask them questions about themselves. Offer up a free call to anyone willing to let you interview them (so you can ask them the questions that will help you get to know who they are and what they need and want from you).
The value you create—aka: free content—doesn’t have to be fancy. But I always recommend mixing it up if you can and giving your audience a variety of content, like:
- Blog posts
- MP3 audios
- Whatever you can think of
Now if you’re a fiction writer, you may be thinking—this would work for a nonfiction author, but not for me. And if you think that, you’re totally wrong (sorry!).
Because what works for a nonfiction author can work for a fiction author. It’s all about knowing your audience and understanding who they are and what they want.
If you write fiction, your audience is readers of a specific genre. So what do they want? What would be super valuable for them? The same ideas I listed here apply for fiction too.
My recommendation is to take some time to go back through the list and brainstorm ideas for how you could create value for your audience using each of these 8 suggestions.
One thing I will add is that no matter what kind of free content you create, you always want a Call to Action (aka: a CTA) to tell the reader what to do next. A Call to Action can be anything from, “buy my book” to “go to my website and grab the free eBook I created” to “subscribe to my YouTube channel.”
There’s nothing wrong with being sales-y or self-promotional when you’re giving enough value.
I sell stuff in pretty much every email I send out. I promote my programs, workshops, books and offers in pretty much every piece of content I create. And some people may have a problem with it.
But most people don’t mind at all, because they know I’ve given them a ton of value for free… and if they’re not interested, they can just ignore the promo and they’ll still walk away from my blog post, video, livestream, etc., with something valuable they can use in their own lives.
And that’s what creating value is all about.
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How do you create value for your audience?
If you want to learn how to build your following and create massive value for your audience so you can sell (more) books, today is the FINAL DAY to join the Six Figure Author Society—a membership site for authors who want to sell (more) books.
We’re covering everything you need to know to build your marketing foundation, create valuable content for your audience and bring in more readers and more book sales.
The best part is that we’re all working on the monthly activities together, so you have community, support, accountability and you’ll be more productive because everyone around you is too.
Making money from your books doesn’t have to be hard. The Six Figure Author Society will show you how to be a badass book marketer, without feeling sleezy, sales-y or self-promotional.
The biggest complaint I hear from authors is this: it’s so hard to sell books!
And while marketing and selling books can sometimes be a challenge, it doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, you can actually have fun with marketing.
Hold up! Did I just say “fun” and “marketing” in the same sentence?
Yep. Because as my Kindle coach so wisely says, marketing and selling is just teaching people the value of something.
Looking at it from that perspective, it makes marketing seem much more doable, doesn’t it? And I feel like it gives it a purpose, other than making money (even though that’s a big part of it). Because when you realize that when you’re marketing your books, all you’re doing is trying to show someone the value of why they need to read it.
It has definitely made me feel different about my book marketing efforts, that’s for sure. Now I see that it’s my responsibility to get my books out there and in the hands of writers and reader who need them. And it’s doing my audience a disservice to not market my books to them so that they know they exist.
Reframing things is a great way to shift your mindset around the parts of being an author that you don’t enjoy as much.
I get emails on a weekly basis from people who follow me, asking me to teach more stuff about marketing. A lot of people tell me I’m a natural marketer. And while that may seem like it’s true, this isn’t a skill I was born with. I spent 7+ years doing online marketing for publications and corporations. Which means I learned how to do it.
And if I can learn how to do it, so can you.
I’ve put together an audio training + workbook on 15 Tactics to Help You Sell More Books. These are some of the best tactics out there for making more book sales.
Some are simple and others take more work. All of them will help you sell more books.
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Which of the 15 tactics will you implement first?
Selling books. Making money. Being a full-time author. Pretty much the dream writing life for most writers.
And yet, so many authors aren’t having this experience. So many are feeling frustrated and like they’re wasting their time because it’s never going to happen.
Maybe you’ve felt (or feel) this way?
I know I have. Back before I decided to take control of my writing destiny, I used to feel that way all the time. Like, what’s the point? I have these great books out there and barely anyone is reading them.
This year, I had a breakthrough. I finally stepped up my productivity, my writing habits and, most importantly, got my mind in the game. And now that I’ve done those things, I’m selling an average of 1,000+ books a month, pretty much without even trying. (That’s not to say I didn’t ever have to try. Of course I did, it’s just now I have momentum. More on that below.)
But I had one month this year that was bigger than all the other months (at least, so far). In July, I sold 2,312 books (and made a little over $800)!! Not bad for 31 days.
I recently did a breakdown to see what exactly went into selling that many books, and now averaging 1,000+ sales a month. And here’s what I came out with:
1. Get Into Alignment
For the first time ever, I’m finally in full alignment with the writing goals I have and the writing career that I want. I’m no longer fighting it. I’m not playing small or acting like it doesn’t really matter to me. I’m setting an intention for exactly what I want to create and I’m taking actions every day to move in that general direction.
That’s what alignment is. It means that your thoughts, beliefs, words and actions are all working in harmony and moving in the same direction.
Being in alignment has helped me to start writing, publishing and selling more books.
2. Have An “I Sell Books” Mindset
Believe it or not, your mind is the source of everything you currently see in your reality (whether you like it or not). Hard to accept, I know, because then you have to take responsibility for the fact that you believe shitty things that are holding you back and you have negative thoughts that are limiting your success.
But when you can just accept where you are–and accept all that you’ve created up to this point–you can start to create something new.
In February of this year, I amped up the mindset work I started doing back in August 2015 and began a daily practice of writing intentions in my journal. One of those daily intentions was, “I am a bestselling author.” Another was, “I sell thousands of books every month.”
I still write intentions like that every single day. Because out of everything I’ve done in my writing career, the best thing I ever did for myself was start a daily mindset practice. It has hands-down changed everything for me.
When you have an “I sell books” mindset, as opposed to an “it’s hard to sell books” mindset or an “I wish I knew how to sell more books” mindset, it really can be the difference between making sales and not making sales. Because you create in your reality what you believe in your mind. And if you believe that it’s hard to sell books or that you don’t know how to sell books, that’s exactly what you will experience.
Decide right now that you’re going to create an “I sell books” mindset and don’t ever look back.
3. Publish Multiple Books
I see so many authors spending time on marketing when all they have is one book. And while, yes, you do have to do some marketing for that book, you also want to make it a priority to write and publish the next book. Because what happens if someone buys your book, loves it and then there’s nothing else for them to buy?
You got it–they go elsewhere.
So if you don’t have at least 2 books published, it’s time to get to work. I started selling 1,000+ books a month when I had 6 books published. Now that I’ve got 8 (with more in the works), I know my book sales numbers will keep growing.
The best way to sell a book is with another book.
4. Build Relationships–With Readers and People In Your Industry/Genre
After a year of blogging, I decided to branch out and start guest posting (where you publish your articles on someone else’s blog). Doing that helped me to connect with editors in the writing industry (on blogs where my target readers are), and from those connections came other opportunities.
For example, in July, I was invited to participate in a one-day, 99 cent eBook promo along with 8 other authors. The other authors were all well-known writers who have big communities of writers and authors. So by having a connection with the person running the promotion, I was not only invited to participate, but I got my book in front of 8 new audiences. I also made connections with the other authors who were part of the promo.
And, of course, I had my biggest book sales month ever.
Relationships are everything when it comes to online marketing. So if you’re not already making connections and building relationships with potential promo partners and potential readers, now’s the time to start.
5. Launch A New Book
In the month of July, I launched my eBook, The 15-Minute Writer: How To Write Your Book In Only 15 Minutes A Day. This was a brand new book, which means every single person who saw it or checked it out was new to it. It was something that even my repeat readers could buy.
Having a new book can make it easier to get sales, especially if you’ve already got a few books out there that people have bought.
This goes back to what I said about having multiple books. And what’s cool about Amazon (and other sites) is once you’ve got a few books out and enough reviews, it will start suggesting your book to people who look at related books.
6. Charge 99 cents
I’ve been testing out pricing this year, to see if it makes a difference. When all of my books are 99 cents, I sell a lot more of them than when I charge more.
I know that sounds crazy–all that hard work and then you only get a 35% royalty from Amazon! (I do have a couple books that cost $2.99 as well.)
But when your book is 99 cents, people are more willing to give it a try. Everyone has wasted a dollar at some point in their life, so 99 cents is less of a risk than a book that costs more.
If you’re just starting out or are a new author, I highly recommend trying a 99 cent pricing strategy. It may just be the difference between making sales or not.
As you grow, get more known and have more books available, then you can have a mix of prices and increase your overall profit.
7. Build Momentum
I’ve been online since 2008 and building my following ever since. Which means I’ve had 8+ years of connecting, building relationships, and growing a readership. I have momentum.
You can create momentum too, and it doesn’t have to take 8 years. If you focus on what’s really important about book marketing (hint: it’s not about selling books), you can make it happen a lot faster.
Once you’ve got momentum, your books can almost sell themselves. That’s not to say I’m not still doing marketing, but I don’t put a ton of energy into marketing my books at the moment, and I’m still selling 1,000+ a month.
Book marketing is like a roller coaster–at first it’s a slow climb, but when you hit the tipping point, it’s all momentum from there.
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What’s one thing you can do today to start selling more books? Share in the comments.
Are you ready to make more sales and learn the right way to market your books? Then check out my upcoming masterclass: Sell More Books. I’m teaching you everything you need to know to kick-ass in your online book marketing, and then some. Full details here.
If you’ve ever published a book, or are in the process of writing and publishing one, you’ve likely thought about marketing and what you’ll need to do to make book sales. Because that’s what it’s all about, right? Selling books.
And while that’s not totally wrong, it’s also not totally right.
Selling books is the goal, yes. But it’s not what the focus of your book marketing should be.
That’s where I see so many authors getting it wrong.
And that’s why when you go into writing groups on Facebook or Google+, a lot of times it’s just a promo fest of people drive-by sharing links to their books. Or you see people’s social media accounts just covered in promos, but without any real value to be found.
Totally worthless and the worst way to try and make a book sale.
Why? Because of two reasons:
- People aren’t on social media to buy stuff–social media is supposed to be for being social, so people aren’t reading stuff or watching stuff and thinking, “I need to buy that right now.” They’re there to engage and connect with other humans, and also to be entertained.
- There’s not enough value in a book promo on social media to get someone to open their wallet–and on the off-chance that someone does buy directly via social media, it’s because the value being presented in the post (written, video, etc) is so awesome that they can’t not buy.
So, if you’ve been trying to sell your book by posting promos on social media (or in Facebook groups) and it hasn’t worked, it’s time for a new strategy.
What Actually Sells Books
When it comes down to the core of what online marketing is, you’ll find two things:
1. Relationships–online marketing is all about building relationships and making connections with other people, both potential readers and industry-related.
2. Valuable content–at the core of online marketing is content. Content is what helps you make the connections and build the relationships that will earn you a readership. Now ‘value’ will be defined by you and the type of book that you’re marketing.
For example, if your book is a humorous novel, creating content aligned with that makes the most sense for adding value. So sharing things that make people laugh is a good way for you to connect with your readership and get them interested in your novel.
And these two things–when combined–are what sells books.
The worst book marketing myth is that it’s all about selling books. It’s not. And believing that is what’s keeping you from selling books.
Especially if you’re trying to market your books online (which most authors these days are).
People go online for one of three reasons:
- To learn something
- To be entertained
And that’s what you need to be thinking about when you do your book marketing.
Book marketing is not about selling books. It’s about being an interesting author (with an impactful message) who teaches potential readers something, entertains them or both, and because of that connection and that relationship with the potential reader, they will buy a book from you.
Your New Book Marketing Strategy
From here on out, you’re no longer allowed to do drive-by book promos on social media. (And I know YOU wouldn’t be doing that anyhow, because that’s not how a pro writer thinks or acts, right?) You’re no longer allowed to only post things that just promo your book.
From here on out, your marketing strategy is the following:
- Build connections with readers and with industry/genre-related people
- Create valuable content that your ideal reader wants and needs
- Share your author message, in whatever way makes sense for you
There’s a lot more to it than that, but these are the foundational pieces of being a success author and successfully marketing your book online.
I got where I am right now with my publishing career because I spent 8+ years of my life building a following, connecting with others in my industry and delivering valuable, kick-ass content (on a consistent basis) that my ideal readers want. I’m now living my dream writing life, and it just gets better and better every day.
If you want to create your dream writing life, where you can write and publish books and actually sell them and make money, you’ve gotta be in it for the long-haul. And this is a long-haul book marketing strategy.
No, it won’t make you sales immediately overnight (unless you’ve already got a bit of a following), but it will help you build an author brand that will make sales–and, eventually, enough sales to support you in being the full-time author you’ve always dreamed of being.
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How do you get the word out about your books?