I’m SO excited to share that I’ve teamed up with 5 other amazing authors to give you a killer deal on some of the best writing books out there–available today only for 99 cents each!!
Click on the covers below to access the deals:
I’m SO excited to share that I’ve teamed up with 5 other amazing authors to give you a killer deal on some of the best writing books out there–available today only for 99 cents each!!
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:
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
How do you get the word out about your books?
A common complaint I hear from writers is this–why does it take so long?
And when they say that, they mean: why isn’t my book selling? Why am I still revising when I want to be published? Why have I been looking for an agent for a year now without any bites?
And, most of all, when am I finally gonna make some money?
I know it’s tough. You’ve been at this for years, possibly even most of your life so far. You’ve dreamed about it, you’ve set goals around it. And yet things just seem to be moving like molasses.
And here’s what I always say to the writers who make this complaint: I feel you, but it takes as long as it takes.
Because the truth about this whole being a pro writer thing is that it’s long-term. Being a writer and having a successful writing career doesn’t happen overnight. It takes years of hard work, commitment and consistency to start seeing the results you want.
So you either have to be in it for the long-haul, or you may as well get out now.
Because, like everything in life, writing success is a journey, it’s a process, it’s something that builds over time. And you may not see it at first, but when you look back 10, 20, 30 years down the road, you’ll see how far you’ve come and how long it actually takes to create success.
No one does it overnight.
I started freelance writing professionally in 2007, and launched my writing blog in 2008. I wrote and published my first nonfiction eBook in March 2010. Since then, I’ve written and publish 7 other books, including one novel. And it’s only since mid-2016 that things have finally started to take off for me.
This year, I’ve written and published more books than I ever have before. This year, I had 2 of my books hit #1 in multiple categories over multiple days on Amazon. This year, I’ve started making real money from my books, anywhere from $400 to $1,000+ per month, and growing.
But I had 8 years online and another 7 years before that learning and training and practicing and working toward the moment when I would hit a tipping point and my writing career would finally take off.
It happened this year.
And if it happened for me, it can and will happen for you. But you’ve gotta give up the idea that it’s gonna happen fast. It’s not. It’s gonna happen when it happens.
For now, you need to keep going and do whatever you can to create good writing habits, get in alignment with the goals you have, and be as consistent as possible. Because it’s in the consistency over an extended period of time where results really come from.
When you look at the stories of successful people, you’ll see it wasn’t just one thing that got them where they are today. They didn’t find a magic bullet that changed everything.
No, it was all about the daily habits and actions they took, over years and years of their lives, that got them where they are today.
Because that’s what it takes. Daily: Consistency. Commitment. A never-give-up attitude. And some serious elbow grease.
So, again, I ask you: are you in it for the long-haul?
Are you willing to stick with it and do whatever it takes?
Even if it looks like it’s not working?
Even if it looks like it’s never going to happen?
Even if there’s barely a shred of hope left inside you?
Did you answer “yes” to those questions? If you did, congratulations. You’re gonna make it. You’ve got what it takes.
And yeah, it is gonna take time. Some days it’ll feel impossible. Other days it will feel easy like Sunday morning.
But every day you show up will feel worth it. And eventually that worth-it feeling will grow into more than just a feeling. It will grow into an actual writing career where you get paid to write and put your words out into the world.
Because you can’t not get where you want to go if you show up every day and keep going no matter what. It’s literally impossible.
It might take blood, sweat, tears and time, but it will happen. That much you can count on.
And whenever you find yourself freaking out, panicking or worried that it’s all for nothing, I leave you with one of my all-time favorite quotes, from the book, A Course In Miracles:
“Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait, and wait without anxiety.”
Are you in it for the long-haul? Say YES in the comments!
This week was supposed to be the week I published my new eBook. I set a publish date for Tuesday (that was yesterday) and then I re-set a date for Thursday (that’s tomorrow).
But something was up. Something wasn’t feeling quite right.
At first I thought maybe it was just Resistance. That happens sometimes, even to an author who has hit publish 8 times.
Except it wasn’t that.
Yes, I was Resisting finishing the book… but not for my usual reasons. Usually if I Resist it’s because I know I need to put the book out there.
But this time felt different.
Something was going on deep inside me. I had that feeling I often get when I’m on the verge of a revelation or a major shift of some kind.
I felt annoyed and pissed off. I couldn’t sit still. I felt like there was something bubbling inside me that needed to come out.
So I sat down and I did some journaling. And then I finally discovered what was going on.
I was Resisting because… THIS ISN’T THE BOOK I’M SUPPOSED TO PUBLISH.
I knew it was true the minute it came up, because it felt right. I felt like I immediately got back into alignment with my writing dream.
For 17 days now, I’ve been writing an eBook about how to write a really good eBook. And yeah, it was a decent start. But it just wasn’t feeling right to me.
And that’s because the topic is not in alignment with who I am and what I’m meant to be writing books about.
I’m meant to be writing books for writers about alignment, motivation, inspiration, mindset and getting shit done. All of the books I’ve written so far–and all of the ones I’ve had become best sellers–are aligned with those topics.
All of them.
And that’s not to say I shouldn’t step out of my comfort zone. I should.
But there’s a difference between stepping out of your comfort zone on something you know you’re meant to be doing… and forcing yourself to do something that’s not really in alignment with who you are.
This book made me feel stuck and not in flow, which is the complete opposite of how my books make me feel.
And yes, I can absolutely teach someone how to write an eBook. I’ve done it 8 times now. But my journaling last night led me to one very simple conclusion: I DO NOT want to write books about how to write books.
So I decided to let it go. To go with my gut and listen to myself.
Yes, I did mention the book to quite a few people and I will have to explain to them my decision. But regardless of what they think or the reasons they think I’m doing it… I know the truth.
I choose to create my dream writing life all on my terms. And that sometimes means trusting your gut and knowing what you’re meant to be doing. (Or not doing.)
The outside world will tell you that this is wrong. That you should never “listen to your gut” or “trust your intuition” when making business decisions.
But that’s how I roll. It’s the only way I can roll.
Because here’s one thing I do know… You can’t be a successful author writing and publishing books that aren’t aligned with who you are.
Hear me out on this one. Because I know up front it seems like it makes total sense to keep all of your creative work and projects separate from each other by having different websites. The books with the books. The artwork with the artwork. The whatever with the other whatevers.
Logically it does makes sense. Keep everything separate and contained in one place, so that it’s nice and neat and no one gets confused.
Here are the arguments I often hear for having multiple websites:
And, yes, all of those arguments are totally valid. Having multiple websites, one for each project or focus you have, is the traditional way of thinking about marketing.
But there’s a better and much more effective way to think about it: the Digital Age way.
In the Digital Age, there is power in being YOU. There is no one else in the world exactly like you–there never has been and there never will be.
Being you makes you unique, automatically.
So rather than try to separate or compartmentalize all the different things that make up who you are and what you do (which is the traditional way of doing it), put them all together with YOU as the thing that ties it all together.
I’m better with examples… so here’s a quick graphic I drew up to illustrate what I’m talking about:
The black-marker drawing is the old way of thinking, that everything you do has to be separate from each other. The blue-marker drawing is the new way of thinking about it.
I call it the “Authorpreneur Brand.” What that means is, you as the writer/author are the “umbrella” that everything else falls under. Think of it like a celebrity brand. A celebrity has her movies and her music, her makeup line and her haircare line, etc. But all of it fits on the same website because the thing that brings it all together is her as the celebrity.
Yes, you can also have separate websites if you prefer, to let people find out more or go deeper. But you can still use one website as the “home base” for all of that (and then just connect your main website to all the sub-sites).
One of the bigger arguments I hear for having multiple sites is that people will get confused or readers don’t want to see your writing services and vice versa. But here’s the truth: by being you, you will attract your ideal audience, and your ideal audience will buy into YOU, not into what you do.
Meaning, people who love you and love who you are and who resonate on a deep level with you, will want to know everything that you’re doing. They’ll want to follow all of the stuff you have going on. (And the rest of them don’t matter!).
Makes it a lot easier for them to do that when you have one website, right?
So that’s my reason for recommending you have one main website for everything you do as an authorpreneur.
I’ve done the multiple website thing. I used to totally believe that you had to keep it all separate. So I had a website focused on motivation and inspiration for writers called Procrastinating Writers; and I had a website focused on creative wellness and the writing life called InkyBites; and then I had a website for my author brand and coaching services called JenniferBlanchard.net.
Problem was, I was spread so freaking thin trying to keep up with all these sites that I wasn’t being effective in any one area. I was making very little impact. And I’m here to make an impact on the writing world.
In order to do that, I had to suck all those other brands up into one brand: Jennifer Blanchard. Me, as the authorpreneur, at the center of everything.
So many of us writers are multipotentialites, meaning we’re passionate about multiple things, not just writing. And it’s totally OK for us to be this way. But it does make marketing a bit more challenging.
One way to make it easier on yourself is to find a way to make yourself the brand and build everything else from that.
How can you pull together all of your interests and passions under YOU as the brand?
My new eBook, The Pro Writer Mindset, debuted yesterday, and I’m super excited about it. It’s a book I’d been wanting to write for a long time and now it’s finally here.
Last month, the eBook I published, Align Your Writing Habits to Success, became a #1 bestseller in its category on Amazon and sold almost 600 copies during the month of May. I could have stopped there, rested on it and tried to coast. Or focused all of my time on marketing and promoting this book.
But instead I decided to keep going. Keep writing and keep putting books out there.
Because you can’t just rest on one success, even a big one.
You have to keep going and keep creating. That’s what it takes to be a pro writer who self-publishes.
So that’s what I’m doing.
And that’s what you need to do after you successfully get a book out there too.
There’s no point in waiting. Yes, you have to take some time to enjoy it and celebrate it. But then you’ve gotta get back to work on your next one.
I think this is where a lot of authors get stuck because they have a momentum built up, but instead of continuing to build that momentum by writing another book, they rest on the book they just wrote and spend the next year or two marketing and selling it. (Or not doing anything at all.)
And yes, you do have to do that–you do have to market and sell your books. But you know what really helps sell a book?
At the end of each book, you add a teaser for another book that you’ve written. If the reader gets that far, there’s a very good chance they’ll buy and read another one that you wrote.
So rather than focusing and spending all your time marketing one book, instead market all of your books, in general, choosing one specific book to focus on each day or week.
Now this is just my opinion, but I feel like so many badass authors just don’t write and publish enough books. I want to see multiple books every year from my favorite authors.
Maybe I’m alone in that opinion.
But since that’s what I want to see from my favorite authors, that’s the kind of author I also want to be. Because it’s very likely that the readers who are attracted to my stuff are readers who, like me, prefer to see multiple books a year.
This is how you build a self-publishing career. And it’s important to note, because a self-publishing career is much different than a traditional publishing career. In a traditional career, you can get away with only writing and publishing one new book every few years.
But in self-publishing, you’ll stand out a lot more if you publish frequently and especially if you publish a lot of books all in the same category (this is known as “authority publishing”).
Having multiple books is also the best way to actually make money from your writing. Because one book will sell the other, and vice versa.
Which is why I say don’t let the success of publishing your book go to your head. Absolutely celebrate it and be proud of it, but do not stop.
Keep writing, keep publishing. Keep going.
How did you/will you celebrate publishing your book?
There’s a question that’s been on my mind lately: do I have what it takes? Do I have what it takes to achieve all the writing dreams I have and to really get everything I want?
It’s an important question, because the answer will make or break your writing dream.
Do you have what it takes?
Like, really have what it takes?
Only you can answer that.
There’s something kinda scary that no one really talks about, but that needs to be said right now.
You may not have what it takes.
Not everyone does.
Not every writer is meant to be a pro.
It’s scary to say that (I felt panicked just typing those three sentences).
But it’s true.
And the reason is simple: most writers won’t do the work.
Sure, most writers may actually write. Get blips of inspiration and sit down and start writing.
Because you can’t just write stories and be a professional. Not even if you write 100 stories.
Being a professional means you’ve actually finished something, published it and put it out into the world.
And not half-assed either. (Self-published authors who put their books out there without editing, Beta Reading or some kind of vetting process are not professionals.)
A professional author not only does the work and finishes, but also invests in (or barters for) professional services to do the self-publishing (an editor, a cover designer, a layout person, a story coach, whatever they need).
And the cold, hard, real truth is that not all writers have it in them to finish. Or to show their work to someone who knows what they’re doing and accept feedback that will improve their story.
Here are the main differences between a professional author and most other writers:
A pro author:
Having what it takes just means having the brass ovaries to get over your shit and do the work. No matter what is happening around you.
And you’ll know the answer as soon as you ask it.
I have HUGE writing dreams. And I refuse to stop ’til I get there (and even then I won’t stop).
But I had to ask myself if I really have what it takes to achieve everything I want.
And looking back on all I’ve accomplished in my life, I know that I absolutely have what it takes. I show up. I do the work. I put myself out there. I take huge risks. I just need to give up all excuses, be more consistent and keep doing the fucking work.
I’m committed to all of that now. So I know my dreams are a done deal.
Now you need to ask yourself: do you have what it takes?
Which character context is your favorite one to write?
In this Periscope, I talk about the 4 things you need to know about your Protagonist, and why, including:
What inner demon(s) is your NaNo novel Protagonist battling?