Happy New Year everyone! The Bublish team is kicking off 2014 by moving into our new offices today at the Harbor Accelerator. It’s very exciting and emblematic of the strong growth and innovation we have planned for the Bublish community this year. We’ll be sharing photos and thoughts throughout the day @BublishMe on Twitter and on our Facebook page. We hope you’ll celebrate with us.
Not only will we be bringing supplies to use at our new desks, but like many of you we’ll also be carrying those New Year resolutions into our new work space. We have a few thoughts to share on this double-edged annual ritual, especially for new authors.
Resolutions are important. They’re infused with optimism. They help us turn dreams into reality. But if you are a new author and your resolutions are to sell a million books this year and attract 50,000 followers on Facebook and Twitter, it’s time to reassess. Not because these goals can’t be achieved someday, but because when you’re learning the ropes of book promotion and author brand building, process is as important as outcome.
Here’s my advice: commit to daily and weekly disciplines that will help you become successful. Quantify these commitments by assigning either a certain amount of time you will devote to them on a regular basis or a numeric goal. For example, you might commit to spending thirty minutes on social media each morning or obligate yourself to three posts each day on Twitter. This will feel a bit mechanical at first, but you will be creating routines that will ultimately help you achieve your long-term goals.
I recently had the pleasure of working one-on-one with romance author Susan Rodgers, who was the winner of Kobo’s Social Savvy Author Contest. Her enthusiasm was contagious and she accomplished amazing things in a small amount of time while juggling many other obligations. You should check out her sleek new website. Susan is setting herself up to achieve her long-term goals by committing to daily rituals with a “can do” spirit. Go Susan!
My message to Susan was simple: define a realistic amount of time to spend each day on book promotion and then follow the 20/20/20 rule. Spend 20 percent of the time researching and learning about book marketing, 20 percent marketing across all channels (website, blog, social, email, in person, etc.), and 20 percent engaging with other readers and writers. If you are an author who only has one hour a day to devote to book marketing, that’s okay! Just apply the 20/20/20 rule and devote 20 minutes to each task.
Do the same with your writing routine. There is nothing more important to your success than learning your craft and writing great books. Regular readers of this blog know that one of my favorite mantras is: a good book is your best promotion. Quantify the practice of writing. Commit to a writing routine — an hour a day or a thousand words a day – whatever works for you and your schedule.
Discipline is a practice, not an outcome. And, as you well know, becoming a successful author in today’s crowded book marketplace takes tremendous discipline. So this year, reassess your resolution and resolve to put in place a process for success. I think you’ll be pleased with the outcome.
Happy New Year!
Kathy Meis, founder of Bublish