This is a four part series. You might want to start from the beginning. Click here to view part one.
2. The Second Quarter: April – June
Your first book is out and you’re starting to gain traction with fans. Even though instinct may tell you to go out and market your book, you’re still in the building phase. If you have to choose between marketing your first book and writing your second book, then the next book should almost always be the path you take.
Task 1: Write Your Second Book
It doesn’t matter if you write fiction or non-fiction. The second book you write should be a part of the same series as your first. You’re setting up a funnel for your readers. When you’ve written a bunch of standalone books, you have no way of knowing if readers who liked one will like the others. By writing a series, you’ll give existing readers a chance to read new work that they’re already inclined toward liking. It also provides new readers with a chance to purchase something else if they stumble upon your first book.
Write your second book using the method you perfected during the first quarter of the year. It should be easier the second time around, but if you run into any stumbling blocks, make sure to consult with your beta readers, editors, and fans to give you the boost you need.
Remember to brand your cover and blurb similarly to the first book in your series. Readers should be able to tell that they’re all connected.
Task 2: Connect With Authors and Host an Event
Writing is no longer a solitary sport. Most of the authors who’ve learned the tools they need to succeed picked up those skills from other authors. Some writers go about networking in the wrong way. They’re only looking to take information without giving. You’re going to go in the complete opposite direction.
Host a multi-author event and ask the other members of your genre to be a part of it. This can be a Facebook event, Google Plus Hangout, in-person, or on another platform. You can also include a multi-author box set or other types of collaboration as well. Make helping these other authors find new readers the primary focus of the event.
When other authors see that you care about helping people, they’ll want to help you as well. It takes a lot of time to organize, but the insight and connections you make from these events are priceless. During the event, feel free to ask questions about platforms and marketing. Find out new information about what works without being too pushy. You never know how these connections will pay dividends, but you can be sure that they will.
Task 3: Optimize Every Platform
As part of a recent series of articles for Author Marketing Institute, we’ve talked about getting a foothold on other platforms. You can go exclusive on Amazon if you want, but that will cause you to miss out on at least four viable platforms where you can find new readers. Learn as much as you can about Apple, Nook Press, Kobo, and Google Play. Once you’ve placed your books there, figure out everything you can about Audible’s Audiobook Creation Exchange and translation services like Babelcube. Take advantage of all possible opportunities to earn money from your books.
Task 4: Improve Your Habits
You’ve build up some strong habits for writing, publishing, and marketing in the first quarter. The second quarter gives you a chance to strengthen those skills. Aside from repetition, one of the best ways to improve your habits is to brainstorm ways to increase your productivity.
Sit down with a blank word processor doc or a sheet of paper. Pick an area of your business that seems to be lagging behind the rest. Use stream-of-consciousness writing to brainstorm the issues with your current system and ways you might be able to patch them up. You’d be surprised by how much a daily brainstorming session like this can fix most of the issues with your business over the course of a few weeks.
Task 5: Apply Your Findings
If your data collection has been comprehensive, then you may have some action steps worth taking. Let’s say that Facebook is the top referrer to your website’s book page. That may be a clue to start putting more time into the social media platform.
Do you have three fans who do all the commenting on your blog and reply to all your emails? Consider asking them to be a part of your street team to promote your book for you. Does one platform sell better than the others? See what you can do to enhance editions of the book sold at that location. There’s no point in gathering data if you aren’t going to use it. Learn everything you can from the information you’ve collected and apply it to your business.
Click here to read Part 3.