By Melissa Tagg
Soooo who’s ever been up against a deadline while facing release month for your latest novel?
Raise of jittery-from-caffeine-overconsumption hands, please.
Actually, even if your next book deadline and your current book release don’t happen to land on the same month, doing any kind of marketing while in the midst of writing a book can be difficult. To hopefully make things a bit easier, here are a few tips:
1) Do what you can and don’t sweat what you can’t
You can’t do everything. You just can’t. Unless you’re super-human. In which case, I don’t even know why you’re reading this because you can probably writer, market up a storm and save kittens stuck in trees all at the same time.
For the rest of us, it’s better to admit we can’t do it all.
Problem is, if you’re like me, you’ll be tempted to waste time bemoaning all the things you’re not doing. Which simply isn’t helpful. So I suggest choosing not to kick your own tail for what you’re not doing. Don’t compare yourself to the people who seem to dominate every social media platform known to man, snag all the interviews everywhere and have zillions of followers. Nurture your mental space, don’t feed it negativity…focus on doing what you can and doing it well.
2) Focus on what works for you
I am one of thirteen women in the world who doesn’t care for Pinterest. I used to feel guilty about that…but no longer. If I’ve only got limited time to do the marketing thing, it just doesn’t make sense to spend it on a social media platform that doesn’t work for me.
So figure out what works best for you. Petrified of crowds and not a natural speaker? Then don’t force yourself to line up speaking engagements. Focus instead on building a newsletter list. Find blogging more of a time suck than a platform builder? Try enhancing your Facebook page instead with consistent, short posts.
This doesn’t mean we never branch out into new-to-us marketing territory. But it does mean we figure out which strategies come most naturally to us and throw the bulk of our marketing effort there…especially when we’re up against a deadline.
3) Writing before marketing
This was my rule for myself this spring as I faced a deadline right around the release of my latest book. I wanted From the Start to do well. But I had to think long-term. If one book sells well but then the follow-up is poorly written, I haven’t done myself too many favors. So while I definitely worked hard (and am still) to market From the Start, I prioritized writing over marketing.
4) Trust God
More and more, in every aspect of writing, I’m realizing that to have any semblance of peace in the process, we have to trust God. He gave us our stories in the first place! So why do we obsess about marketing or not doing enough or sales numbers? Why do we—okay, I—think I need the perfect balance of writing and marketing and doing-everything to make it in this industry?
God is in control of my career and my dream.
Just like He’s in control of yours.
And when you think about it, that’s a pretty sweet thought.
So caffeine up. Write away and market the best you can. But take comfort in the fact that you’re not in it alone.
Melissa Tagg is a former reporter, current nonprofit grant writer and total Iowa girl. She writes contemporary romance for Bethany House. Her 2015 releases include From the Start and Three Little Words. When she’s not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies, and daydreaming about her next book. Melissa loves connecting with readers at www.melissatagg.com and on Facebook and Instagram.