A group for authors and readers about how books (conventionally published or self-published) may best be marketed. Topics will cover designing Author Platforms, Book Marketing Plans, Getting Reviews, Helping Independent Authors and many more.
Checklists for Book Promotions by Authors
September 16, 2016 at 8:15 pm #1143
To kick off discussion of this topic, I share with you a 120-point checklist I drew up when researching how self-published authors promote their books.
Do any of these apply to you?
• You feel that you need a handy checklist that will help you meet your book promotion / marketing goals?
• But you are haven’t gotten around to drawing up such a checklist?
• And you haven’t found one that really suits you?
• Also, you are picky: you want one that covers a lot of the ground that you feel you should cover, but allows you to be flexible and only do as much each week as you have time to do?
Then this is for you!
The following 120-small steps you can take as part of your own book marketing plan come from my How-To book on book promotion, Small Steps to Bigger Book Sales. That book is a practical marketing handbook for authors (whether your books are published by conventional publishers, or self-published).
It works using the small steps, small wins principle: your chances of success are better if you draw up a plan that has small steps (so that they are more easily done), and that allows you to gain small successes (and so keep your level of enthusiasm for promoting your own books high). And that is flexible as well: you can change it as and when you wish.
What if you don’t have a published book yet?
If don’t have a book but are active on social networks (forums, Facebook, Twitter etc.) and need to inject a bit of easily-managed discipline into your outreach efforts, then many of the small steps set out below can help you. They can also help you sell products or services other than books.
The references in brackets in the 120-point checklist below are to the Task number and paragraph numbers under each Task found in Small Steps to Bigger Book Sales by Glenn Ashton (available as an eBook ($4) or softcover printed version ($15), from my Amazon Author Site: https://www.amazon.com/author/glennashton
How to start using the Checklist:
Prepare your Weekly Engagement Checklist, and discuss it with your Team of advisors, and, later on, your Clan of followers and your own brand Ambassadors. Revise it every time you and your Team decide on new or better social media engagement methods.
Every week, go through the following Weekly Engagement Checklist and carry out the engagement tasks (small steps) in it that you have decided to do that week.
Note: Not every task will be done in each weekly check; some tasks will only be done every few weeks. And some will not be done by you at all, as you choose!
So, don’t let the fact that the Checklist has 120-small steps in it fill you with dismay! Be easy on yourself, and choose a handful each week to start with, with more in later months. Small Steps to Bigger Book Sales has a template for use by you, that allows you to choose just how much work you want to do to market your books, by selecting those tasks you want for your very own Small Steps Plan.
Want a working copy of your own?
Check below at the end of this article for a way to have a working Word and Excel copy of the small steps plan template and of this checklist emailed to you. And please share them with your fellow authors (lots of brownie points for you if you do so).
The 120-Small Steps Checklist:
For starters, your Weekly Engagement Checklist will include the following tasks:
A Your Team of Advisors:
1. Thank your Team members for their help (Task 1 para 1 or 1.1)
2. Set the Agenda for any Team meeting using Small Steps to Bigger Book Sales (1.5)
3. Test with your Team the promotion messages to be sent out this week (1.6)
4. Consider revising or adding to your Editorial Content Plan (1.7)
5. Make any changes to the composition of your Team that are needed (1.8)
6. Check whether any Brand Touches to be made this week are consistent with your Author Brand (2.3)
B Your Target Readers:
7. Consider using free samples and free eBooks for your Target Readers (3.4)
8. Consider changing the features of your reader, Rebecca Random (3.10)
9. Ask your Target Readers for help in fleshing out your other Target Reader Personas (3.12, 3.14, 3.23(r))
10. Check this week’s messages against your family of Target Reader Personas (3.17)
11. Do some role-playing with your Team and your Target Reader Personas (3.18)
12. Talk to your Target Reader Personas (3.19)
13. Consider a Survey of your Target Readers to find your Lost Tribes (3.21)
14. Consider Joint Surveys of readers along with Indie Community members (3.22)
15. Check for Affinity Groups as potential Clan members (3.23(w), 3.24, 3.25)
16. Ask your readers to become Clan members (3.29)
17. Ask your Team to think of relatives and friends who could become guinea pig Clan members to kick start the Clan (4.11)
18. Recognize any person who comments or interacts with your Facebook page, blog posts or other messages; and thank them (4.12)
19. Check this week’s messages to make sure they meet the three primary motives of social media players (4.13)
20. Join conversations on Twitter, Facebook, forums (4.16)
21. Involve with the Indie Community (4.18(c))
22. Decide how to work with others to design and award Indie Recognition Awards (4.19)
23. Check for new types of rewards to be used to recognize your readers (4.18(e))
24. Follow people on Twitter and explain why (4.18(f)
25. Ask people on Follow Friday to follow those new followers of yours (4.18(g))
26. Include a Quote Gift on your blog post this week (4.18(i))
27. Prepare your Author at Work Peeks for rewards (4.18(j))
28. Ask your Target Readers for input into your next book (4.18(k))
29. Test your Guinea Pigs on items they have agreed to be involved in (4.18(m), 4.18(n))
30. Prepare your Newsletter (4.18(p))
31. Issue your Newsletter (4.18(p))
32. Prepare Checklists as Rewards for your Target Reader Personas (4.18(q))
33. Prepare Interviews with Clan members (4.18(s))
34. Brainstorm with your Team for more WOW in your messages and rewards (4.18(s))
35. Prepare Goodies for the diplomatic pouches of your Ambassadors (4.23)
36. Ask 5 Clan members personally to spread Ripples (4.26)
37. Track social network of potential high-intensity Ripplers using social metrics (4.27)
38. Consider writing new lessons for your Indie Ambassador 101 lesson series (4.28)
39. Cooperate with other Indies in setting up joint Indie Ambassador 101 lessons
40. Roll out new lessons in your Indie Ambassador 101 series (4.28)
41. Check the rewards set out in 4.29 to reward Influencers to see which ones need tending this week (4.29)
42. Ask your Target Readers for UGC (User Generated Content) you can use (4.30)
C Your Author Blog:
43. Jot down new ideas in My Bloggy Book (5)
44. Discuss with your Team whether you are meeting your Author Blog goals (5.5)
45. Ask your Target Readers to give you a few ideas for better headlines for a future blog post (5.12)
46. Add some Headlines that Hook to My Bloggy Book (5.12)
47. Acknowledge the contribution of others to your Blog comments (5.14, 5.16)
48. Follow some commentators on your author blog (5.15)
49. Study the comments on the blogs of some of your competitors to gain hints on what is trending (5.17)
50. Dip into Blogger Stats to check your blogging progress (5.20)
51. Write some Evergreen Posts for future Author Blog posts (5.23)
52. Research 2 other bloggers (5.25)
53. Check forums for ideas for this week’s blog posts (5.26)
54. Apply the Three Bites Rule to your blog posts (5.27)
55. Ask your Target Readers for ideas for future blog posts (5.28)
56. Consider what needs to be done with the ideas in 5.33 to 5.51
57. Prepare a blog post for your Guest Blogging & Blog Swap (5.52, 5.53)
58. What steps do you need to do this week to prepare for your future Blog Tour? (5.67)
59. Check if you are using the Facebook tips in 6.5
60. Create an Event for your Facebook (6.6, 6.14)
61. Check how to improve your Facebook presence (6.19)
62. Consider posts in your character Facebook pages (6.20)
63. Consider a contribution to your Indie Community Facebook page (6.21)
64. Prepare your Fan of the Month selection (6.24)
65. Prepare a special Facebook post for your Custom Facebook List (6.26)
66. Consider a poll for your Facebook page (6.27)
67. Consider a contest on Facebook (6.28)
68. Consider fresh entries on your private Facebook Groups for your Writers Club, your Clan and your Ambassadors (6.32)
E Amazon communities:
69. Enter conversations in the Amazon, CreateSpace and Kindle boards (7.3, 7.9, 7.10, 7.12, 7.13, 7.14)
70. Search Amazon Communities for new communities that would fit your outreach messages strategies (7.7)
71. Start a conversation using Google+ Communities (8.1)
72. Prepare a Google+ Hangout for your Team (8.4)
73. Prepare a Google+ Hangout for your Clan (8.4)
74. Prepare a Google+ Hangout for your Ambassadors (8.4)
75. Prepare a Google+ Hangout for your Writers Club (8.4, 8.12)
76. Check the Google+ Ripples of a competitor (8.6)
77. Polish your Google+ Circles (8.7)
78. Prepare for your Google Hangouts on Air event (8.9, 8.10)
79. Post pictures on Pinterest (9.4)
80. Ask your Target Readers to post their pictures on your Pinterest Board (9.7)
81. Post pictures and ask your Target Readers to post their pictures on your Indie Pinterest Board (9.9)
82. Post pictures on your Clan Pinterest Board (9.14)
83. Follow some book bloggers on Pinterest (9.17)
84. Check your Twitter Lists to see if they need revising (10.2)
85. Consider using some of the ways to use Twitter as an author in 10.18 and 10.22
86. Check the Twitter hashtags set out in 10.24 and 10.30
87. Mention a few Clan members on Twitter (10.33)
88. Join and talk in some Twitter Chats for writers (10.37, 10.38)
89. Retweet some of your Clan member tweets (10.46)
90. Check the influence of some of your Clan member Twitter accounts using Tweetgrader (10.49)
91. Check your own Twitter influence using Tweetgrader (10.49)
92. Nurture some of your Twitter followers this week (10.52)
93. Follow some Tweeters who have followed you (10.53(3))
94. Follow on Twitter some bloggers (10.53(4))
95. Ask your Target Readers who you should follow on Twitter (10.53(5))
96. Discuss with your Team setting up a Debate on Twitter and your Blog about some topics in your book (10.53(7))
97. Check whether you are using your Twitter Follower Lists effectively (10.54, 10.56, 10.57)
98. Research the Tweet Clouds of some of your competition and discuss your findings with your Team and send a message to your Target Readers about your findings (10.61)
99. Plan some future Tweets using Tweetdeck (10.62)
I Your Email subscription and digital Newsletter:
100. Bounce your planned weekly Email message(s) off your Team to make sure your goals are clear and are met by the message content (11.4, 11.25)
101. Research other Newsletters for hints for your own Newsletter (11.23)
102. Review with your Team your Email success metrics and take improvement actions if needed (11.26)
103. Review with your Team your Email segmenting efforts to see if they need fine-tuning (11.37)
104. Brainstorm with your Team new kinds of Calls to Action for your Email messages (11.40)
105. Review your Email Drip Marketing Campaign with your Team (11.50)
106. Review your Listmania lists and use of those Lists and update them (12.2)
M Your Book Reviews:
107. Approach more Amazon Book Reviewers to ask them to review your books (13.13)
108. Ask others to review your books (13.14)
109. Write some reviews for books on Amazon (13.16, 13.17)
110. Search for other non-Amazon book reviewers and ask them to review your books (13.18, 13.19, 13.21)
111. Check for new lists of book reviewers (13.32)
N More Forums:
112. Search for new forums for your book genre (14.1)
113. Self-promote yourself and your books on Amazon’s Meet Our Authors Forum (14.1)
114. Writes posts for selected Forums set out in Task 14
115. Test some messages with your Guinea Pig Group from iAuthorDB (that’s the Independent Author group – the DB stands for their data base) (Task 16)
116. Nurture your LinkedIn Groups (17.3)
117. Search for new LinkedIn Groups for your to join (17.9)
Q Your Videos and Talk Shows and Podcasts:
118. Prepare a Book Video or Author Video or a Podcast (Task 18)
R Developing the Indie Community:
119. Prepare 2 tasks for this week to boost the Indie Community (Task 19)
S Review & Revise:
120. Review and revise your Small Steps Plan (Task 20)
Consider yourself launched on a very effective book / product / service promotion campaign.
Do this to get a hard copy of the Weekly Checklist emailed to you:
If you go to my author blog site you will see in the right hand column a Download button underneath the heading Please sign up to get my free Newsletter & Bonus downloads. Click on the download button. You will be asked to provide me with your name and email address so that you may receive emails from me, as well as issues of my digital Newsletter.
Signing up does not cost you anything nor does it oblige you to do anything.
My author blog is at http://glennashton.blogspot.com
You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe button at the bottom of the emails you will get from me.
As soon as you sign up, you will be eligible for more bonus, free gifts from me. These will come to you over a period of about a month, and at intervals after that, as long as you have not unsubscribed from my email list.
Two of the bonus gifts you will get will be especially interesting to you, and worth a great deal to you as an author.
The first one is a copy of Chapter 25 of Small Steps to Bigger Book Sales – this is a copy of the Small Steps Plan template. The template is in the book itself, but because you will get both an Microsoft Word and an Excel spreadsheet version of it, you will at once be able to use it for your very own Small Steps Plan for marketing your own books. You can change these copies to suit your needs. You don’t have to type out the template in the book because this is already done for you.
The second useful bonus gift is Chapter 26 of Small Steps to Bigger Book Sales – the weekly engagement checklist of 120 items that you can use to make sure that you are doing your best to market your books in places where your readers are. This is a Word document that you can change to suit your own needs.
Your author friends:
If you like the Small Steps template and the weekly engagement checklist, please pass them on – free of charge – to your author friends for them to benefit from using them. We all, as self-published authors, should help develop the Indies, as talked about in Task 19 of Small Steps to Bigger Book Sales.
- This topic was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by Glenn Ashton.
September 17, 2016 at 3:05 pm #1146
Hey Glenn, nice list! I’ll mention this in our email that is going out to authors soon.
September 17, 2016 at 4:39 pm #1156
Thanks, Donald! It’s the result of 2 years of research into how self-published authors promote their books, done in between writing my own novels. I discovered that many authors wished they had some marketing plan that was flexible, and that allowed them to promote as a sideline while concentrating on writing. And that there are no silver bullets: persistence, consistency, planned efforts seem to work the best.
I’ve just checked my handbook Small Steps for Bigger Book Sales: I think there could be a dozen or so solid, meat-filled and useful articles that I could wrap around the book’s contents. Do you think iAuthorDB would like to see some, or should I just go ahead and load them when I’ve written them? It could take a while to do so…
September 19, 2016 at 4:11 pm #1162
I agree, persistence and planning seem be best. Feel free to post anything useful as you have the time!
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