Promoting Yourself and Your Book: Having a Plan Gets It Done

Mary Keeley

Blogger: Mary Keeley

I had a long Skype session with a client this morning. Our purpose was to brainstorm ideas to gain increased name recognition and to attract an audience for her book. She needed a plan.

Lately on this blog, we’ve talked a few times about the benefits of organizing and planning your work, your time, and your systems. But if you’re like me, the best intentions to maintain order have given way to the urgency of the moment more than I’d like. Year’s end is an opportune time to catch up and prepare, because launching into the next year organized, goals set, and with a plan in place reduces confusion and offers an exhilarating sense of confidence.

Similarly, a plan for promoting yourself and your book will eliminate confusion and missed opportunities. When it comes to promoting yourself and your book, it’s oh so easy for authors, who typically are introverted, to consciously or subconsciously put off thinking about promotion. It’s out of your comfort zone and feels unnatural.

But it is oh so necessary first, to attract a large enough following that will get you your first contract and then next, to gain the sales numbers necessary to obtain your next contract.

You’ve heard the saying, plan your work and work your plan. It is good advice for accomplishing anything, but especially that which is new or uncomfortable. Some may respond, “My manuscript isn’t ready to submit. I don’t need to think about promotion yet, do I?” The answer is yes, you do. The earlier you begin, the stronger your platform will be when you are ready to prepare your proposal for submission. Agents and editors want to see strong social media numbers on your proposal. It gives them an idea of potential buyers of your book. A power packed speaking and social media platform is essential for nonfiction authors.

Preparing a written, step-by-step, two-stage plan will help you to get the job done. You may have the luxury of addressing only one item at a time on your plan if you start early. Here is a skeletal plan you can start with and adapt for your individual use:

Stage One – Before submission of proposal to agents and editors: Begin to build an audience.

  1. Create author Facebook and Twitter accounts; add friends and followers.
  2. Create a website that communicates your personality and what you write.
  3. Start a blog and post consistently.
  4. Visit author and agent blogs and comment regularly.
  5. Create account on Goodreads. Interact with other readers. Write reviews of their books.
  6. Join Pinterest. Pin interesting photos (your own to avoid the necessity to request permission to use) that pertain to your work in progress.
  7. Gather business information for proposal: lists of bookstores, libraries, and churches you will approach to do signings or readings.
  8. Create one-sheet to give to editors and agents at conferences.

Stage Two – After book is contracted:

  1. Let social media friends and followers know when your book will be published.
  2. Ask Goodreads readers to review your book.
  3. Contact bookstores, libraries, and churches on your lists to schedule book signings and readings.
  4. Prepare sound bite for media that communicates your book’s message or story, your brand, and tag line.
  5. Prepare pitch statement for those to whom you will send review copies.

Cross off items as you address them. It will give you a feeling of accomplishment.

What can you add to fill in this plan? Which one or two are the hardest for you?

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69 Comments

  • For someone who seems to be an extrovert, I am definitely NOT. I was and still am on occasion, painfully shy. I can hear you all now. “Riiiiiight!”
    But I am shy and that’s probably what led me to make up stories, to combat all the dreck in my young life.
    I taught myself to take brave steps forward to appear confident. By the time I was 30, I had sort of almost kicked the “why do you think they’s speak to you?”
    By the time I was …older…I finally decided to stop being swayed by my perception of what other people thought and just be ME.
    That hasn’t negated the naturally ingrained and entrenched shyness, but it has helped me overcome most of it.
    My blog is coming along fairly well, I’m me there and seem to have a decent following brewing stronger each month. Oddly enough, leaving the country and having guest bloggers seems to have helped. Maybe it was the leaving the country part?
    My insane levels of fame from my newspaper writing(someone may have noticed the twice monthly column to which I contribute AND I email it to my mom) have at least gotten my name around town. Hopefully any arrests stemming from…oops, better not mention that.

    But, for now, I’m aiming for landing an agent. Once that is done, then the flight takes off.

    • Anne Love says:

      Yes Jen, the big myth of adolescence is that peer pressure and feeling insecure will suddenly go away once you pass through puberty and bloom into a full-grown adult! The first time a I took the Myers-Briggs Personality test in college, I scored right in the middle of Extrovert and Introvert–I still can’t make up my mind!

      I’m not doing too badly on the first list–just need to grow the numbers. Mary, thanks for the concise list of goals! I’m less worried about the introvert factor and more concerned about the time commitment with my 50 hr work week. We all still need that precious time to actually do the work of writing!

    • Mary Keeley Mary Keeley says:

      Jennifer, what you taught yourself about taking those brave steps when you were younger will serve you well as you take the step to query an agent. You’re right. Most people would never know you are shy. As you can tell, we all love your witty, creative comments here.

  • Thanks for the suggestions, Mary. I’m ticking off List One items bit by bit, but I have a question. Can you expand on what a one-sheet should include? If not here, is there a link you could direct us to? Thank you!

  • Jeanne T says:

    Mary, I’m ashamed to admit I have lots and LOTS of holes to plug. I think I need to set up some goals in 2013 to really establish a stronger online presence. So far all I have is a FB account and a Twitter account. Time is my biggest challenge.

    And yes, Jennifer, I will figure out how to squeeze in a blog too. :)

    • Lisa says:

      Jeanne- You have such a sweet spirit, you’re doing great. I just added things slowly. I made sure I was comfortable with one aspect before I added another. I still have holes to fill too. We’ll get there :)

      • Jeanne T says:

        Awww, thanks for the encouraging words, Lisa. Adding things slowly sounds like a good plan for me. Glad I’m not the only one filling holes. ;)

    • Mary Keeley Mary Keeley says:

      I hear you, Jeanne. Time is a challenge. That’s why I’ve found written plans and lists that I can check off item by item to be valuable. And you make the case for writers to begin building your following early in your career. One thing at a time doesn’t feel so overwhelming.

      • Jeanne T says:

        You’re right, Mary. I’m a list gal, too. I need to get organized again and make some lists. And attach deadlines. I work well with deadlines. :)

    • Anne Love says:

      Jeanne, my critique partner and I combined our blogs this year in September. We both work full time and decided we could be better together than on our own. We can post more regularly, share the load when we have a schedule crunch, and combine our “crowds”–okay Jaime’s crowd was bigger than mine on Blogger. But mine was larger on Pinterest. We also are focusing on readers as much as possible and not just writers and publishing. I wish you the best in your endeavor to start a blog!

    • I vote for Jeanne to start a blog! I want to get to “know” you better online, too–what you’re writing, etc! I see you on Books/Such but don’t know much about your writing!

  • Lisa says:

    Thank you so much, this is really great resource.

    I am in phase one. The hardest part for me is being patient with the process. I am an introvert. At first, I felt really emotionally drained from trying to build a platform. I never imagined myself having a blog or being on twitter, anything like that. I decided to just pray every morning and evening that God would establish the work of my hands. I have found peace in that. I write about what I love and I am myself. That is really such an amazing privilege.

    • Mary Keeley Mary Keeley says:

      Lisa, thanks for mentioning the best place to start: on our knees, asking God to “establish the work of my hands.” You have found that sweet place. An Amazing privilege indeed.

    • Larry says:

      “I write about what I love and I am myself. That is really such an amazing privilege.”

      Indeed. It seems far too many new writers have this bizarre belief that their job is the write the book, and the publishers’ to market and sell it.

      I mean, when you get between fifteen percent and a fourth of the earnings of the book, why would you think it’s someone elses’ job to write, promote, and sell the darn thing!

  • Tari Faris says:

    I can’t claim to be good at any of it. The two I struggle with the most are blogging and Twitter. Blogging is a struggle because with having very little time for writing usually my ideas for blogging come when I am in the car carpooling the children, making dinner, or any number of activities not conducive to sitting down and writing a blog.

    Twitter, on the other hand, I just have a hard time embracing. Over and over I have heard the rule of thumb is to tweet about others five times for every one time you tweet about yourself. But with the abundance of links on there now, I have actually ignored many of my people I follow tweets because I’m tired of reading “advertisements.” I also haven’t found it effective way to connect to potiential readers just other writers.

    Facebook I love. I’ve had a personal Facebook account for five years and adding a author page was very natural and fun.

    So, I guess I’ll continue to embrace Facebook, push ahead in blogging, and struggle with Twitter.

    Thanks for the reminder to not give up on any of them.

    • Mary Keeley Mary Keeley says:

      Tari, your comment brought up a good point. Each of us has social media options we’re more comfortable with than others. It’s best to focus on those because that’s where you’ll be most natural and productive in establishing relationships with friends and followers. Don’t ignore the others completely, though.

    • Navdeep Kaur says:

      I just got on twitter after reading this post. I feel like I can’t keep up with twitter, Facebook, and blogging while also trying to write.

      I might just ask a friend to become my social network promotions assistant.

  • As soon as I started reading this post, Mary, I began kicking myself (again) for releasing this new book under a pen name. It seemed like a great plan at the time–not messing with my faith-filled journeys for kids brand–but it’s difficult to maintain two online personas. Multiple Twitter and Facebook accounts. Numerous blogs. It all takes time.

    I tend to focus more online for promotion, and not so much local, which could be a mistake. I need to find a better balance.

    • Mary Keeley Mary Keeley says:

      Cheryl, I’m amazed you can keep up with it. I hope you do find a balance where you can fit in local book signings and readings. The personal connection with readers may provide a refreshing break for you. And readers who meet an author in person tend to be loyal to that author in the future.

    • Larry says:

      Maybe the pen name wasn’t a bad idea?

      For example, you could have loyal readers, some of whom might simply buy your book without reading the back to realize it’s not what you usually write, and might feel a bit confused as to what they ended up buying for their kids!

  • I love lists, so thanks for providing this one! :)

    I’ve been seeing so many people talking about the effectiveness of blogs, etc., and the best ways to connect with readers. Like Tari, I seem to find Facebook to be the best way to connect with actual readers. I have a Goodreads account but mostly keep track of my own reading on there. I’d be interested to read a post about how exactly to connect with readers on there other than writing reviews.

    I’m not on pinterest yet because I’ve heard it’s so addicting…

  • Mary, I appreciate the black-and-white of a list. This is so encouraging to me today. I just logged off of Facebook where a reader who found me through my blog wrote how much she appreciated that I was willing to connect. The only thing I’m missing in Phase One is Goodreads, and that’s just because I haven’t taken the time. But I LOVE Pinterest, and so do my blog readers. My numbers are still small, but they’re growing consistently.

    I don’t know exactly how many of my blog readers and FB friends know of my goal to publish fiction. My blog has a homeschooling mom theme, and I have reviewed books there. They know that I am an avid reader, and I share images that promote reading all the time. Sometimes I’ll crank up the creativity on a post, and my readers tell me I make them laugh or cry. I take that as a compliment! But my blog theme is not I’m-a-writer-on-the-journey-to-publication. Should I confess my goal? If so, any suggestions on how? Thank you!

    • Mary Keeley Mary Keeley says:

      Meghan, you need to create a separate author website/blog. Otherwise, as you gain name recognition potential new readers won’t know where to find you. You can make occasional announcements on your homeschooling blog and provide a link to your author website to direct your homeschool followers to your author site.

      Your author website is where you will want your author Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pintertest accounts to be linked.

      The optimum time to “confess your goal” is when you can articulate a clear vision for what you plan to write and your author website/blog is ready to launch.

  • Larry says:

    “But it is oh so necessary first, to attract a large enough following that will get you your first contract….”

    I wonder how much sleep publishers lose over wondering when writers will realize if they have obtained a large enough following to get a publishing deal, that they could instead cut out the middle-man and release their book directly to their audience. :)

    • Mary Keeley Mary Keeley says:

      Larry, choosing to self-publish at the point a writer can get a traditional contract is feasible if the author has a following of 10,000+ and each of them purchases a book. But there are benefits in choosing to go with a traditional publisher: editing, catalog presence, media promotion, and a publishing house’s name on the book, which communicates to potential book buyers that it met with their standards.

      • Larry says:

        I agree with every point you made, Mary, except for the last, if only because it seems that with self-pubbed e-books, readers are willing to be satisfied with less-than-stellar quality, depending on the price.

        (For example, I wouldn’t expect the Next Great American Novel from a ninety-nine cent e-book, and it seems neither do the majority of e-book buyers, according to the comments left on most of the books, which to paraphrase mostly seem to be, “It kinda sucked, but it was a dollar. Got want I wanted from it.”)

  • Mary, thank you for this clear, concise checklist. I’m looking forward to your post on a one-sheet (thank you, Kathryn, for asking).

    I’m in the pre-contract and pre-agent stage and have accounts on Twitter, FB and Goodreads. Also I have a G+ account. I haven’t tried Pinterest yet. I have two blogs, one on writing and one on fantasy which is designed to attract people who might be interested in my WIP (a YA Fantasy). As Jennifer can tell you, I need to work on posting consistently.

    At this moment, my biggest hesitation has been starting an author website. My concern is two-fold. One concern is my name. Initially I set up my blog and Goodreads with a pen name. I had planned on promoting an adult psychological mystery that I thought was almost ready to send out. The main characters are both male and someone recommended that I change my name from Christine. Since I think Chris Dorman is a hard and boring sounding name, I adopted the name Chris Breadlebane and used it as my name on the blog and on Goodreads.

    Then, as I became more educated by following this blog, doing research and reading everything I could about business of writing, I realized that, if I wanted a career in writing and I wanted to go the traditional route (which I do), it was best to focus on working to get the YA fantasy novel published. There seems to be a market for both novels, but in terms of branding, I already have ideas for a second and third fantasy novel, but can’t imagine writing another book like the psychological mystery. Since the main character of the novel is a girl and the target audience is female, I thought it might be better to go back to being Christine. So I changed my name on the blog. It didn’t seem to hurt the blog traffic, but I was sorry that I had started out with a pen name.

    My concern, then, with a website is starting with the name Christine Dorman and then having to change it should I be told again that I need a pen name.

    My other concern with starting a website before the manuscript is even in the query stage is discomfort at putting too much information about the story online. I had started doing some snippets of it on Goodreads and Rachelle Gardner told me that that was not a good idea. I have used my blog to introduce the setting and some of the characters (I’ve interviewed one of the characters and had another as a guest blogger), but without using any of the actual story. I fear, probably without justification, that if I write about the actual story, someone might take my ideas to an agent before I do. I realize that my work is copyrighted, but I have had the experience of having a newspaper steal a story concept that I had proposed to them. I don’t have the money or the inclination to sue people, so I would have little to no recourse if someone took my story and presented it as their own. So, Mary, please consider doing a post on what a writer should put on an author website prior to being contracted or having an agent.

    Have a blessed weekend!

  • Leia Brown says:

    I am learning so much from you — from all of you — as I dip my toes in the dream of writing a book. Because I am so new to this, I am really trying to just catch up with the rest of you who know so much more than I do! I am confused on the difference between a “marketing plan” and the “business information for proposal” you write about in this post. Before I submit a book to an agent, am I supposed to contact churches, radio stations, etc. and ask if they will promote my book? Seems a little cheeky when I haven’t ever had a book published and haven’t had anyone say they were interested in mine yet. Or, if an agent asks for a proposal, am I just supposed to have a list of businesses I will contact when my book is actually going to be published?

    • Larry says:

      Thank you for your kind words Leia. I’d say we all look forwards to new folks joining the community here: welcome aboard!

      While it may seem a bit way forward to ask churches or local media outlets to promote your book before you have a publishing deal (or to ask local churches, colleges, book stores, libraries, etc. to speak about your book before you have a publishing deal), don’t feel too bad about asking it from local media outlets: their job is to have new content, so if anything, you are helping THEM by letting them know you have something you could discuss on their program or in their paper if / when you get a publishing deal (and heck, you don’t even need to be published: depending on your book, say non-fiction or a fiction book on a current-events topic, you could still possibly get on their programing, as an “upcoming author”). Regarding local churches, see if your book deals with any particular theme from Scripture that is being covered, or that they intend to cover. There may be small-groups that might even be based upon the themes of your book, depending on what it is.

      Also, it does help to be able to let an agent know, “Hey, these are the outlets where I already can inform readers about my book”, as it shows that you are able to GET those speaking gigs, and have current knowledge about the (increasing) responsibilities being put onto the writer to market their book.

    • Navdeep Kaur says:

      I have to agree with you, Leia. I am learning so much from everybody here. It feels like security while I’m still trying to feel my way through this new world. I have a Marketing degree, but the literary business world is so different. We’ll make it!

  • I’ve been starting to wonder if blogging is effective for fiction authors. It makes perfect sense for non-fiction as a way to establish platform, but for fiction writers–do readers really spend much time on writer blogs? Blogging often seems to be writers chatting with each other rather than building their readership. I know it looks good to editors, but is it valuable besides that?

    • Larry says:

      As most here have said before, it seems like blogging is a good way to meet other authors than readers!

      From my experience with media folks, though, some papers and local news stations might be willing to take on a writer for a blog on their website, or link their blog on the website.

  • Jeanne T says:

    Mary, I have a question for you that came to mind as I read Tari’s comment. Is it more effective to get more involved in social media, i.e. joining Pinterest, or to begin a blog? I comment on a number of blogs, but I’m only “doing” Facebook and Twitter, and not very consistently.I’d love to her your thoughts. :)

    • Jeanne,

      My own experience has shown me that blogging is the single best tool to use over the long haul, because I “own” it and it is not subject to the whims of Facebook or other social networks, who constantly change up the way they do things. A blog is fantastic in terms of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), of publishing samples of your writing and becoming a disciplined writer, and of making excellent connections with readers, organizations, and other influencers.

      Whatever tools you choose (and I would choose one social network in addition to blogging), the most critical thing is to use the tool(s) consistently, over time. Think of it as training for a marathon, with each tidbit that you publish online bringing you one step closer to getting in shape for that long race.

      • Laura,
        I agree wholeheartedly with the idea that blogging is the single best tool over the long haul.

        While I’ve haven’t been as consistent this year as in the past, I was recently contacted by a legitimate CNN reporter writing a piece on tech savvy grandparents. She had read my blog post from last January about my experience with my nine year old grandson and texting. She asked to interview me…

        This would not have happened without my blog. And has helped me to realize I need to get back to posting on my blog!

        Thanks for the encouragement and I always love your hints and help.

      • Leah E. Good says:

        Thanks for all of your comments on this post, Laura. They are all so helpful.

  • Stephanie M. says:

    I have FB, Twitter, a blog, an author website, and I still feel like I’m chipping away at a mountain and not making a dent. Can’t wait to see that checklist, I’ll feel better if I can see where I’m going :)

  • Tehila says:

    Thank you for this comprehensive list. One item that I would add to both lists, would be prayer.

    This may not seem like a practical item to some, however, the truth is that without humbling ourselves to rely on the Only One who “builds, the house”, we will be labouring in vain (Psalm 27:1).

    The entire process of publishing our book is dependent solely on God.

    Augustine said it so well, “Sin is believing the lie that you are self-created, self-dependent and self-sustained.”

    God bless you as you abide in Him, and equip others to do the same in their writing endeavours.

    • Navdeep Kaur says:

      I agree. Having faith..even faith in your art, work, and capabilities, can be the best way to boost self-confidence and promote yourself. It’s natural for people to gravitate towards individuals who are confident. Confidence comes from faith and believing.

  • As a lover of and a maker of “lists” this post was just my cup of tea. I printed the list and checked off completed tasks with circles and notes for those items needing more attention.

    And yes…crossing off each finished project lifted my spirits this morning. Felt really good.

    Now, for the rest of the list…I plan to incorporate the items into my goals and plans for next year.

    Thanks Mary.

    P.S. I found a wonderful posts about the history and psychology of “the list” and ended up ordering a book by David Allen called “Getting Things Done.” http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/02/09/willpower-to-do-list/

  • Melissa says:

    I have a blot and post consistantly. God has been so faithful in growing my audience gradually. I cringe when I hear I need to do facebook. I did have an account three and a half years ago but that led me to someone in my past and I ended up betraying my husband. Praise God, my marriage has been restored but I hesitate to even bring up facebook to my husband. I guess I need to trust that if God wants my book published it will happen with or without facebook

    Thanks for the thoughts, Mary.

  • Jessi Gage says:

    Awesome, awesome advice. Thank you Mary!

    I’m a recent-first-time-contracted author, and have done everything but Printerest from your first list. I’ve got work to do on the second, though I’ll tailor it for my ebook (print will come out later). My book isn’t out yet, so I don’t have sales numbers to report, but I can tell you that in the year I’ve been focusing on my social media presence, I’ve made TONS of contacts that have opened doors for me and hopefully for my work. Re some of the comments above, YES, social media/blog/twitter presence can pay off big time, but only if you provide thoughtful, personalized, and interesting content. Readers do spend time on the blogs and websites of the authors they love. Just look at the FB pages of people like Karen Marie Moning and Janet Evanovich. Fans are leaving likes and comments left and right.

    Everyone has to start somewhere. If you get a couple of likes a week and a couple comments on your blog, you’re off to a good start. Build on that. Leave comments of your own on the sites of authors you want to grow up to be like. You’ll be amazed at the relationships you begin to form. Just remember, be authentic and personal. Don’t automate. If you provide excellent content, they will come:)

  • Joe Frey says:

    What a plethora of information here. I also have a FB page, author FB page. Am a member of SCBWI, WAE Network, Publisher’s Market Place, LinkedIn, Jacket Flap among a few other wonderful sites for authors/writers.
    I am reluctant to start a blog because I am plagued with the infamous TIME, of which this ingredient is required in order to properly maintain a successful blog. I also do not have my own website because of all the research I’ve done, I can’t afford one at this time.

    I have a storefront where all six of my self-published books reside. I have sold roughly 450 books to date (since 2009) but that’s not enough to go knocking on the doors of prospective Lit Agents.

    My poetry series for children Fruit of my Labor has just received a 4-Star review and I put that on the back cover of the book and just ordered another shipment of books. I take them with me when I do classroom readings, and that has been going great! Again, that ever-present ingredient, TIME, gets involved and I have to make it in between my full time job and family….I love what I do, so I make it work!

    I eagerly await Mary’s one-sheet to make revisions to what I currently have. I also have business cards made up to hand-out to folks wherever I go.

  • Kirk Toncray says:

    Thank you for reminding me of Pinterest. I always keep up with my Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ accounts but I somehow always need to be reminded of Pinterest and the importance of it. I think I will subscribe this blog; there appears to be excellent information here.

  • The hardest part for me is balancing the value of being on multiple social media sites vs. the value of focusing on one. Right now I put all my energy into building my blog following via Facebook. I’ve built a pretty significant following, but I think it’s because I’ve put all my eggs in that basket! If I were trying to do Twitter and Pinterest also, I don’t think I would do any one as well.

    All of that said, I read an article recently titled something like, “What would happen to your blog if Facebook blew up tomorrow?” The same question could be asked of any social media site. The author’s point was that if you are too dependent on social media for your reader relationships, you could quickly fall victim to negative changes the sites choose to make (e.g., Facebook changing its algorithm recently, resulting in fan pages reaching far fewer people). The bottom line was that the most important thing you can do is build your email list. In retrospect, I wish I had realized this far earlier so I could have focused more on email sign ups. My Facebook following is 6 times my email list size. I’m going to be working to change that ratio significantly in 2013. :)

  • Thank you so much, Mary. I’m usually quite good at organization, but I seem to falter during that post-conference glow and pre-Christmas rush. This post looks good as a shortcut on my desktop.

  • Leah E. Good says:

    Great post. Thank you.

    I maintain a blog and have been excited to see the number of followers steadily growing. I also enjoy reviewing books on Goodreads.

    Facebook is the scariest social media for me, but I’ll probably look into getting an account in 2013.

  • Hi Mary!

    Thanks a million for these stages! They are so helpful!

    I can happily say that I’ve addressed or I’m addressing nearly every item on Stage One. My blog (www.pensonaworldmap.com) is growing all the time and I have my author website and twitter going too.

    I haven’t started a Facebook Author page yet though because I feel odd calling myself an author when I’m not published.

    Is it bad to feel this way? What do you put on your FB author page if you’re not published or having a book released yet? I would love some advice. Thanks!

    • Morgan, I think it’s important to think of yourself as an author, even if you’re not repped or published yet.

      I know one of the first things my agent wanted me to establish was a FB author page. I was sort of loathe to do it, not knowing what to post. But it turns out to be a great tool for reaching READERS (usually via my personal FB page). You can link to your blogposts, link to interesting posts (more up your readers’ alley–for instance, I post links to great homeschooling or marriage posts). You invite quick and personal comments from your potential readers. And it’s easier to reach your “peeps” than with twitter, which I find it easy to miss things on.

      Anyway, all this to say, a FB author page has been another valuable platform-building tool for me! Tell me if you start one, girl!

  • Thank you for this list, Mary. I love having a check list, it makes a goal less overwhelming and more attainable. As far as the pre-publication check list goes, I feel like I have a good handle on it and I’m slowly plugging away at connecting with more and more authors and agents. The only one on the pre-publication list that I haven’t tackled is a website. I’m wondering if anyone out there has a good suggestion for a website designer, or if that’s something I should look for locally?

  • Planning to work is fun. I can lose myself for hours making to do lists with deadlines, contact information, priorities. It’s working the plan that stumps me. Don’t know if the problem is really time or if lack of time is just a cover for lack of confidence.

  • Rene Diane Aube says:

    I love this article!Thank you Mary! I desperately needed some direction. I found so many helpful links and information in the comments, too! Here’s a puzzle: I have places that are looking forward to book readings/signings and visits from Daisy but have yet to be published. Hmmm…do I have the cart before the horse? Should I get my author’s page up on Facebook…or is that, too, running ahead?

  • Reba says:

    Thanks for the informative post Mary.
    Now that the year is winding down, and I have an idea of how to strategically plan, I can start on that now. There are a few things on your list that I already do, so I feel I am on the right path.
    Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  • Leanne Stowers says:

    To say I’m a newbie to the publishing industry is an under statement. I was introduced to this blog by Sunny Frazier, God Bless her; and found this information to be extremely insightful. So much so, that I printed it out. Thank you, Mary, for this blog and thanks to Sunny for sending me here.

  • Great advice. It all feels very overwhelming at times, but all good dreams take work.

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