This week we delved deep into our writing habits from the last ten years, and brainstormed all the ways that we’ve managed to squeeze an extra 30 minutes of writing out of our days. We’re all busy – work, family, other commitments take our time. But even adding just an extra half hour of writing every day can make a big difference to our monthly totals.
It’s a trap writers often fall into – the belief that you need several hours of uninterrupted writing time to be able to produce anything worthwhile. It’s just not true – even just a half hour can move you significantly forward in your manuscript. Here in the SPA we know that it’s about regular, sustained writing over time.
This show is about being mindful, thinking about where you’re spending your time every day, and looking for the loopholes where you’re losing precious time you could be using for writing. 🙂
This week we tackle Christmas. Not literally. I mean we’re not going after Santa or anything. No knocking him to the ground, and sitting on him til he gives us presents. That would be weird, right?
No, this week we’re talking about what self-published authors should be doing over the Christmas period to promote their books to the hoards of eager Yuletide book buyers.
It’s a prime book buying time of year, and no one wants to miss out, right?
In order to do the best research for our eager listeners, we talked to several other authors (in forums and people we know) for their advice on this topic, as well as using our own experiences. We even discovered a few tips that we didn’t know about and are planning to use this year for ourselves!
If you’ve been wondering what you should do to promote your books this Christmas, you need to listen to this episode!
Do nothing level – some big names say don’t bother as it’s too competitive over this time.
If you are promoting over Christmas, get started now!
Written word media – FB ads goes up by 30% Desk top Ads goes up 180%
If you don’t know how to do FB ads, then don’t make this the place to start.
Good cheer level – an opportunity to create goodwill.
Sending Newsletters that aren’t aimed at selling.
Offer freebies – a short story or novella sent specifically to your list.
You could try a ‘twelve days of Christmas’ promo – make sure it doesn’t cost you too much.
Recipes to cover the holidays are a great idea, especially if they are from your area or country.
Acknowledging your readers incorporating feel good subjects.
Potentially this no-sales approach can lead to an uptake anyway, which is a great bonus.
The Special Christmas book level – is it worth it?
We’ve had varying comments whether this is a good idea.
Maybe put it up for cheap or put it in a boxed set over this period.
Having the word Christmas or Holiday could be in the subtitle rather than the title to make it saleable all year round.
Needs to go out the beginning of November. If it’s in print use this as a buy now prompt for shipping dates. (21-23 Dec last dates for shipping)
Romance, especially small town, home and hearth, books are a natural fit over this time of year.
Normal promotion level
Promoting your non-Christmas books as presents. Print books will do potentially do better.
Brian Meeks, notices Facebook Ads are more competitive (harder to get) but he does get more impressions.
Mailing list promotions like ENT, Robin Reads, Bookbub, it could already be too late to apply for them.
Bookbub has also said that the buy through rates are not much different to the rest of the year.
Planned late run Level
From Christmas day to mid-January these people are hitting the people that have just received new devices or gift cards.
Make sure you know the rules and where you can use your affiliate links for any books you promote – yours or other people’s in your website or newsletter.
You can also use prizes for competitions, or FB and Amazon giveaways.
Buy products you might like to use when they are on special. Like Cyber Monday, Black Friday etc.
Be aware of the shutdown dates for especially Amazon and iBooks.
Loading and making changes or asking queries might take a lot longer prior to the shutdown dates.
It’s a risk to launch at Christmas, but some experienced authors do well!
This week we talk to fantasy and young adult author Katie Cross about being a military wife, learning to be a nap-time authorpreneur, and making every moment count. She also gives us some amazing productivity tips for authors who are trying to squeeze their writing career into already busy lives. Katie impressed us right from the start of the interview when she talked about having done some writing before we got on the call. My paraphrasing summary of her words: “It was a choice between going on Facebook for ten minutes, or doing some writing. I decided to do some writing, and managed to get almost a thousand words done in that time.”
It’s always good to be reminded of the things that we can achieve if we pay a little more attention to what we’re doing, and how we choose to spend our time!
It’s a great interview, Katie is hilarious, and we loved chatting to her. (And we’re totally impressed by everything she’s able to achieve in her day!)
Katie’s website: kcrosswriting.com
About Katie: “This is really pretty easy. I love cookies. I have a toddler and two vizslas. I live in the mountains of Colorado and am definitely a Bigfoot believer. I’m an extrovert and a conversation-obsesser and dessert snob.
Follow me on social media to get all the updates on book releases, glimpses into the author life (basically I just take pictures of my dirty dishes so that I feel better about not doing them cuz I’m writing), and lots of delicious food.
This is a very special episode of the SPA Girls Podcast – our 100th episode! Who’d have thought when we nervously started our first episode that we’d make it this far??
We talk through everything we’ve learned about self publishing and writing over the last couple of years, give some of the top self publishing tips that we’ve gleaned, the advice we’ve been given by our guests, and what’s in store for the future of the SPA Girls…
Listen in for some laugh-out-loud moments as we celebrate the last 100 episodes of the SPA Girls Podcast. 🙂
This week we have authorpreneur and automation expert Arianna Golden. She’s great at helping authors set up systems in their business, to amp up their productivity, and enhance their ability to write. She talked to us about some basic automations that are simple for authors to put in place, and gave us some fantastic tips on how to save time.
Automation doesn’t have to be a scary word. As Arianna says, think of it as a tool, like a cheese grater. Used correctly, a grater can get you yummy grated cheese to go on top of a baked potato. It’s only if you don’t use it correctly that you might get into trouble… (I’m scared of graters, but not of automation, so I’m not sure where that leaves me…) It’s another fascinating interview, and hopefully a good introduction to automation for people who don’t know much about automation. Enjoy!
This week Shar and Trudi interview Wendy and Cheryl about their trip to Orlando for the Romance Writers of America 2017 conference.
They give tips on surviving a conference with 2,000 other people, plus talk about what they learned from meeting self publishing gurus like Mark Dawson, Roxanne St Claire, and Kristen Painter. They also give up the best writing tips, the most-secret self-publishing tricks, and how to network like a ninja just for you. This is another tip packed episode, where Shar and I attempt to get over our abandonment issues by pumping them for as much information as possible…! 🙂