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Monday, January 6, 2014

New Year's Resolutions - Just a Wish List?

The holidays are over, the decorations put away, and as people around the world get back to work, it's time for those New Years Resolutions. No doubt what tops a lot of lists are losing weight, getting more exercise, eating healthier... And among my author friends I've heard selling more books and writing more books.

Do you know what can make the most significant difference in a resolution that is fulfilled versus one that fails miserably?

A plan.

If you want to lose weight, for example, but you eat the same way today as you did last month and last year, how can that help you reach your goal? Short and simple: it can't. It simply becomes a wish for something to happen. Sometimes wishes come true. But most often, we have to make them happen.

Once an author understands the process of writing and is getting their books published and in the hands of the readers, the whole dynamic changes to selling those books. And as many of my author friends know, simply stating that you want to sell more books does not make it happen. You need a plan.

There is not one-size-fits-all; that one solution that works for any and all writers.

I know authors who concentrate on in-store book signings and appearances, connecting one-on-one with their readers and book store staffs. They rack up thousands of miles of travel each year, living out of suitcases and hotel rooms, always moving from one place to another and rarely getting home.

I know others who tout the power of a blog. They blog seven days a week, day in and day out, rarely if ever taking one day off. They spend their days conversing with blog followers, visiting their followers' blogs, leaving comments and socializing, all in an attempt to get those followers to like them well enough to buy their books.

I know other authors who spent their time growing Twitter followers, who are constantly checking to see who follows them, unfollowing those that don't socialize, following more in the hopes that they'll be more loyal followers. It's a numbers game, seeing how many followers they can amass, setting goals that are consistently rising, all in an attempt to grow that platform.

Other authors lock onto Facebook day after day, some posting what they're eating for lunch, the results of their last doctor's visit, and what they see out their window. Their goal is to connect with their readers on a personal level, assuming that if they know them a little better, they will buy and read their books.

There are more social networks than this blog could ever mention - from Pinterest to LinkedIn to GoodReads and thousands more... And over this past year, I've met authors and publishers who tell me I MUST be spending hours a day on each of these websites in order to sell books.

If you are an author and you want to sell more books this year, how will you do it? If you simply want to sell more but you don't have a plan, it's nothing more than wishful thinking.

If you have a plan, what is it? Are you going with the tried-and-true, or are you trying something new and different?

If you don't have a plan, maybe your New Years Resolution should be to put together a plan for reaching your goal.

Whatever your resolution might be, I wish you the very best of success with it!