Book marketing goals: Plan for success in 2018

plan for success

How do you define success for your book?

Do you look at success in terms of the number of books sold? Or is it seeing your title hit the top of your category on Amazon? Maybe it’s seeing your book in a store or library. For some, it’s the “thank you” emails they receive from grateful readers.

It doesn’t really matter how you define success. What counts is that you do define it. Because if you don’t have a goal for your book marketing efforts, you won’t know if you’re successful or not.

And I want you to be successful.

My goal-setting process

I always write about goal-setting here near the end of the year (see past goal-setting blog posts at this link) because this is when I start putting mine down on paper.

book marketing goals 2

My favorite ugly Christmas sweater

I’ll review them with my goal buddy, Marcia Layton Turner, when we meet next Friday for our annual goal-setting discussion and holiday luncheon (ugly Christmas sweaters required). We will review what we did and didn’t accomplish in 2017 and talk about where we want to go in 2018.

As I share mine with Marcia, she will say to me more than once, “Can you be more specific than that?”

I need that nudge! My goals should be specific and measurable and realistic.

We usually agree to meet again in two weeks with all of the holes filled in.

I use an official “planner”

My favorite part of this process is reviewing the current year’s highs and lows. I learned this trick when I started using Leonie Dawson’s “My Shining Year” workbook planners. This step tempers my disappointment at what I haven’t accomplished because it shows me what I have achieved.

I added another very different planning tool to my approach last year when I took Marcia’s advice and bought the Momentum Planners Bundle (affiliate link). (Try it out for free first with the planner download for December.)

This package of fill-in-the-blanks PDF files starts with the big picture — a yearlong look at goals. Then it breaks them down by quarter and allows me to add the steps I’ll take — and when — to hit those quarterly goals. From there, I shift to the monthly planning sheets, where I get more detailed about how I’ll get where I need to go.

It works for me because it forces me to list what I’ll do and when I’ll do it.

But what works for you? Honestly, for several years, all I did was list my goals on one page in a Word file. That approach was my equivalent of goal-setting training wheels. I eventually outgrew my Word file, but when goal-setting was a new concept for me, it was a great starting point.

Marcia and I try to meet at least quarterly in person or by phone for a goal review. Checking in with a goal buddy helps both of us feel more accountable.

What’s your process?

That’s my process. What’s yours?

What? You don’t have one??

Here’s my challenge to you: Set at least one book marketing goal for 2018.

Let it sit for awhile, then come back to it and start planning how you’ll achieve that goal.

If you find the process intimidating, take it slowly.

If you embrace it, maybe you’ll be willing to share some tips or advice in a comment here. You might give someone else the aha! they need to start planning for the best year ever.

Please share your goal-setting tips, advice, or concerns in a comment! 


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Sandra Beckwith is an award-winning former publicist who now teaches authors how to market their books. Three groups have recognized her BuildBookBuzz.com site as an outstanding resource for authors, so you know her advice is author-tested.

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8 Responses to Book marketing goals: Plan for success in 2018
  1. Wanda Luthman
    December 13, 2017 | 1:19 pm

    My goal in 2018 is to actually earn a profit. I love in-person events but tables are expensive and I typically don’t even make back the cost of the table. My goal is to find events where tables are less expensive. I already have found 4 for next year. I like to do one/month. I have upped my price for my book at these events because I include an additional gift and gift bag, plus they get the author’s signature personalized to them or whomever they are buying it for. I have started running Amazon ads with limited success. My goal is to learn how to do this better and more so that I actually earn a profit on Amazon. I have taken three webinar courses already so I just need to implement some tactics. I also plan to create an official website. I have a blog and have been using that as my website but I earn no SEO on it, so I need to move to the big leagues. LOL
    Thank you for encouraging me to write these out. They were in my head but now it helps to visualize it.

    • Sandra Beckwith
      December 13, 2017 | 2:31 pm

      This is all so wonderful, Wanda! You’re making progress! Now that you’ve got your goals written down, refer back to them frequently so you don’t wander off the path you need to be on.

      Sandy

  2. Kay Vreeland
    December 13, 2017 | 2:12 pm

    Concise, to the point and really helpful–I want to get new readers in 2018! And … will you be posting quarterly to tell how you are doing and check in on us–that “quarterly review” you mentioned?

    • Sandra Beckwith
      December 13, 2017 | 2:29 pm

      I love that goal, Kay!

      The quarterly check-in would be perfect for the Build Book Buzz Facebook group. Are you a member? If not, you can join here:
      https://www.facebook.com/groups/BuildBookBuzz/

      Post about it to see who wants a quarterly check-in and I’ll schedule it!

      Sandy

  3. K.M. del Mara
    December 13, 2017 | 5:06 pm

    Just had to get a look at that sweater. I’ve definitely seen (and probably worn) worse. Anyway, thanks for the kick start to goal setting!

    • Sandra Beckwith
      December 13, 2017 | 7:05 pm

      Karen, it’s much worse in person!

      Now get back to your goals….

      Sandy

  4. Sora
    December 18, 2017 | 10:41 am

    I completely agree with you about defining what success means to you as the author. It just makes the work involved much more satisfying. I also agree with you about writing down your goals. That’s all part of working on your definition of success. Really loved the post. Thanks! and Happy New Year!!

    • Sandra Beckwith
      December 20, 2017 | 7:12 pm

      Thanks, Sora! Some people make the mistake of thinking that all authors have the same goal, and that’s actually not the case.

      Happy new year to you, too!

      Sandy

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