2022: A New Year, A New Outlook
Updated: Jan 14, 2022
While I was writing my first novel, I never thought about what would come after I completed it. Madness, right?
I knew nothing of author branding, publishing, marketing, or growing with the industry. Now, these are the things I think about every day, from the time I open my eyes until the time my head hits the pillow. This tunnel vision has served me well.
So, I have decided to continue with the momentum from 2021 and make 2022 the year to focus on growing my author business. I will accomplish this through increasing exposure, releasing new material, and actively connecting with others.
If you have followed my journey, then you may be wondering why I’m marking this as having a new outlook, when I spent part of 2020 and all of 2021 working toward these very things! Here are a few reasons why, starting with the challenges I faced and how I solved them, and ending with my continuing goals.
Challenge: Before I was published, I didn’t have much of a social media presence.
Solution: I now have a solid year of operating a website and posting a monthly blog and newsletter. After some trial and error, I figured out what posting schedule worked best for me (blog posts go out at the end of each month while newsletters are sent at the beginning), made some design changes, and experimented with a host of different material.
Continuing goals: I plan to expand my social media footprint. So far, I’ve discovered Instagram’s wonderful bookish community and dived into the fascinating writing community of Twitter. Over the past several months, I have joined a multitude of Facebook groups for readers and authors and have interacted with some incredibly supportive members. As soon as I have cleared enough space on my phone (I’m up to 7K pictures on my camera roll—I know, I know!), I look forward to joining the booktok community on Tiktok.
Challenge: It took me close to a decade to write, edit, and publish my first book! How long until I could put out a second? This is especially tricky while writing a series, which is why many authors will either write the entire series beforehand (or at least the first couple) before publishing. Duly noted and moving on... During 2021, I was worried that with so many new demands on my time I would miss out on doing what I love most—writing!
Solution: I have since found that with a little careful finagling, I can make the time to do it all. That has meant everything from making meals for my family in larger batches to adjusting my sleep schedule to optimize my most alert moments (since switching to decaf coffee, this has become even more crucial.)
It has worked, since I am now the proud author of two novels and a novella!
Continuing goals: I plan to use the processes and tools that worked, but search for even more ways to streamline them. One thing I have realized is that the learning curve is often steep, and things are constantly evolving. So, staying flexible in this fluid environment is imperative.
Challenge: In the middle of 2021, I looked at where I was with each platform and determined that I was still not where I wanted to be. For instance, erratic posting made it harder to stay abreast of what others were doing. To make up for the large gaps in between reading posts, I only had time to send a quick heart or one word answer.
Solution: Instead of merely liking a post, I realized sharing my thoughts on it helped both the original poster and me to find like-minded followers. It also helped with those elusive algorithms that determine who and how many people see your posts!
Continuing goals: Quite simply, by being consistent and more active. While my original passive approach was fine for the learning stages, a more active plan will help me propel my business to the next level. I’ve watched authors who joined Instagram at the same time I did build their following exponentially by posting consistently and actively seeking out other authors and readers in their genre. Makes sense, right? Not many people achieve their goals by sitting back and waiting for things to happen.
I look forward to applying these ideas and more across my platforms and will share the results with you along the way!
Here’s to a year filled with many more learning—and therefore, teachable—moments. I look forward to 2022 and hope you are, too!
My newsletter is the perfect place to get the inside scoop on any of my projects and receive exclusive material. In fact, I’ll be working on a story this year that will only be offered to newsletter subscribers—make sure you don’t miss it and subscribe on my bio page!