You may have seen a few posts or tweets about the “big year” Jess and I are working on. I’m sure your first question is:
What is a big year?
This is actually a term from birders (people who look for birds and try to count them). The idea is to see as many birds as you possibly can in a single calendar year – and in most cases – a fully dedicated year of doing everything you possibly can to make that happen.
There is also a movie with Jack Black, Steve Martin, and Owen Wilson called The Big Year – based on the book (The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature, and Fowl Obsession ) by Mark Obmascik. Despite the comedy superstars, it’s more of a lighthearted movie than an all out comedy, but worth a watch 🙂
So, what does this have to do with writers?
Well, not much, but we’re adapting the term. We’re calling it a big year – meaning we will really dedicate a year to doing everything we possibly can to build our career. This means limiting activities not directly related to the career. To be fair, we’re still going to have a few getaways to blow off steam, but we’re really buckling down and doing everything we can to make this year even more successful – build a larger fan base, connect with the audience, and sell more books!
I wanted to share some of the process – and as we start a planning, here are
5 ways for a writer to get ready for a big year
- Step 1: Be fearless. Get the mindset right that you’re going to be getting out of your comfort zone. We’re going to put together a strategy of attracting more fans which means connecting with other authors, more interaction in groups, and mastering some social networks. Like writing your book, this kind of marketing involves putting yourself out there – be fearless! This alone will put you ahead of 95% of other authors. It’s not easy to put yourself out there – but it will pay off – so be fearless!
- Step 2: See where we’re at: It’s not easy or comfortable to review your current platform and ask what’s working and what’s not. Start with a real platform analysis where you see how many people you’re connected to. For example, on twitter, it might be 500 people. On Facebook 1000 people like your page. On Goodreads, 300 friends.
- Step 3: Set some goals and be specific. I can’t stress this one enough! Without a goal, How can we measure what’s working. For example, a goal could be to add 2000 people to Facebook by June. Do this with each piece of your platform and be sure to include a number and a date. In my example, I’ll go back to my number in June and see if I met the goal or not.
- Step 4: Enlist some help! To be direct, you’ll grow more and do more with the help of other authors, friends and family. A constant goal is to make relationships with other authors – think about the authors that you’re friends with and be willing to work together to promote each other. Don’t be afraid to add people to your list that you’d like to develop relationships with. Tweet, share, and help promote their work. Trust me, they’ll notice (and hopefully start re-tweeting and posting to help promote your work)!
- Step 5: Learn! There is always something to learn! We are going to be specific though. The skills we want to develop are to learn how to really grow and connect with more readers on the network. Been stuck at the same number of followers for several months? Learn what steps you need to take to find and connect with more readers on that network! I added 2000+ people in a single month to Twitter… you can too if you haven’t already! All you have to do is learn how to use the network!
This is just the start! This is going to help us get started and set the direction for the coming year. I’ll keep you informed on what we’re doing and where we’re at.