Welcome back to my 3-part blog series on my Top Author Buys of 2020! (If you missed last week, check it out here.)
This week I’m covering the one item on my list that is pretty much exclusively for authors. It is also the most expensive (at $849), but honestly, it is also probably the only one that will directly pay for itself many times over.
Here it is…
Best 2020 Author Buy #2:
After I recovered from almost losing the use of my website domain (see last week’s post), I turned my focus back to my author career and my continuing education as a self-published author. Aside from releasing the new audio-book version of Where Daffodils Bloom, I knew I needed to put some serious work into my author business in 2020. Because, despite making a strong start with my debut releasing in late 2018 and then reaching bestseller status in early 2019 and making enough money to (briefly) support me like a full-time job, I failed to capitalize on those successes and had gradually lost all my momentum.
(I don’t blame myself for doing so. I had recently gotten engaged, was planning/organizing my own wedding, making my own wedding dress, working part time, and doing a massive list of sewing projects as I creating costumes for a theater production of The Wizard of Oz that included a cast of about 40 people.)
But the point is, I missed capitalizing on the momentum, and I went from making thousands of dollars per month down to making a few hundred, and continuing to gradually decline. (Marketing is a never-ending project, and I was pretty much ignoring it. So sales just DIED.
As 2020 began, I was started to experiment with different marketing options, some of which helped a little, and some of which were HUGE wastes of money (like thousands of dollars I spent to pays somebody else to run an ad campaign for me on Goodreads. BAD idea.)
Overall though, it seemed I was floundering around in confusion without any really idea where to put my time and money to try to really regain the momentum I had lost.
And that’s when, almost simultaneously with getting my website unblocked, I discovered Mark Dawson and his Advertising for Authors course. It only opens up at certain times in the year, but once you are enrolled, you’re in for life. You can take the course at any speed you wish, and you have full access to any new material or updated modules they add in the future. Within the umbrella course there are specific courses on Facebook ads, Bookbub ads, Amazon Ads, ad design, ad copy, ads automation…just everything.
I’ve only been through about half the available material at this point, and already it has helped me SO MUCH. The courses are super detailed, with lots of video demo and real-life examples. They aren’t all taught by Mark Dawson either. He has pulled in experts on various subjects so you get to hear from multiple different people/perspectives.
I am WAY more confident in how book marketing works now (so much so that I even offered to run some ads for an author friend of mine to practice the techniques), and as I mentioned above, I’m confident his course will pay for itself many times over.
I know a lot of Indie authors hate marketing. But honestly, I think that is sometimes simply because we have no idea how to do it. Who’s going to enjoy something they’re bad at? It’s no fun floundering around helplessly feeling like failure! However, once I really began to get a grasp of the subject, I discovered I didn’t hate it after all. In fact, it’s kind of a fun challenge. And I ADORE the graphic design part. (Hence why I offered to run some ads for a friend just for the heck of it.)
So if you’re an author looking to up your marketing game, I can’t recommend Mark Dawson’s course highly enough. If you can afford it, and IF you are going to commit to actually watching and using the material. (It would be a wast of money otherwise.)
He does have a few short, free courses available, if you want to try out his teaching style and see if it’s a good fit. For instance, there’s currently a free one specifically on techniques for building your mailing list, which you can find at the bottom of the list on this page. He also has courses on the writing and self-publishing processes, which I have not used and so can’t recommend from personal experience. But if they are anything like his marketing courses they probably rock.
At some point, I think I’m going to do a blog post all about how I used his techniques to explode my mailing list and catapult Where Daffodils Bloom back up the Amazon sales charts in only a matter of a few months. But for now, all I can say is, if you’re an Indie author who wants to stop hating marketing and actually understand how to do it well, this course is for you.
Who knows, you might find out marketing is your new favorite thing!
So there you have it. #2 on my top author purchases list! Tune in next week to read about #3, which is the first thing I ever bought straight off a social media advertisement, and is probably one of the most unique and versatile gadgets I have ever acquired. It’s not just for authors either! Just about anybody could love this thing (my engineer husband borrows it routinely).
See you next week!