Every author needs their own strategy.
Whether you have strategies to write, to improve your writing, or to sell your writing, some kind of structural approach is usually necessary.
But what strategies should you use? Which of the most effective? Which are best for you? Those are the questions that we will cover in this article.
- How to prioritize your strategies
- Strategies for writing
- Strategies for productivity
- Strategies for marketing
Table of contents
- First: What Do You Want to Accomplish?
- Strategies to Write Better
- Strategies to Write Faster
- Strategies for Selling More
- Final Thoughts
In this article, you will learn:
- How to prioritize your strategies
- Strategies for writing
- Strategies for productivity
- Strategies for marketing
First: What Do You Want to Accomplish?
Before you can even start assembling your strategies, you need to understand your objectives. For this article, I am assuming you want to increase one of the following:
- Making your writing better
- Writing faster
- Increasing your sales
Generally speaking, I recommend focusing all of your intention on just one of these at a time. Choose the one that will have the biggest impact, or that will make the others easier.
For example, better marketing of your book might not be a good focus of your time if you're actual book is in good. Likewise, it can be hard to get better at writing, if you are not prolific in writing consistently.
Whatever the case for you, I hope these strategies will be useful for you.
Strategies to Write Better
The following are some of the strategies I use to improve my writing:
An outline is a great way to improve the structure of your writing, or to save you a lot of time later on in the revision stage.
A good book always has structure, and almost always conforms to a broad established structure of some kind. Setting this up before hand is a great way to learn about storytelling and get your book off on the right foot.
A great exercise that you can use to improve your writing is to try free writing. Free writing is the process of simply starting to write some words, without any idea of where they are going to go. A lot of people wonder why you would do this, as it usually doesn't contribute to the final word count of your book. But it can be an invaluable way to explore ideas, explore yourself, and simply gain practice writing in a personal, eloquent way.
As you are going about your day, get in the habit of taking notes whenever you see something that could work in a book. Some of the best ideas come from real-life inspirations, especially when they are mixed together with other ideas you may have had other times. Have an app handy on your phone, or some index cards available to quickly write down your ideas as you have them.
Take the Class
The best ways to learn anything is to learn from someone who is already an expert in. That way you can distill a decade's worth of experience into a shorter amount of time. You can do this by finding online courses from established authors, or finding a local class at a community college or other establishment.
Use Fewer Words
Almost every manuscript can be trimmed down. Almost every sentence can use fewer words.
Focus on Your Hooks
In order for someone to enjoy your book, they must first become interested in it. You grab that interest and attention with a good hook.
This is true of marketing, but it is also true of the text itself. Your opening line, your opening chapter, etc. should all be designed specifically to draw a reader in. The better you can do this, the more engaged your reader will be.
Know Your Audience
Before you begin your book, it is important that you know who you are writing for. You might only be writing for yourself, as that is okay. But if you want your book to have a larger appeal, and to sell more copies, you need to understand who you will be selling those copies to.
Start by identifying your target audience, then looking everywhere that that target audience gathers. What kind of Facebook groups are they hanging out in, what authors do they like, what podcasts or YouTube channels do they watch, you get the idea.
Read Your Book Out Loud
One of the better ways to edit your book is to read it out loud. Doing this you will catch a lot of mistakes that you would not have caught otherwise, you are more likely to catch awkward sentences and phrases, as well as overreliance on certain words, when you are reading the text out loud.
Alternatively, you can get an AI voice or other text reader to read it back to you.
Get an Editor
One of the best ways to improve your book is to get an editor. This seems obvious on the surface, but not necessarily for the reasons you might think.
For example, we all know an editor can help a book improve, but a good editor would not only do this but will also help you improve as a writer. All that feedback has an effect on you and on your writing.
Never Stop Learning
The quickest way to grow stale and cease progressing as an author is to stop learning. You should always be looking for new and innovative ways to practice writing and improve your books.
While I placed this strategy under this category, it also applies to writing faster and selling more books. You should be actively trying to learn in every area of your business.
For Nonfiction: Hook, Story, Solution
If you write nonfiction, here is an additional strategy you can use. Nonfiction is best when it is solving someone's problem. The best way to present the solution to this problem is to follow the framework: Hook, story, solution.
Your hook is what gets people interested, then you tell them a story that gets them invested. This can be any story from your personal life, the lives of others, or even made up stories. Then you offer the solution to the problem, which you have just illustrated with the hook and story.
This is the best way to not only give people what they need, but get them excited about the solution as well.
For Nonfiction: Break up the Page
White space is your friend, especially in nonfiction writing. If you want people to stay engaged with a nonfiction book, you needed to be easy for them to read. Giant blocks of text are going to be overwhelming and cause your reader's eyes to glaze over.
Instead, break up the page with multiple paragraphs, headings, subheadings, bulleted lists, etc. That will do a lot to improve your writing as a nonfiction author, and it is also a better way to organize your thoughts.
Strategies to Write Faster
The following are my favorite strategies to write faster. If you want to know more strategies along this line, see our article about how to write fast.
Create Writing Habits
The best way to write faster and more consistently is to practice. The best way to practice is to do so consistently. That is why I recommend setting up an established time to write at least once a week. Make this an unshakable habit that you will not break.
The more you can write, the more practice you will get, the faster you will become. Plus, you will eliminate any major decision fatigue because it will have become a habit.
Established brain expert Jim Kwik says, “when your body moves, your brain grooves.”
Scientific studies show that exercise is great for your brain. But it is not just exercise. Simply moving around at all is going to help you think.
(Side note: this is why I picked up dictation, and why I am dictating this article right now, because it allows me to move around while I write.)
If you can, use the Pomodoro method to remind you to get up and walk around every half hour. You will find that this keeps your brain alert and much more creative.
Break Down Tasks
If you are overwhelmed with all you have to do when writing a book, try breaking it down into more manageable tasks.
If you are able to check off one chapter a day, it feels a lot more productive than if you thought about it as just a small portion of your book as a whole.
Try not to pressure yourself too much when writing. If you don't enjoy the task, you will eventually come to resent it, which leads to burnout and a lack of writing.
Instead, give yourself permission to enjoy it. Don't pressure yourself, and you may eventually come to love it.
As of this writing, I have lost nearly 100 pounds. I can say with absolute certainty that having good health is one of the most important aspects of a productive mind.
There is a massive difference when I am meeting healthily compared to when I am not. I especially recommend giving up entirely, the following:
- Oils that didn't exist before the Industrial Revolution
I know that is a lot, and it is difficult for almost anyone who lives in our current modern society. But not only will it help you write at a pace you've never seen before, but you will also feel amazing while you do it.
Consider Dictation or AI
I enjoy exploring any option that will help me write faster. As I mentioned before, I am using dictation to write this very post, and I have used AI in many aspects of my writing to help me get past writer's block, and to speed up my generation of ideas.
I know artificial intelligence is a bit of a hot topic right now, but there are many benefits as well. For example, many writers who are neuro-divergent, or have other difficulties writing in the traditional manner, find dictation and AI to be godsends. Myself among them.
If that sounds like you, maybe give they these two options a shot. They will greatly increase your productivity.
Strategies for Selling More
Perhaps your writing is decent, and your productivity is off the charts. What's left? Well, if you aren't selling your books, a lot of all of that work matters little. Here are some strategies to increase your sales, and I recommend this post about book marketing to learn more.
Amazon and other retailers run on algorithms. Most of those algorithms require keywords to help you show up for the right searches. Analyzing the right keywords and categories will help you gain increased visibility, so the right readers are finding your books.
Pick One Social Media
There are so many social media platforms out there that it is hard to know which to focus on. If you try to do all of them, you will spread yourself too thin. Instead, we recommend picking one and learning to truly master it.
Focus on Email
Email is the single most important asset that you can have for marketing. From the very beginning, even before you write your novel, you should be focused on building an email list. This can be done by creating a reader magnet that you give away for free and exchange for someone's email. Once you have an email list, you can sell your book to them.
And it is generally more effective than any other form of marketing.
Use book promotions if your book is going to be on sale, there are many opportunities to gain visibility. One of them is book promotions, where you pay someone a small fee to share your book with their list.
These promotional strategies are still effective today, and can be a great way to kick off the marketing of your books.
Write in a Series
Books are what we call “low-margin” products. This means that you have to sell a lot of them to make any significant profit. Because of this, it can be helpful to have a series, which maximizes the amount of revenue that someone will pay you if they become invested in your work. If someone reads the first book in your series, there is a certain percentage of them that will go on to read the rest of your series, which gives you more money.
Write to Market
This one is a bit controversial for some, but goes hand-in-hand with the strategy above of knowing your audience. If you don't know your audience well, and know what it is that they like, you will not be able to appeal to them.
Therefore, it is important that you not only understand your audience, but that you write marketable fiction in your genre if you want a higher chance of selling.
I hope this has been useful for you, and that you have found one or two strategies that you can pull from this list and apply in your own writing life.
As always, continue to explore all of the articles here on Kindlepreneur, because we have a lot more writing strategies that you can put to use in various aspects of your writing or marketing. Cheers!