If you’re an author who has just finished writing a book, you know how tough it is. You spend months on end, even years, doing the necessary research, writing and editing to create a solid product for your readers to enjoy – all while dealing with stressful deadlines and pressures, both internal and external.
With all the work and efforts you have put into your ‘labor of love’ it would be a shame to slouch on the marketing aspects of the book and lose out on potential sales. Be sure to take all of the necessary steps to make it easy for people to find you and learn about your book… because you owe it to yourself.
Back in early 2011, I worked directly with a Pulitzer prize winning author, David Willman, to promote his new book, The Mirage Man, that was to come out in June of 2011. David is an incredibly talented writer who fully understands and appreciates the importance of social media and digital marketing. He truly ‘gets it’, and it was fantastic to work with him. Many aspiring authors can learn from his openness to adapt to a new age of book publishing and marketing.
Through my work as a consultant with David, I thought I’d share a few things that you can do to positively promote his book and boost overall awareness:
Create a Personal Website – All digital marketing efforts are futile unless you have a website showcasing yourself and your book. This is very important, and absolutely crucial in today’s marketing environment. If you want people to find you and learn about your book, you HAVE to create a website. This may seem obvious, but it had to be said. David and I have seen too many great authors who are held back due to not having a strong online presence.
Optimize Your Website for Search – Make sure your website is heavy in text as search engines can fully interpret text, but cannot read any video, image or flash object. I would advise making a list of 20 keywords that you think your readers might use to find your book and input those words in your website’s language. Try to use the words as much as you can without going overboard. It’s important for that text to be there, but it’s even more important for your website’s language to be clean, smooth and not repetitive. After all, you still want your writing skills to show!
Blogger Outreach – Make a list of influential blogs that will help drive traffic to your website. Any blog where you think potential readers of your book will be. These can be blogs within the field of the book’s topic, blogs of other authors, blogs that reviews books, etc. Once the list is made, develop a strategy to approach each blog with a warm message and a value proposition offer that will generate interest and help them. The key to blogger outreach is to be open to helping them as much as you can. Many will be happy to help if you supply them with unique content such as interviews, book excerpts or a copy of the book before it goes on sale so that they may review it. Top quality blogs can drive a ton of traffic to your website, so be sure to do whatever you can to create and maintain a mutually beneficial working relationship.
Create a Facebook Fan Page and Put a Facebook Icon Linking to the Fan Page on the Websitee – Readers love to interact with the author and talk to fellow fans. If you’re attentive to any questions or comments and open to your readers, they will help spread the word about you and your book. Show love to your readers, and love you shall receive back.
Develop a Mailing list – Create a contact list of as many people as you possibly can. Sounds kind of ridiculous, but it can pay off with some huge dividends. The contacts can be family, friends, co-workers, professional contacts, etc… anyone you can reach out to that will support your book and your marketing efforts. When your mailing list is made, send out a mass email to all of them with an appropriate message. I would usually advise using a email-management platform like iContact or ConstantContact, but for this situation I think it’s best to send an old fashioned email to make it more personable and less business-like and marketing speak. These emails will help spread the word, increase your Facebook fan numbers, keep important people aware of news regarding your book, and may even lead to new opportunities!
The digital world is constantly changing. It’s important to always monitor recent trends. What worked in 2011, may not work in 2014.
But hey, that’s why we’re here. As this is our first post, I thought it would be a good time to let you know that we’ll constantly be posting on topics around digital marketing, industry trends, tips, recent news, and new technologies.