A new year, a new marketing scheme! How are the most successful authors moving their work off the shelves and into readers’ hands? What is the best way to use social media? Should you use it all? Here are a few answers and tips to help refine your 2019 marketing technique. They’re surprisingly simple.
When you build something to market your book – whether it’s a social media profile or a series of speaking events – it’s easy to focus on the obvious: your book. You want to sing its praises and pitch it to as many people as possible. That’s what you’re supposed to be doing, right? Wrong.
Marketing is serious work, in large part because your potential audience isn’t really looking for your book. They’re looking to be entertained. If you don’t get their attention by presenting something immediately interesting, chances are they’ll wander off. If you incessantly plug your book, they may even come to see you as annoying. Focus instead on your desired audience and their interests. Figure out a way to catch their eye through those, and you’re on the right track.
Zero in on Your Audience
Didn’t we just say this? Well, yes and no. You must find your audience and join in their interests for successful marketing. That means hunting them down online. Where are they? Are they on Facebook? Have they moved on to other platforms, like Twitter? Do you want to angle for the Tumblr crowd? Maybe you can hook readers on Instagram.
Choose wisely. Pick no more than three social media platforms to use for marketing. Any more than that will just exhaust you. Targeted marketing on the right platform is better than exhausted status-tossing on every social media hub known to humanity.
Build a Website
An author website serves as a hub for all your hard marketing work. Your social media labor all leads back to this domain, and this is where you will build your castle. Of course, your work isn’t done once you have a nifty landing page and a trove of sales links. You need attractive content here, too.
Make the most of SEO. Draw readers in with content they’ll actually care about. You can write about writing (like we do here at Inkitt), talk about the history behind your historical fiction, provide info about local cons and geek-meets, etc. Find your niche, give it an authorly spin, and make content. Build a blog, offer photo galleries, and remember that folks online really, really, really like videos.
You’ve heard of networking. So had your dad, your grandma, and that cool uncle three times removed. That word doesn’t mean what you dad, your grandma, and your uncle three times removed think it means, though – at least not anymore. Networking for authors is all about online relationships.
The writing community online is strong, especially on platforms like Twitter. Find other writers, fans of your genre, and other fans of the things you love. Follow, like, comment, and build a relationship with these people. Share their joys and sorrows, help boost their work, and they’ll return the favor. You’d be surprised what kinds of connections you can make in the digital age. Some agents actually look for query letters from people who follow them and their other clients on social media.
Give 90% – Ask 10%
They say what you give is what you get, and that’s some very sage marketing advice. Give attention and support – as much as you possibly can. Your social media pages – and even your website – should offer more than they ask. Share others’ links, retweet informative and useful posts, and share funny, beautiful, and clever posts. For every post advertising your book, you need at least nine giving something back to your readers and the online community you’re building.
They say it’s not about what you know, but who you know. They’ve said a lot in this piece, but this last saying is very true. Use social media wisely, and always remember that no matter who your target audience may be, they are always comprised of people. Reach the person, and you reach the reader. Take these tips and run with them! We look forward to meeting you on social media.