Getting the Word Out: Promotion in the Age of Social Media and Digital Publishing
Few things are more frustrating than pouring your heart and soul into something and then having it go unrecognized; this is every author’s fear. The publishing world can be a tough one to break into. Fortunately, we live in an age when publishing options are numerous, social media reach is global, and audiences are hungry for stories. In many ways, there has never been a better time to be a writer! That said, there is still a lot of competition. So, how do you make yourself stand out from the crowd? Well, we have some thoughts on that.
📚 Judging a Book by Its Cover
Who among us hasn’t glanced at a book just because it had an attractive cover? Regardless of whether you ultimately read/bought the book, it did at least get your attention. A compelling cover can be the difference between somebody stopping to check your book out or scrolling past it. It’s not a guarantee of success, but it’s a start. Designing a cover isn’t as difficult as you may think. A short Google search will provide you with an exhaustive list of websites to help you create a cover, some of them for free. If you want to do it by yourself, consider using AI. Not having an artist available to you is no longer an obstacle.
📖 But It’s What’s Inside That Counts.
But even before dealing with cover design, you must first consider the book’s presentation, i.e., grammar and formatting. I know. Snore, right? But look, grammar and formatting are essential for any book. No matter how amazing your marketing strategy is, it must still be marketing something good. So, take the time to have your book properly edited and formatted. Readers are more likely to engage with your work if it looks professional and error-free, in addition to being an exciting story. That kind of care and attention to detail screams ‘‘real book’’. If you can’t afford the services of an editor (and yeah, that can be pricey), use proofreading apps like Grammarly. The paid versions of the apps will always have more features than the free versions, but even the free versions can substantially reduce errors and help improve writing.
🌐 Spread the Word: Using Social Media to Cast a Wide Net
Okay. Now, with the boring part out of the way, let’s talk about promotion. So, you’ve got a fantastic book. Great! This alone will do you no good if people don’t know about it. Social media and the abundance of writing platforms are essential. Use all of these to cast a wide net. Successful authors like Annie Whipple use Instagram and TikTok to release trailers of their upcoming books. For more in-depth information on using social media and video platforms, check out our article on the subject.
💌 Getting to Know You
It’s the age of social media, so be social. Engage with your readers. If they talk to you, respond. Use contacts and feedback to start building a mailing list for a newsletter. These people will be your core audience and your best word-of-mouth promoters.
Consider building your author website where people can learn more about you, engage with you, and receive the latest updates. In the age of social media, you’re not just selling a book; you’re selling yourself, too. You’re building a brand. People want to get to know you. The more personal your relationship with your audience, the more likely they will return for more and tell others about you. For an example of this, check out E.L. Koslo’s website.
Listen to your readers when they respond with suggestions for story developments they’d like to see. Offer them content tailored to those demands. Once you’ve grown your readership to the point where you can monetize your books, offer loyal subscribers promotional giveaways and exclusive content. The more you show the readers you care, the more likely they are to come back.
🚀 So What’s the Bottom Line?
Have a good book and market the hell out of it. Be persistent. It will take time, but an audience is out there for your books; you just have to find them. Cast as wide a net as possible. Put yourself out there as much as possible.
We’re All Ears! 🗣️📢