Last week we started examining the first steps you’ll want to take in developing a marketing plan for your book. You can read that article HERE. Let’s continue diving into the ways to take your book into marketing success:
Set Up Your Website
So now that you’ve figured out your author brand and your goals, it’s time to set up a home base for your marketing operations. The first place you want to start? Your author website.
Your website is the most important asset that you can have as a business owner. Even if you’re just getting started, having a website helps you look professional, gives you social proof, and—most importantly—gives you a place to connect with readers that you (and you alone) control. The most basic website should at least include an author photo, information about your book, links to purchase your book, and a contact page.
But if you’re really serious about marketing, your author website will also include an all important sign-up page for an email newletter subscription.
A Newsletter is a Great Marketing Tool!
Talk to writers throughout the online writing community and ask them if you need a newsletter…overall, the answer will be a resounding yes. Why?
Your newsletter is your direct means of communication with your readers! Think about it this way? Publish a new book, run a sale on your book, release the audiobook—whatever you want to let readers know about, the quickest, best way to get the information to others is online. Unfortunately, while social media seems like a great place to get that information out, all users are at the mercy of algorithims, content reviews, and other restrictions.
What’s more, at any point, the powers behind the social sites can remove you, or you could be banned, or they could change the terms of service, thereby restricting your access to your followers. On the other hand, readers who sign up for your email list do so because they’re interested in you as a writer, and they don’t mind getting emails from you. Such direct access is not something to take for granted.
Devise a Social Strategy
Just because you don’t own your social accounts in the same way you own your email list, though, doesn’t mean that you should neglect social media. Social media is a hugely important part of marketing in the modern era. At minimum, you should have social media accounts established in order to be able to advertise on those platforms.
Better still, you should attempt to actively engage with and build a social media platform. It’s difficult to maintain several social accounts at once (simply because of the time and effort required), so it’s best to pick one or two to dedicate your efforts to. In some cases, though, it’s possible to cross-post to multiple platforms or schedule similar posts using third party apps like HootSuite. However, the key to successfully building a following on social is to engage with others on their pages and with the people who comment on your posts.
Social media can be a wonderful way to get the news out about your book, to share reviews, to access readers, and to build book buzz. But it doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Marketing on social media requires authentic and personal attention which can be very time-consuming. You’ll need to develop a schedule and aesthetic for consistent posting.
Now that you’ve got the basics of an online presence down, you’re ready to move on to the nitty gritty of book marketing techniques…which we’ll go over next week as we wrap up this guide to creating an amazing book marketing plan.