One of the most daunting prospects of self-publishing to authors is the idea of self-marketing. It’s really the one area that makes a traditional publishing contract look attractive. Imagine that whole team of dedicated marketeers working tirelessly just for you. Oh no, wait, that won’t happen anyway.
The fact is, if you’re self-published or your traditionally published, the chances are that if you’re just starting out then you’ll need to be able to market yourself. Here are 10 tips to give you a perfectly-rounded online marketing campaign.
1. Reader Profile
You need to work out who it is that you want to sell your books too. It’s so important to understand this point first of all so that all of your marketing is aimed right at them. To understand this in more detail please look at Duolit’s advice.
2. Target Market
Similar to the Reader Profile, you need to understand the Target Market in order to hone all of your communications at the right set of people. By understanding both of these pieces of information you will be able to mould your campaign appropriately. Again, for more help with this, see Duolit’s guide.
3. Consistency & Focus
Once you know exactly who you’re aiming at you need to ensure that all of your outputs remain steady. Your potential readers will appreciate the consistency of your messages, they’ll begin to know who you are and what they can go to you for. People feel comfortable when they know what to expect.
4. Facebook – Fan Page
You need to create a Fan Page on Facebook, given that half the world use it. But whatever you do, make sure that you keep it relevant, there’s nothing worse than stumbling across a page or a website that hasn’t been updated for a year.
5. Facebook – Cover Photo
Your cover photo should change regularly to keep your page looking interesting and relevant. Photos of you, your books, the theme of your books, images relevant to your target market, any of these will be ideal.
6. Facebook – Bio Area
You need to wow your potential readers in the Biography section. Be concise but pithy. Describe your core values in a paragraph, and also write in your normal style, so that you can attract the readers you’re after. Also, don’t forget to include your author website too.
7. Twitter – Link to Facebook
It’s easy to link Twitter to your Fan Page on Facebook. That way your comments can show up in both places, saving you time and reaching out to your whole fan base.
8. Twitter – Make Connections
Twitter used to be about how many Followers you have but times are changing. What good does it do you to have thousands of people in your timeline all shouting about their own books? What you need to do is talk to individuals on Twitter, build relationships and look for quality rather than quantity. Unfollow people that just shout about themselves all of the time, who cares?
9. Twitter – Target Audience
The trap you can fall into is to build relationships with a load of writers, and although writers read books and you have lots in common with them, you won’t sell as many books to them compared to your target market. Concentrate on involving yourself with your target group of people instead.
10. Good Reads – Find Your Readers
Good Reads is a fantastic social networking website for readers, it’s a massive book club, and the good thing with it for authors is that you can talk directly to readers who enjoy your genre (or style) of writing.
11. You Tube – Create A Video
This is a great tool for you to put yourself out in front of people. Talk about your book, yourself and anything else that hones in on the people that you’re trying to attract. Give a bit of yourself and make it personal for your readers. Then share the link on your author website, Facebook, Twitter, Good Reads etc.
12. Blog – Keep It Regular
Blogging is an easy way to keep reaching out to your fans. We’re writers so blogging is a social tool that is ready-made for us. You should make the most of it because there are a number of benefits to building a good blog. However, the most important part of blogging is you have to keep turning up, come rain or shine, providing content that your target market is interested in.
13. Blog – eMail Subscriptions
One of the most important parts of blogging is getting people to subscribe. The coveted eMail address is the holy grail for marketing so you need to provide an incentive for people to give theirs to you. A free giveaway on sign up, like an eBook or Guide, is the most common method.
14. Blog – Call To Action
At the end of every post you should include some kind of call to action which prompts the reader to do something. This may be to subscribe to the blog, or to buy your book, or to sign up to your Facebook Page, or to simply comment on the post. The interaction is the strength of blogging.
15. The eMail List
Above all else this is the most powerful marketing weapon there is. The most successful way of letting the right people know about your book launch is by getting in to their Inbox. The whole process is a big funnel, where you start by working out who you want to focus on, then you get to know them through various routes, you attract them to your author website, and finally you secure their email address.
All of these tips are simple to begin but depending on the scale and skill in which you deploy them the results can be vastly different. I’m learning most of these as I go and I write down what I learn on this blog. We’ll all lean towards some of these methods more than others but I want to concentrate on covering them all this year in some way.
I wonder if you’ve had any good experiences with marketing that you can share in the comments, maybe something that worked really well or equally something that didn’t. Please let me know, I ‘d love to hear.