Self Publishing Guide
These days it isn’t enough to simply be an “author”; if you’re a published writer, you need to be a brand. Curiosity is inbuilt into the human psyche: readers and publishers alike want to know the person behind the writer, the personality behind the words. Fortunately, social media has made interaction the watchword and all of it ridiculously easy.
So what does the new author “platform” mean for you? Website, author profile and bio, newsletter or e-magazine, blog, vlog, podcasts, book trailers on video websites, your articles and articles about you or your work.
In the various components that assemble to make the online “you”, your website is by and large your greatest asset. All of the above can then be tied in to that simple space. Information on your books, their publication dates, where they can be purchased, press releases, critical reviews on your work and a link to your blog or it being in-built into the website. During radio or TV interviews, always ask for a copy that you can then embed onto your website. When interacting with your readers or anyone publicly, always mention your website as that core source of information about you. Your website can serve as the centralized location of everything about you in an electronic medium: set up a various social network identities: Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube, etc and tie them all into your main website. By launching your information on various social networking websites, it will shoot out your content to multiple sources rapidly.
In the industry, you may have heard about book tours but do you know about their online counterpart? Yes, it exists: the virtual book tour which involves connecting with readers through book blogs and through chatting software. How does it work? You make different “stops” at different blogs throughout the month, engaging yourself with a group of different readers. The more interactive and friendly you are towards the book tour hosting bloggers in terms of being available for contributing posts, interviews, Q&A sessions and consistently interacting with commentators, the more successful you’ll be. Some bloggers / companies might offer featuring your book’s cover, review, links to your website and/or blog and including purchasing information for their visitors.
Competitions: books or short stories or poetry or any other genre that you’re interested in all have competitions of some sort. Never underestimate the power of participation because it isn’t about winning: the more exposure you have, the more people read your work, the more you can talk about it in your press release. The best part? You don’t have to be a published author for this to work.
Google. Do you think it’s only a useful searching tool helpful when you’re doing your research? The best part about it is you can set up a Google Alert any time someone talk about your book and then link back to those places on your website, enhancing your profile further. Use Google Analytics to track your website and/or blog’s performance as well as Google’s Library page. The possibilities are endless when it comes to Google and its various benefits.
One of the most important things to remember is that marketing isn’t going to happen on its own: yes, there is power in online word of mouth marketing but to get the ball rolling, there’s a lot of legwork involved. Getting in touch with readers and bloggers and individuals to get those online book tours, tweets and Facebook likes, is key. Take this article as one step in your research to increasing your profile. And remember: never stop marketing. Because even after publication and press releases, keeping yourself relevant still matters because it isn’t marketing that sells books: it creates awareness and exposure which really sell books!