Whether you’re self-publishing or working with a traditional publisher, you’ll have to perform a lot of Digital Marketing For Authors yourself.
Unless you’re an A-List author, your publisher won’t have a lot of money to spend on marketing you and your book.
Marketing a new book twenty years ago would have included radio interviews, local book signings, and possibly even speeches or festival appearances.
The majority of book promotion nowadays takes place online.
If you consider yourself more of a writer than a digital marketer – as almost all authors do! – the prospect of promoting your book may be intimidating, especially if you aren’t particularly tech-savvy.
You might also be hesitant or unsure about self-promotion, afraid of coming across as aggressive or spammy.
You may be concerned that it will be prohibitively expensive. After all, a website will cost you hundreds of pounds… right?
The good news is that online book advertising doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming.
It doesn’t have to entail bombarding people with “buy my book!” messages.
It also does not have to be prohibitively expensive.
In this article, we’ll look at some essential tools for your digital marketing toolbox, many of which are free (and none of which are unduly expensive).
Are you prepared to begin?
Specify Your Objectives For Digital Marketing For Authors
Prioritizing will be easier if you identify your goals for creating your book.
Nonfiction authors are frequently inspired to write a book in order to tell a previously unheard tale, to share their knowledge with others, to start a business, or to get speaking engagements.
What is your main objective?
Keep your primary aim (or two) in mind while selecting how to spend your time online.
Determine What Works Best For Your Target Audience.
Busy authors must determine the best options for publishing their books while also working on branding and marketing.
Make the mistake of following the next shiny object on the internet.
Just because a social media platform or app exists does not obligate you to use it.
Consider which social media platforms are appropriate for your brand.
Start with a website and one or two social media platforms to avoid becoming overwhelmed.
You are not required to complete all tasks at once.
Build Your Own Website
WordPress is the world’s most popular website-building software.
I’ve used it on dozens of sites (for me and for friends and family members). You don’t need to know HTML, CSS, or any other programming language to use WordPress.
Add These Pages to Your Website
Following the creation of your website, you should add the following pages:
- Home – this is where you identify yourself and your writing; you can list all of your books here if you want, but if you have a large number, it may be more useful to list series or types of novels.
- Books – If you have a large number of books, create a page that lists them all and, more importantly, includes links to where people can buy them online.
- About — a page that introduces you, your website, and the topics covered in your books. Include a contact form to make it easier for your readers to contact you (a contact form, your email address, or both)
We provide website development services contact us to know more about it.
Start Creating Email List
Many writers and authors will tell you how important having an email list is, and you’ve probably been told – many times – that you should start one.
You may wonder why this is so important: can’t people simply “like” your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter if they want to learn more about your books?
After all, they can… They may, however, never see your posts.
Facebook limits who can see posts from pages, after all, do you want every single post from every single page you’ve liked to appear in your news feed?
And, because Twitter is so fast, anyone who isn’t online at the time you tweet may never see it.
While there is no assurance that your email subscribers will open and read your message, it is likely to arrive in their inbox.
That’s why having an email list is so important: it allows you to directly contact them with a message that may be any length and written in almost any manner you desire.
Social Media Presence – Digital Marketing For Authors
Social media may be a useful tool for connecting with other writers and authors in your industry or genre, as well as connecting with your audience.
Some authors are big fans of social media and utilize it frequently in their personal lives.
Others are more hesitant, fearful of losing their privacy or encountering technical difficulties.
The good news is that social media sites are free to join and use, and they’re designed to be easy to use.
You have nothing to lose by trying them!
You almost certainly already have a Facebook account.
If you don’t have an account, it’s a terrific place to start because so many people (of all ages and from all walks of life) have one.
You can also use Facebook to promote your books, but you’ll have to pay to do so.
If you have the budget and are a competent copywriter.
This can be a terrific approach to significantly increase your sales.
Facebook isn’t the only available social networking site!
Twitter is another fantastic social media platform to join, where you can find many authors and journalists.
It’s also much simpler than Facebook, making it much easier to get used to.
Regardless of which social media sites you choose to use, you should aim to:
- Concentrate your efforts on one or two sites rather than attempting to spread yourself too thin.
- Post (or tweet, pin, etc.) interesting content that your readers would find interesting – don’t just talk about your books.
- Respond to messages as soon as possible (not weeks later) – one of the benefits of social media is that it allows for two-way conversations.
Being Featured on Other People’s Websites
Once you’ve built your own website and email list, having your book – or yourself – featured on someone else’s website is a great way to spread the word.
There are several approaches, but the most common are as follows:
Guest Blogging – Digital Marketing For Authors
If you’re a nonfiction author, guest posting on other people’s blogs can be a great way to get your ideas in front of an audience.
A “guest post” is a piece of content that you write for another person’s blog or website, usually for free (in almost all cases.
You’ll be targeting larger blogs and websites.
When your post is published, you should see an increase in website traffic, new subscribers to your mailing list, and possibly a few more book sales.
Unless you can identify sites that your target demographic reads.
It may be more difficult to gain traction for guest posting if you write fiction.
Book Review – Digital Marketing For Authors
If you write fiction, there are several websites that will review your work for free in exchange for a copy.
Most reviewers will be satisfied with a digital edition; in most cases, you won’t need to provide a paperback.
Because many book bloggers have a large backlog of books to review, your book may not be reviewed for weeks or months.
Make sure you’re targeting bloggers who are interested in your genre (or haven’t ruled it out).
Most will have review or submission requirements that specify what they’re looking for.
If you write nonfiction, there are book bloggers who will gladly review your book.
But don’t target those who typically review fiction.
You could also try bloggers who write about your topic and might be interested in reviewing, featuring, recommending, or at the very least mentioning your book.
Recognize That Even The Little Efforts Add Up
You don’t need to go viral to get noticed.
Small, consistent efforts to keep people talking can be just as beneficial as a viral campaign.
Speaking engagements, sponsored blog articles, interview opportunities, more social media followers, greater site traffic, increased sales.
And recognition and extension of your personal brand can all arise from your ongoing discussion with your readers.
Consider what you can do on a daily basis to continue the conversation.
Finally, it is possible that your digital marketing efforts will take some time to bear fruit.
Don’t give up if you publish a few guest pieces but receive no more sales.
If you open a Twitter account but only have a few followers.
Rather, concentrate on consistent behaviours — for example, you could:
- Tweet about what you’re reading, what interests you, and so on four times per day (not only about your book).
- Every week, write one guest article.
- Post every two weeks if you’re a nonfiction author; fiction authors may choose to publish only when they have news.
- Once a month, send an email to your newsletter list.
But don’t be afraid to experiment: here are some additional digital marketing tool options.
If one strategy isn’t working for you (or if you’re simply bored with it), try another. Best wishes!