Marketing your product is a tough job. And it’s even harder for artists, who are more suited to a free form, intuitive work style. How is such an individual – a writer, perhaps – who is used to less than conventional ways of doing things to sit down and focus on a strategy for showcasing their work to the masses when all they want to do is move on to the next project (or take a well-deserved respite)?
Fortunately, we live in less than conventional times where technology and the Internet have changed the game. Instead of getting lost in old, time consuming marketing strategies, we now have social media at our fingertips to put our product smack in the view of our audience and clients. So for the wayward author who has finished publishing an eBook, but is clueless where to go from there, we’re here to help with actionable advice on how to successfully wield social media to market your published work.
Are You Blogging?
Oh, I felt you cringe! Yes, I said blogging. But before you tell me you don’t have time, patience, or any real need to put your priceless time and resources into starting, updating, and maintaining a blog, give me 60 seconds to change your mind.
A great place to start a successful marketing strategy is to build an audience through a blog. Blogging is an essential way for 21st-century writers, who are effectively business bloggers, to get their name out there. Your blog is your home base for all your ideas, opinions, stories, and what have you. As a writer, you will want to practice your craft as often as possible, and maintaining a blog gives you such an outlet while showcasing your voice in a reachable, easy-to-access manner.
If you are consistent and diligent in updating your blog, you can build a large enough base of followers to create a platform for marketing your e-books. It can also be the perfect place to run giveaways, contests, and showcase cover reveals.
You can even rub the back of fellow independent authors with a trade – they blog about your cover reveals and contests with links to your website while you do the same for them. It can be a fruitful relationship, particularly when the other person has a large following.
Tip: Check out Chris McMullen’s How to Market a Book with a Blog for more information from a pro coupled with an invitation to get your cover reveals and contests on his site. Follow his blog while you’re there; he’s full of useful information for the indie author crowd.
Business 2 Community also recommends new bloggers enable readers to comment and share their posts on other social media platforms. Not only will this help spread content faster, but it will encourage the audience to engage with your material.
However, this suggestion comes with a word of caution. Be sure to actively moderate comments to avoid a flood of spam. Most blogging platforms have settings and software capable of blocking spam and leaving new reader comments to moderation prior to their first post. Use these tools to avoid a flood of junk, which can rapidly demoralize your audience.
Build a Website For Your eBook
What good is blogging about your new work if you don’t have a place to direct people to discover more? You’ve established a blog – now it’s time to create a website dedicated to your e-book.
While a blog can be a window into your thoughts and ideas, your book’s website should be a place for readers to familiarize themselves with you, your characters, a brief synopsis (to hook your audience), and even updates on the book’s writing process. Keep visitors invested by offering an emailing list signup or subscription option so that they will remain informed of your progress every step of the way.
As you drive traffic to your site and build interest, you will create both a following and a place to publicize your every book launch. Mass Planner offers several other tips for making your website a successful springboard for an e-book launch, and we’ll bring you more tips in the future.
Network through Social Media
Social media networking is incredibly important to getting your name out there. The key to successful networking lies in give and take.
For example, you can begin by creating a spot on your blog or website for other indie authors to submit their work for you to read and promote. From there you can write a review and link to their book on your page. Not only are you opening yourself up to a community of other authors who can (and should) do the same for you, but you are pooling together viewership and increasing audience reach for your work and your fellow authors’ work.
Sites like Facebook and Twitter are not to be overlooked. When creating an online social presence, you want to be as active as possible. So take advantage of all the social media platforms you can. Use Pinterest to share similar ideas and gain a following of like-minded people. Twitter can be used to hook fresh visitors through provocative statements and brief updates about your writing progress.
Facebook especially has a very useful feature for gaining even more followers – advertising. Obviously it’s not free, but at $0.50 a click, it’s a sound investment if you have the budget. Everybody is on Facebook these days, and paying to boost a link to your website, blog, or published book is bound to grab some attention. Facebook also allows targeted advertising, which can aid in ensuring those clicks are worth every penny.
Don’t Let Readers Judge Your Book by A Bad Cover
Securing readers is half the battle. The other half is keeping them. And the best way to do this is to put as much effort as possible into the title and cover of your book. Even though your mind might be stuck on the story, a compelling cover can make up 74 percent of a reader’s decision to purchase your book.
Marketing you e-book can be an overwhelming task, but if you’ve successfully written and designed a quality book, you’ve got what it takes to succeed. Use these tips as a starting point, and if you want more strategies for a successful book launch, check out the Vice President of Content at the Content Marketing Institute, Michele Linn’s, e-book, 58 Social Media Tips for Content Marketing.
Additional Contributor: Sam Zell-Breier
Featured Image Credit: Mathias Rosenthal via 123RF.com