Last post in our marketing series we discussed 5 Successful Strategies To Help Identify Your Target Audience. Today we're building off of that lesson and stepping further into the world of book marketing.
Most of you will be familiar with the term author platform. For those of you who aren't, this refers to a writer's ability to market their work after publication. It's the strategy used to boost your target audience and achieve greater visibility. Measuring a successful platform depends on one thing: how well a writer is able to use their influence to sell books and bolster their career overall.
If you find this notion daunting, you're not alone. Whether you're publishing your first book or your tenth, there's always room to learn more. The first step is to start small and gradually build over time. Soon you'll have a fully fledged author platform that will assist you in the future.
In the meantime, here are 8 tips to help get you started.
Create An Author Website:
An example of an author website, www.writingitwells.com
If you haven't already, the first step to building your platform is to create a website. Your website is the main focal point for your target audience, the place where they can learn about the author, read updates about your books, find the links where they can buy your books, and can connect with you in other ways if they wish to. You can also use it to help poll your readers, spread the word about upcoming author events such as book signings, and to help generate excitement for future launches. A few things your author site must have: your photo, your about me, and your book links, of course.
Update Your Blog:
The natural next step for any writer with a website is to *drum roll please* create a blog! This doesn't have to be anything fancy or time-consuming. Keeping to a monthly or bi-monthly posting schedule and posting updates about your books, sharing writing tips, or providing anecdotes from your life as a writer. The primary purpose of keeping a blog is to give readers more information about you and your books in a way that humanities and shows more personality than just a few lines on your website.
Link Your Published Books:
Don't forget to link any books you already have published to your website. If you have yet to publish, you can create a promotional page for your upcoming book. Don't forget to include fun facts about your characters, your book's blurb, and a demo of your cover to help attract attention. The more resources you give the more enticing your site and your book will be.
Build Your Mailing List:
Mailing lists are going to be your best friend. No, seriously. These lists should be heavily guarded with lock and key. And if you happen to be a Fantasy writer, with swords. Your list is going to be comprised of your loyalist readers. These are the people who are invested in your work, interested in what comes next, and most importantly, those who will buy your book. Check out emailing services like Convertkit or MailChimp to help you get started. Then start brainstorming your emailing strategy. Think about how often you want to send out your emails. This could be monthly, weekly, or daily depending on your schedule. Remember consistency is paramount.
Use An Automated Response For Your Subscription Email:
On another note, make sure that your email subscription comes with an automated thank you message for anyone who subscribes. Bonus: Have a free incentive link in your thank you email for those who sign up. It can be a free Ebook, sample chapters, or another writing-related freebie. Good manners prompts good writer/reader relationships. Happy readers means more book buying.
Your greatest advantage as an author is that you have so many resources at your disposal. There's about a thousand different ways to promote yourself. Aside from social media, you should also include your links to any sites where your book is sold or reviewed. That way people don't have to search and your chances of receiving more sales and more reviews (the lifeblood of authors everywhere) is higher.
Example of social media, Pinterest
Stay Consistent On Social Media:
Social media. The bane of every introvert everywhere. But, unfortunately there's no avoiding being social online. That means you've got to find a rhythm that works for you. If you're naturally inclined to curl up with a book rather than go to a party, no worries. Post once a week but keep it on the same day and at the same time. Not comfortable being around strangers? Start small and work your way into a larger posting schedule. Comment on a few other author's posts and soon you'll see your network start to grow. Share tidbits of your life, writing process, and any news about your books or upcoming book launches.
Time to get creative! Go Live on Facebook or Instagram to share a few writing tips. Make a funny Tiktok about writer problems. Make a vlog about your writing journey. Putting a face and voice to your social media adds personality and allows your readers to "get to know you" in a way they might not otherwise be able to. You can also be creative in other ways. The types of posts you share, your branding style, and even your choice of verbiage and fonts can showcase your uniqueness as a writer.
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