by Lynnette Phillips
Writers aren’t usually marketers. Writers want to write and marketing interferes with writing schedules; unfortunately, if want to make a living writing, getting your books seen and talked about is essential.
Make marketing less painful and time consuming. Here are a few tips for using tools you may have at hand.
- The first marketing step you should have taken was to select and register a domain name for your website or blog. Your domain name not only identifies your site but also contributes to your author platform.
- Use images and graphics to draw people into your ‘store’ (website). Post videos and book trailers, to help attract and hold visitors’ interest.
- Drive traffic to your blog from your social networks. Use your blog posts to share your views and expertise; connect with your audience.
- When you title your blog posts be keyword conscious. Use a subtitle if necessary but keep the keywords upfront to be noticed. This, after all, is what the search engines use to find their results.
- Make short stories you’ve written or excerpts of your book available on your site. This adds interest to your site and will increase traffic.
- Promote your book cover – it’s the first impression of your book
- Instead of linking to a book vendor’s main page from your blog or website, advertising for them, plug your book by linking directly to your author’s page on the vendor’s site. This will show all of your writing that is available on their site.
- Keep your author’s page on Amazon and elsewhere updated and current; take advantage of any marketing or promotional tools the book vendor makes available.
- Link RSS feeds on your author’s page. A RSS feed linking your blog to an author’s page makes time spent on one blog post do double duty.
- Link your blog to social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn giving you fresh content to share. There are some sites that can help you with this such as http://www.TwitterFeed.com and http://www.HootSuite.com
- Place an events calendar on your website and be sure to post to the event calendars made available to you in places like Amazon’s author page and GoodReads. Record the release of new titles, your book signings, speaking appearances, author readings and so on.
- Keep your bio on your website and elsewhere up to date. Whatever else you include in your bio be sure to talk about your work and related activities.
- As a member of GoodReads you have tools available to you via their author program. GoodReads also has a widget available for your website that displays reviews of your work.
- Ask for book recommendations and reviews from not only friends, family and colleagues but also from the general population on your social networks.
- Social Media Networking should be second only to your website and blog as a marketing tool. If your blog posts are sent to Twitter, Facebook and other platforms via links or feeds you already have a presence.
- Share links to your book reviews, articles and podcasts but don’t be self-centered and only talk about yourself; sprinkle in tweets or recommended links to relevant or interesting articles, websites and podcasts to add value to your tweets and posts. One of the best ways to build relationships via social media is to link to or retweet posts of other followers; be generous.
- Create an email signature that attaches to each email you send. It should be 3-4 Lines. You might want to include a line that links to your book for sale.
- When you make a comment on a discussion board or blog don’t forget to include the URL to your site with your signature.