As soon as your first book is published, you automatically become a small business owner. You’ve to get out there and peddle your book, not in a greedy, slimy way, but as a professional with something good to offer. No one will buy your book if they don’t know it’s available.
You will need to create a compelling, engaging author web site. It’s the most important element in your book marketing strategy. So what makes a good web site? Before you begin planning or hiring a designer, you should consider the purpose of your site. It’s likely you’ll want to communicate with your readers so a sign up form should be easy to see and complete. For sales, be sure to link your books to online retailers. Ecommerce is another choice. Let your readers buy your books directly off your web site. You’ll need to also link your site to all of your social media platforms.
And now for step two: choosing a domain name. This is not as straight forward as it seems. Experts recommend buying the domain under your name with your contact details and credit card number. Be sure you’re listed as the registrant and have a ‘back door’ access via a user name and password. Be flexible and think ahead about your domain. Again, experts suggest that you should use your own name (or pseudonym) and not a book title. That is, unless you’re not going to write any more books. You’ll want to be able to add your titles as you go along. If your name is taken, try something similar but not identical. If MarySmith@gmail.com is taken, consider MarySmithPictureAuthor@gmail.com Some platforms offer a dedicated email option for an additional fee. In this example, info@MarySmithPictureBookAuthor.com would be used.
Do-it-yourself web sites are popular. Generally, they’re easy to figure out and the web site is free, although there is likely to be a charge for your domain name. (Just as a quick observation, domain names expire, usually once a year. Keep a close watch on your email.)
A blog is another essential element in a good author web site. But if you encourage your readers to read your blog, DO IT! Nothing will turn off a potential reader than finding a blank page.
Once you get a list of interested subscribers, communicate regularly. At least once a month. Once a week is even better. Even if they don’t read every word of your newsletter or blog, it will keep your name out there. There are a lot of bulk email options available. One of the most widely known is Mail Chimp. Do a quick search of your choices and pick one that fits your needs and your budget.
The Authors’ Guild recently did a study and discovered that published authors, whether traditionally or self-published, spend an average of 7.5 hours per week on marketing.
But before you can do any of this, there is one critically important step you must take: FINISH YOUR BOOK!
The beautiful graphic on this page is by Raul Varza of Unsplash
Barbara (Mother) Wilson is a writing coach for aspiring authors. She'll keep you and your book moving toward publication. Don't ever quit!