When it comes to social media marketing, even though I am personally comfortable using it and have been successful in my marketing efforts through a range of channels, I sometimes feel at a loss when authors specifically ask me what they should do. It’s like trying to tell people how to be themselves or how they should behave in public—we’re all quite different. However, it is easy to tell authors what they shouldn't do on social media.
On January 19, 2017, for the first time ever, one of the world’s largest digital content publishing conferences has added an entire day that focuses on the continued success of independent publishing. The Digital Book World Indie Author Conference is a day full of opportunities to learn from successful independent authors and industry thought leaders.
Self-publishing is a really exciting process. After spending years putting blood, sweat and tears into your book, it can be tempting to rush to the finishing line, but that only leads to mistakes. Some authors don’t realise just how many careful processes are involved once the final draft is complete but before it makes sense to actually print a book.
Endorsements are a powerful no-cost book marketing strategy. Have you ever seen a book cover where the name of the celebrity providing an endorsement for the book was larger than the author’s name? This little trick is used to catch a book buyer’s eye because publishers know that big names sell books. I have found that this effective book marketing strategy is underutilized by independently published authors. A recent informal survey I conducted of independently published books showed that only 20 percent (1 in 5) touted an endorsement. As an author, you should seek endorsements for your book.
Most people are surprised to learn that search engines look inside all of the documents and applications they publish on the web for clues about their contents. Almost all applications let you edit the metadata associated with the document, though they might not call it metadata, and editing that metadata can help boost your book discoverability.
I’ve written before about how important I think it is for authors to use Twitter as part of their outreach and social media marketing, both to each other and to readers. At the corporate level, investors are looking for more revenue, while at the user level, the 10-year-old platform remains a busy point of discoverability for writers and beyond. One of the best-hidden and most helpful features, however, is the frequently overlooked Twitter analytics offering.
The holidays are a busy time for us, you, and for mail carriers everywhere which means that delivery times for holiday book orders can vary during the end of the year (a testament to the fact that books make perfect gifts). Here are a few tips to help us help you come through for your customers this holiday season:
Achieving book discoverability with readers means making search engines aware of you and your book. You may have heard of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as being important to your website; that IS book discoverability. Discoverability is your biggest marketing partner as it provides reliable, continuous passive marketing. Successful book discoverability means that your readers can find you simply by entering words that describe your book into a search engine. It’s a disservice to you and your book if you don’t leverage these words for your benefit.
The decision to ask a professional book designer to typeset your book versus typesetting it yourself is driven largely by a limited budget. However, once you realize the astonishing number of details designers must attend to in book layout, you may conclude that it’s best to spend your time marketing your professionally designed book rather than attempting to become a book designer yourself.
If you’re one of the many authors who tried to get traditionally published first, and are now considering or pursuing self-publication instead, then this post is especially for you. Some authors really want that “traditional” experience, but don’t know exactly what it looks like, where the most value lies, or what aspects of it can be feasibly translated over to the publishing process of an independent author. Having been through both experiences myself, here’s what I would give the most thought and consideration to when deciding how to publish a book.