Being an author can be one of the most rewarding yet toughest jobs you’ll ever do. My friends and family always laugh when I tell them, “I’m going into the cave.” They know that means I’ll be writing, phone off, no contact with the outside world until I meet that day’s deadline, which is usually two-thousand words. On the other hand, a large part of an author’s life is putting yourself out there and interacting with the public.
A lot of authors see publishing a book as an end in and of itself, but you can actually use it as a catalyst for your career and life goals. Something magical happens when you publish a book. You become an expert. Whether your book's genre is self-help, business, history, memoir, or fiction, pick any category, it doesn’t matter. It’s the fact that you possessed the knowledge to pen an entire book on a subject or idea that now makes you an expert, someone whom others accept as an authority. One of the best ways to expand that authority is professional speaking.
Your author website is your primary online presence, your brand, your “home” and your author platform. This is where people will come to find out more about you and your books, which gives you an excellent opportunity to present yourself and your books in the best way and to brand yourself. You can do it somewhat on Facebook and other social media sites, but your website is the only place you have complete design and editorial control. Make the most of it.
I once spoke with a gentleman who had written and published a book on terrorism’s threat to our water supply. As we discussed avenues for marketing his book, this gentleman remarked that mostly academicians had purchased the book, which he found scary. Here was an individual who had the knowledge and the foresight to write a book on an important subject of concern to our country, and yet he did not recognize the position this placed him in. The first thing this gentleman needs to do in marketing his book is to accept the fact that, since he wrote the book, he is now the expert on the subject of how terrorism could affect our water supply.
I often get this question from authors and my standard response is, “Anything you want!” Your website is the only place you can put anything and everything, which you can’t do on Facebook, Amazon, or anywhere else. It’s one of the primary reasons for having an author website. You can share the basic information, but also content readers can't find anywhere else.
As authors, many of us secretly wish book marketing would just magically happen. We’d rather focus on writing and producing books than try to figure out how to sell them. Unfortunately, book sales don’t just happen. We have to do the work. Which is why we should discuss blogging for authors.
Facebook usually updates the code on their website twice a day. That’s a lot of updating! Most of the time, you probably don’t notice the changes. Often the changes are to the way your news feed works—but, again, you probably don’t even notice. While these changes may seem small and unnoticeable, they can have a huge impact on author pages. Such was the change this past January.
As a book publicist, I get asked a lot of questions up front by authors about how book publicity works in general, as well as what services are provided for authors. Learning a base amount of information before you hire a book publicist can help you weed through service packages, project proposals, and also just crystallize your vision for your book’s PR campaign. Here are a few of the top questions authors ask as a starting place for you to promote your book!
It's indisputable: all authors and small publishers must have their own mobile- friendly, professional looking author website. It is, by far, the most important element of your book marketing strategy. I have developed over 150 author and publisher websites in the last 20 years, and although a lot has changed when it comes to developing websites, some things remain fundamental. This blog covers the author website basics you should consider as you are getting started—or before you get started.
For any writer, the ultimate dream is to write a bestselling book. But before that can happen, you have to find a publisher who likes your book enough to buy it and publish it. And before you can do that, you normally have to find a literary agent. One of the most common pieces of advice I give to aspiring writers/authors is that publishing a book isn’t even the bullseye you’re trying to hit, it’s finding a literary agent. After all, there’s no point in daydreaming about hitting a home run if you can’t even get into the ball park.