We live in a world where content is king. Businesses know one of the most important pieces of information they need to have is their content strategy. Without one, how are people going to find out about your business? Successful authors are not just people who write well—they’re people who think of their writing career as a business. Like any successful business, authors need a content strategy.
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.
It seems simple enough: a media contact or blogger, online reviewer, etc. requests a copy of your book. So, you toss it into an envelope and send it off. Request fulfilled. Done. Well . . . perhaps not so fast.
You’ve finished your book and now it’s time for the often-dreaded task of marketing. Where to begin? Step one is to obtain book reviews—and not just the kind your friends and family post on Amazon. While such crowdsourced reviews can be helpful, savvy readers—and more importantly, booksellers, librarians and other industry professionals—will be looking for more credible reviews.
Every author has a different comfort level with social media. You may be a real star at creating content for your channels but get tired of the constant attention your social media presence requires of you. Or, you may have only discovered recently that social media is a part of the author experience, and you are now trying to figure out how to best use your time in what can be an overwhelming world of likes, retweets, shares, tagging, friending, following, and sharing stories. So what social media should authors use?
It’s a matter of seconds. Perhaps 10, maybe up to 20, but that’s about it. That’s how much time you have to get the attention of an editor or producer when you pitch your book or pitch yourself as the author. It's commonly referred to as the elevator pitch and there's an art to perfecting it.
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.
One of the questions that I frequently encounter when I speak at writers conferences is: “I'm not tech savvy. Are there other ways to promote your book besides social media?” My answer is always: of course.
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.
Many authors and publishers struggle with choosing the best website option for themselves and their companies. Few people have a technical background, so setting up a DIY author website seems like a daunting task, and many authors and publishers don’t feel confident talking or negotiating with a potential website developer. Some authors have told me that sometimes “it can feel like negotiating with a used car dealer.” It doesn’t have to be so difficult.