How Authors Can Market And Promote Themselves Online by Victoria Greene
Today we welcome a new guest writer to Writer’s Fun Zone, Victoria Greene who is stopping by to chat with us today about “How Authors Can Market And Promote Themselves Online.” Enjoy!
Some ‘old school’ authors may cling to the old adage, ‘let the writing speak for itself,’ but nowadays, it is pretty much universally accepted that authors need to maintain an internet presence to be noticed. Marketing and self-promotion may not come naturally to highly creative authorly types, but it’s necessary to grasp the basics and incorporate them into your daily writing practice. Here is how you can market and promote yourself online as an author.
Build A Website
Even if you haven’t finished your first novel entirely, you can still market yourself as an author – and it begins with creating your own website. Websites are the best way for you to begin building up a fanbase, by showing people the real you.
What Your Website Needs
The aim here is to create a brochure site for you and your work, so it doesn’t need to be a huge undertaking. To start out with, you would want your website to include:
Homepage – Imagine this as your ‘storefront’ online. You want every visitor to your site to perform some sort of action. Whether it’s to read your latest title, or get in touch with writing opportunities, you will want to highlight this action by making it the first thing the reader sees when they get to your site. Place a hero image at the top. This should be the front cover image of your book along with a short synopsis.
For those with an unfinished title, include the synopsis details you have. You can always change it if your story changes direction.
About page – Your author bio will be crucial to building up your audience’s understanding of who you are as an author and what your books are about. Whether you choose to write it in the first or third person, make it a long and in-depth piece of writing. This is where you want to build empathy in the reader. Talk about your beginnings, passions, how your education influenced you, your favorite authors – anything you like.
Don’t forget to include a professional portrait of yourself on your About page. People want to see you, so don’t be shy.
Contact page – Enable your readers to get in touch the easy way by providing a contact form. You should highlight your social media icons here, as well as on your homepage. Put the icons near the top of your homepage and then include them in the footer across all pages, or better yet, in your sidebars, so they are more visible.
Content – From your homepage, you could also include a link to a book-themed playlist, some character illustrations from your book series, a map of your mythical world – anything you like to draw readers into your story without giving away any spoilers.
Blog – As a writer, you need to blog to regularly in order to attract readers to your website. I know it can be a drag if you’re already working hard to get your novel finished. Try to streamline this process as much as you can by multitasking.
If you’re doing research for character development, share your findings. For instance, if you’re looking up Edwardian fashions, share some images on your Pinterest board. Talk about what you’re discovering as you go.
Casting your promotional net far and wide across the internet will help you attract and retain a core fanbase, as well as network with influential writers in your field. Twitter and Facebook are the two ‘must-have’ networks to set up. From there, you will need to research the conventions and etiquette to become an influential voice on these platforms.
As far as other social networks are concerned, Instagram attracts a lot of attention and YouTube can get you noticed by hundreds of millions of people. Further, Pinterest is great for sharing images and inspirations, and LinkedIn is the obvious choice for communicating with publishers, agents, and other influencers.
Set Up An Online Store
In promoting your writing, you will want to set up your own online store using an easy-to-use ecommerce host. Subscription services have simple, intuitive tools and can set you up with a professional-looking, fully functioning e-tail store in no time.
Also, you can establish and maintain your web store across a multitude of platforms, all from the same dashboard. Set up shop on Amazon, Lulu, or Blurb and research methods for optimizing these internal search algorithms to attract the maximum number of clicks and sales.
You will also want to create a newsletter for your fans. If for any reason your social networks fail over time, you will still have a list of contacts you can communicate with via alternative means. For authors, one email newsletter per month is typical. More frequently than that, people may start to feel like they are being spammed. For content, you can include blog posts, exclusive content, photos from writing events, links to buy your books, or just some quick, expert writing tips.
From launching your first novel to growing and maintaining a following as an author, you will need to put significant effort into your marketing. There are many tools and resources to help you along the way, but the key to success will be coming across as yourself in everything you do. So don’t be afraid to share your inspirations with the world.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Victoria Greene is a brand consultant and freelance writer. She runs her own blog at victoriaecommerce and she likes to share tips with authors looking to promote their work online.