9. Social Media is your friend
Using Social Media can be a daunting task, but it is essential for growing your readership. Most of us use Social Media on a daily basis, but when it comes to using it for promotional purposes, there is a lot of research and work that goes into a Social Media Strategy. In order to connect with the readers of your series, you first need to find not only which Social Media platform they are using, but what times of day they are most likely to use that Social Media Platform. There is nothing worse than spending hours crafting the perfect post or advertisement for a project that means a great deal to you, only to have little to no interaction from anyone on Social Media. While there is no set criteria for any given platform, a little research goes a long way. There are several things you want to look into as you begin your foray in the realm of Author on Social Media.
- What is the target age of your readers?
- In the instance of my series, if they are younger, what is the target age of those who will buy your series, even if for another reader?
- What platform(s) do those buyers most use?
- What times of day are those buyers most likely online and able to see your posts?
- Based on your audience should you post multiple times a day/week?
- Consistency is key. The more you learn about when to post, the more consistently you can post, allowing people to anticipate and look for you.
- Does your material lend itself to create interactive posts that can engage?
- Who’s doing it right and can you ask them for help?
- Last but most important, don’t be afraid to reach out for help!
In all Social Media platforms, you want to make sure you take the time to make your posts look professional. You just spent all of this time and energy ensuring the product you presented is professional, don’t make the mistake of coming off looking like an amateur in presenting that material to the public. In all cases, the answers to these questions are through research, research, research.
10. Develop a Website
This is an often-overlooked step for Authors. I myself have taken far too long to develop a website than I should have, but it is an essential tool that can help you grow not only your sales, but also the audience you can reach. Your website gives you a branded destination for all things related to your book. It gives your audience a chance to be able to connect to you personally, while also being a central hub for all thing related to your book.
Once your book is released into the world people have a strong inclination to take to Social Media, which as we stated previously, you should absolutely do, but remember this: your book is now available for sale online, in a retail store(s), you are talking about it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you have events coming up in two states at six different locations… All of this information is scattered all throughout the internet, and the best thing your website can do for you is be the central hub where all of that information leads to. Think of it this way, someone connects with your posts from Twitter, follows that back to your website and finds all the information in EVERY outlet in one neat location. In addition to that, they find a sales venue for your book, even if it is just a link out to Amazon or another online store. They find information about your upcoming events, books that may be released soon or were just released, other products you also offer, a mailing list they can join to get more information or periodic updates, the list goes on and on and on. The important thing to remember if everywhere you have your book sold, everywhere you have your book advertised, those are roads you’ve paved that will lead more people to reading your book, roads that should lead back to somewhere to help build your brand, and there is no better place for those roads to lead than to your own personal branded website.
11. Don’t stop to admire what you’ve done
Sure, the last thing you want to think about when you’ve just put all of this work and effort into a book is the next one, but the truth is, if you wait until you have finished your first book to start thinking about the second, you’re already behind the curve. If people enjoy your book, the first thing they’ll want to know is when is your next book coming out. In my case, as a children’s series, people often won’t take you seriously as a series until you have several books under your belt. The great news is, once you’ve finished your first book, the process of all future books become easier to produce. The work of creating the actual content never gets easier, but you start to master the process of bringing it to market, honing and developing all the skills you have obtained along the way.
To Sum Up
Certainly, as you’ve seen, a lot goes into publishing a book, whether it be your first or your hundredth, but like any daunting task, the reward at the end is very satisfying. There is nothing like seeing the excitement on someone’s face, someone who you have never met, who genuinely wants to engage and enjoy in the world you have created. If hard work and effort makes you balk at a task, then maybe the world of self-publishing is not for you, but with time, effort and a lot of planning you too can bring yourself to the realm of a published author.