Whichever way you choose to get the word out there about your book, book marketing online is absolutely critical to your success.
And I’m not talking about opening up a bunch of social media accounts you’ll have no time for. Don’t fall into the trap of creating busy work to check things off your book marketing list!
I’m talking about making smart choices when it comes to your online positioning.
Too many authors seem to not realize their online footprint matters in today’s market. It all adds up. That’s why eschewing social media, boycotting Goodreads, or not pitching for blogger coverage, really prevents you from being competitive.
And then there are the other authors who jump straight from the book being published to wanting TV interviews, magazine coverage, national reviews, events, book signings, bookstore placements, movie deals, etc. without recognizing that everything you can do online makes up the platform; they are the building blocks for being able to secure those super exclusive opportunities.
So let’s look at some smart choices you can make to help raise the visibility of your book–and you.
Because book marketing online doesn’t mean you have to be everywhere, just everywhere that matters.
And at the end of this piece, if you’re ready to dig in, I’ve linked to other blog posts we’ve done on these individual topics!
Why Book Marketing Online is Key to Your Author Brand
An author’s website is important, but you don’t have to hit the ground running with a super robust site; even a one-page website is helpful. You want to start building your online visibility and a website can help you do that.
But a website is just the first in many steps to having an online presence.
The other piece of this is your branding, meaning how are you showing up in the world? Is your messaging consistent? (We’ll discuss this more in a minute.) Do you have a theme or color theme you want to stay within?
The reason I mention this early on is that it’s good to figure out how you want to show up. Sure, you’re an author of non-fiction, or romance, cozy mystery, or…. But what differentiates you from the rest? What motivates and inspires you? Do you want to share small, personal details with your readers? Because if you do, I can almost guarantee they’ll love it.
Spend a little bit of time with this, and if you’re already out there and feeling a bit fuzzy on what your messaging is, maybe now is a good time to ask yourself those questions.
Social Media Is Everywhere, but it’s More Important to Be Where It Matters
I’m not a fan of being everywhere, only everywhere that matters. And if you’ve attended any of my talks you know, firsthand, that I’m not about starting lots of social media accounts just for the sake of having them. Sure, there are authors hitting bestseller lists on TikTok, but is that really the right place for you to be?
Determining what social media channel to be on is as important as what you’ll say on them. And it’s ok to not be everywhere or decide that you want to get rid of your Twitter account because it’s not the right place for you to be.
Not sure where to start with social media? Then ask yourself: where are other successful authors in your genre? Because success leaves clues and identifying where your target audience is will go a long way to decreasing your workload and increasing your visibility—after all, posting on 5 social media channels is a lot of work!
You’ll Want Goodreads to Be a Part of Your Book Marketing Online
It’s easy to dismiss this site, or as I mentioned earlier, boycott it altogether. But Goodreads is a solid portal for readers and authors.
We did a podcast on Goodreads–you can find that link below–so I won’t spend a lot of time going into the Goodreads site here, but suffice it to say you should grab your author page and try to be active on Goodreads at least once a week.
You’ll be surprised how many benefits (meaning new readers!) you can gain from even just a small effort on this site!
BookBub is a Great Place for Your Author Presence
While I love the BookBub Daily Deals, I really love the platform for all that it does for authors.
If you haven’t already done so, grab your profile and start sharing books you love. Readers may find you and follow you on BookBub and then, when you release a new book, they’ll be notified.
BookBub is a solid platform for authors, and not just for their pricey deals, but also for the platform elements their website provides.
Pitching Bloggers and Online Media is Critical
I see a lot of authors coming to us for marketing and haven’t even touched blogger pitching. And the thing is, of all of the pieces you’ll do, this is the one with an expiration date.
Meaning, if you wait too long, you miss the pitching window.
Pitching bloggers is absolutely something you can outsource, but if you aren’t ready to tackle this, be sure to reach out to someone who can help you get your book in front of folks who have big followings and lots of online credibility.
So how do you get started? Below I linked to a few podcasts we did on this very topic.
Finding Your Voice Through Market Research
It isn’t easy to find your online voice, and sometimes this can take quite a bit of time. But book marketing online does require that you pay attention to your overall messaging and branding.
Your first goal is to find the right platform, and then start sharing posts. I recommend following other similar authors in your genre and get a sense of what they’re talking about and what their audience responds to.
This will start to tell you what readers love and what resonates with your market. Doing this is market research and if you haven’t spent any time doing this, I really recommend that you do, because it can pay off in big ways.
Not only will market research help solidify your online messaging, but it can cut your learning curve significantly. And it’s not always about sharing your book. Yes, that’s part of it, but finding your online voice means giving your readers a voice, too. If they share your posts, be sure to comment on them, or just give them a social thumbs up.
For many authors, book marketing online feels like a heavy chore, but it doesn’t have to. Be selective when picking your social media portals and be clear on your brand and messaging. It’s easy to toss out online marketing and say you don’t have time for it, but if you’re going to create some momentum for your book, this becomes part of your building blocks of success.
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