It’s much harder to gain traction months after a book is released than it is to build momentum from the start, and making sure your author presence is well-established before your book’s release is key in creating that needed buzz. Here are some tips to get you started building that presence.
Pump Up Your Web Presence
Positioning yourself as an author means that you should build a professional presence online. If you have a rickety old website or a home-grown blog, it’s time for an upgrade. Develop a professional site that features you as the authority in your field.
Note that for some, it’s not easy to “put yourself out there.” But you should know that it’s not about boasting or being an egomaniac; it’s about stepping into your light as an author and taking ownership of your work. Be proud! Get a professional photo taken and take your work seriously so that others will also take it seriously.
Add a Blog
If you don’t yet have a blog, now is the time to get started. A blog can bring all kinds of benefits: increased site traffic, engagement with readers, media inquiries, and much more. Add a blog to your existing website or launch a new blog site to promote your forthcoming book. Commit to blogging two to three times per week and you will be well-positioned when your book is released.
Get Involved in Social Media
Start by launching a fan page on Facebook and invite your existing Facebook friends to join you there. Start a Twitter account and start following people and accruing followers. Find out what motivates or inspires your friends and followers. Share links to your blog posts, links to articles by others, and provide other information that adds value for your readers. And if you’re pursuing a business audience, get involved in LinkedIn, too. Get your social media groove going now, before your book is launched, so that you have an eager audience ready when your book is available.
Find Your Community
Here’s where a lot of authors miss the biggest opportunities. If you’re writing a book for dog lovers, find the communities where dog owners congregate. If you’re writing a book for moms, find their communities. Start searching for online groups and forums through groups on Facebook and LinkedIn, plus http://ning.com and http://groups.yahoo.com. Get involved in these communities by sharing interesting information and answering questions from members. Soon you will stand out as an authority, and when you’re ready to launch your book, your audience will be eager to support you!
Build Your Community
If you can’t find the right community, or if you simply have bigger plans, start your own community. You can use any of the resources listed above to do so, or you can start a whole website devoted to cultivating your community.
Build Your Marketing Plan
Until you have a solid marketing plan, your book should not be published! Begin making a list of marketing tasks that you will accomplish for your book.
Join the Author Community
Start learning from and collaborating with other authors. You can join the Nonfiction Authors Network via LinkedIn Groups here, and start asking questions, reading posts, and learning from others.
Commit to the Journey
Book marketing is an ongoing process. To be successful, I firmly believe authors need to do something every single day to further their cause. Commit an hour in your schedule every day to work on your marketing plan and you will have no choice but to achieve success!