If you’re preparing to publish your first book, following are some essential tasks to get your book marketing started off right!
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. Find out what motivates or inspires them. Share links to blog posts, links to articles by others, and provide other information that adds value for your followers. Take a similar approach with Twitter. 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—find your community. 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! It’s much harder to gain traction months after a book is released then it is to build momentum from the start. Begin making a list of marketing tasks that you will accomplish for your book. For some great tactic ideas, see Jenny Blake’s 15-Tab Book Marketing Spreadsheet.
Learn About What You Don’t Know
The world of book marketing is tough, even for those of us who have been at it for years! Start learning what you can about book marketing strategies. Here are some books for your reading list:
Plug Your Book! Online Book Marketing for Authors, Book Publicity through Social Networking by Steve Weber
1001 Ways to Market Your Books (1001 Ways to Market Your Books: For Authors and Publishers) by John Kremer
Book Marketing Made Easy: Simple Strategies for Selling Your Nonfiction Book Online by D’vorah Lansky
RED HOT INTERNET PUBLICITY: An Insider’s Guide to Promoting Your Book on the Internet by Penny C. Sansevieri
From Entrepreneur to Infopreneur: Make Money with books, E-Books and Information Products by Stephanie Chandler
How to Make Real Money Selling Books Without Worrying about Returns: A Complete Guide to the Book Publishers’ World of Special Sales by Brian Jud
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!
If you like this blog post, you’ll love our Advanced Book Marketing and Launch Strategies Course! Learn more about our courses for authors here.