Apr 23

6 Book Marketing Tips Sure to Boost Your Author Online Platform

Book PromotionSo, you’re an author. That’s great. But, just writing books isn’t enough – you’ve got to promote you and your books.

The first step to doing this is to have yearly, monthly, and weekly book marketing goals. With goals, you know where you’re heading and can work toward that end.
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Marketing goals can be considered a marketing plan and it will have a number of steps or objectives that must be set in motion and accomplished.

To market your book. You need to generate visibility for you and your platform. Six of the bare basic online marketing strategies to increase you visibility are:

1. Create a presence and platform.

Creating an online author presence and platform is initiated by creating a website. First though, you’ll need to be sure of your niche because the domain name, site title, and content should reflect your niche and/or your area of expertise.

Remember, plan first. Choose a domain name and title that will grow with you. As an example, if you choose a site name, Picture Books with [Your Name], you’ve limited yourself. What if your next book is a chapter book or young adult, or other?

As part of your book marketing strategy, you should also create a ‘hub’ site that will act as the center to your offshoot sites, such as the individual sites for each of your books.

Leave room to grow; it’s always advisable to use your name as the hub site’s title, or part of it.

In addition, with today’s gone-in-a-second attention span, it’s a good idea to keep your site simple. Marketing expert Mike Volpe of Hubspot.com points out that it’s more important to spend time, and money if necessary, on content rather than a flashy website design; simple works.

Google verifies this ‘simple is better’ strategy and notes that milliseconds count in regard to your page load time. In fact, Google gives a ‘poorer’ score to pages that are slow to load.

Sites that take a few seconds or more to load may also cause you to lose potential subscribers and buyers.

TIP: You should have an author website up and running before you start submitting you manuscript to publishers or before you self-publish.

2. Increase visibility.

Writing content, blog posts, for your readers/visitors is the way to increase visibility – content is definitely still King. Provide interesting, informative, and/or entertaining content that will prompt the reader to come back and, just as important, to share your article.

Also, be sure your content is pertinent to your site, and keep your site and content focused on your platform.

3. Draw traffic to your site with blogging.

To draw traffic to your site, promote your posts by using social media. You should also include guest blogging. This will increase your visibility reach.

This is considered organic marketing; it funnels traffic back to your site with valuable content and free offers.

TIP: When using social media, choose two or three networks and ‘work’ them. It’s important to be active on the networks you promote your books on.

For more on using social media as part of your book marketing strategy check out:
The Social Media Marketing Smorgasborg

4. Create effective call-to-actions.

Your site must have call-to-action keywords that will motivate readers to visit and click on your links. Keywords and phrases to use include:

– Get your Free gift now for subscribing
– Free e-book to offer on your own site
– Buy Now
– Get Access Now
– Get Started Today
– Join for Free
– Don’t hesitate, take advantage of our expert services
– Be sure to Bookmark this site
– Become a better writer – tips right to your inbox
– Are you blogging wrong? Find out how to do it right!
– Know what email marketing is? Find out here!

You get the idea, motivate the reader to want what you’re offering and give him/her a CLEAR and VISIBLE call-to-action. Make it as simple as possible for the visitor to buy what you’re offering.

You can also check out this article from Hubspot for more ideas on CTAs:
Great Call-to-Action Examples

5. Develop a relationship with your readers.

It’s been noted that only 1% of first time visitors will buy a product. Usually, only after developing a relationship through your newsletter, information, and offers will your potential customer or client click on the BUY NOW button or other call-to-action you have in place.

While it will take some time and effort to implement and maintain these strategies, it will be worth it in the long run. Think of it as a long-term investment.

6. Create an ebook for increased visibility and opt-in enticement.

Another strategy is to offer your readers an ebook relevant to your niche. This will help to increase your usefulness to the reader and help establish your authority.

As an author, you might offer a chapter of your book in ebook format.

So there you have it – six tips that will help you generate visibility and boost your book marketing results.

Articles on writing for children

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Be a children's writerDon’t have a children’s book yet?

Check out my 180 page ebook that gives you all the basics of WRITING FICTION FOR CHILDREN, finding a publisher or agent, and marketing your books.

Writing Children's Fiction

Jun 12

Book Marketing – You’ve Gotta Have a Blog

An Author Website and BlogThe time and effort you put into writing your book paid off – you got a publishing contract. And, now you’re book will be out in a few months.

Or, maybe you self-published your book . . . or are just about to.

Whichever route you’ve taken, it’s time to get your visibility and platform in place. And, the very first book marketing step to take is to create a website or blog.

Sorry, there’s no way around this one – you must create a web presence. The first tool in your visibility toolbox is a website, and it should be created before your book is published. You can do this for free through sites such as WordPress.com or Blogger.com.

Website vs. blog.

Yes, there is a difference between the two. A blog is simply a weblog. You post information (blog posts) and they’re saved in chronological order. The blog posts are archived for future reading purposes.

A website on the other hand is much more dynamic. It’s designed to be a portal into your online business. It can have multiple webpages and it can include a blog (and it should).

So, depending on your purposes, you need to decide whether you want a blog or a website.

My suggestion is to go with a website that has a blog because you’ll need the blogging feature to provide quality content on a regular basis. This will be your information funnel to bring visitors back to your site.

If you find the thought of having to create a website daunting, go for Blogger.com or a hosting service like Weeby. They’re very user friendly and good for beginners. And they have a number of features much like a website.

Blog drawbacks.

There are some drawbacks to having just a blog – here are two of the biggies:

1. They may lack dynamic media files where you can upload PDFs. This allows you to upload your opt-in freebies for your subscriber list building. Or, to upload a PDF for sale as an ebook. So, if this is something you’ll be doing (and it should be), you will have to use a website.

If you think you need the user-friendly ease of Blogger, you can create a free website in addition just for the purpose of uploading PDFs and linking to them from your Blogger site.

2. If your site is ONLY a blog, you won’t be able to create a landing page; a sales page; a contact page; and about page; a book reviews page; you get the idea.

A blog is limiting.

Whichever it is.

Whichever you choose as your visibility site, be sure to carefully think about the domain name you use. Allow it to be easily searchable and relevant to the content you will be offering on the site.

It’s often a good idea to have a least one site with ‘your name’ as the title of a website. This site will be your hub and have information about you as the author: a Media Page, an About You Page, and a page that lists all your books.

Simple is a Better Strategy

Simple sites work best.

Marketing expert Mike Volpe of Hubspot.com points out that it’s more important to spend time, and money if necessary, on content rather than a flashy website design; simple works. In fact, simpler usually leads to a higher conversion rate. The conversion rate is the ratio of visitors who buy your book, product, or service.

Volpe also stresses that you should have control over your site. This means you should be able to manage it. You don’t want to run to a web designer for every little change you want to make to your site, or to do something as simple as adding content.

To reinforce this ‘simple is better strategy,’ Google says that milliseconds count in regard to your page load time. If your page is slow to load, you’ll get a poorer score with Google.

Tip: Should you decide you do need help to create a site, don’t hire an expensive web designer. Look for someone who wants to establish themselves as a website creator, or someone who does it in his spare time, you will pay much less. And, try to make arrangements that will include the designer teach you how to manage your own site. This will make updates, changes, and posting much easier, and less expensive.

Make Your Site Optimized for the Search Engines

No matter what site you use, you’ll need to take advantage of any and all of the optimization features it offers.

If you choose a WordPress site, go through the dashboard and sections carefully, and fill in how you want your site to work. There are also a number of plugins for WordPress that will help your site get noticed and indexed by the search engines.

If you’re not sure how to do this, it would probably be worth the investment to hire someone to do basic search engine optimization (SEO) for your site. Or, you can take a workshop or class.

It’s not uncommon for writers to need help with websites and SEO, it’s impossible to be proficient at everything. Thankfully, there are those who know the ins and outs of optimizing websites, if needed take advantage of them.

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