First-time authors often think the biggest part of their work is done when they put the finishing touches on their manuscript with their editor and send it off to the printer. However, they don’t always recognize that they, as the authors, can promote their book and interact with fans and readers—in person and online—after their book comes out.
Here are a few quick things that we wish all new authors would learn about publishing and promotion.
1) The future is online, and the future is now.
For the last decade, media and bloggers have been emphasizing the importance of digital promotion and talked about how the Internet would revolutionize the way that people consume news, information and content. But guess what? The future they have been predicting for years has already arrived. Yahoo News already has a greater readership than the New York Times!
Authors that want to promote their work and realize their potential need to be engaged with their fans online. Whether that means a blog or website, or even just social media fan pages like Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, engagement online is key.
2) And I should care…why?
Author engagement in any shape or form is really essential to helping a book do well. Establishing relationships with readers will keep them coming back for more and help spread the word to more readers. Authors really are the ones who will promote their book better than anyone else could.
There have been barrels of ink spilled about the importance of self promotion online, some worth reading and some not, but one thing authors need to know more than any other advice is how they’re going to present themselves as well as the what.
When doing interviews, guest posts on blogs, pitches to media, and even just talking to fans during a signing, authors need to keep in mind a single key message: “What am I telling my listeners, and why should they care?”
This key message should be their mantra. They know their audience more than anyone. What are they telling their readers that is unique about themselves and their work, and why should they, as readers, care? It’s best to follow this message up with what fans should do about the message (buy their book), but that’s secondary.
3) Content rules all online.
When authors are promoting and engaging with fans, it’s important to be frequent in communication. That doesn’t mean there has to be a new masterwork post or update every five minutes, but they should be posting regularly enough, with enough original content, to keep their fans and audiences aware of their material online, and wanting to learn more about them. Authors can get creative with how they engage, but they should try to be original.
That’s it! Stick to these basics and authors will go a long way with online promotion. And just think, by being online at all, they are beating an awful lot of folks who still think that the digital future is tomorrow, when it’s actually today.
Josh Johnson works at Cedar Fort as a Marketing Publicist and Public Relations Author Representative. Cedar Fort, Inc. is a book publisher in Utah. We publish fiction, nonfiction, you name it. We love new authors. See our site for guidelines & new titles. You can also visit Cedar Fort at www.cedarfortbooks, Facebook, or Twitter.