Whenever I talk to authors, publishers, distributors, I get asked about online book marketing. At BEA (Book Expo) I noticed a change in the trend. No longer just “does a web site work?” the questions almost always revolve around the success we are getting with social media.
Here’s my 3 best tips for any author that wants to get known online.
1) Don’t Delegate Being You.
Most authors have very busy schedules. Many are making a living while trying to establish themselves as an author, so it’s natural to look for a way to get the “online thing taken care of”
Getting professional help is a must, and delegating the grunt work is advised, but don’t delegate everything.
I advise my authors to set up a schedule that gives them time for two vital tasks.
- reading notices about yourself
- participating on blogs and forums
You should plan on writing 2-3 fresh blog posts each week. Just a few paragraphs, as easy as writing an email. These need to be relevant to what is being talked about online in your subject area. You can learn that by reading the top blogs and social media groups related to your book and area of expertise.
While you are reading, be sure to comment. Other bloggers are just like you, they love to hear from their readers.
2) Make Sure You Are Accessible.
No sense being seen online if your readers, the media, and customers can’t find you.
As you begin to become well known online, you’ll need to set up system and screening to help you respond to requests. Make sure it’s a system that works and test it yourself fro time tot time. Today, people expect to get a response. Large corporations are starting to listen to their customers so a small operation has no excuse. In fact, a small operation should be MORE responsive.
Make sure you have a public email address that gets answered within one business day. The same with a publicly published phone number.
Whoever screens your mail, email, phone calls needs to look for media requests. One email response to a blogger that is read by TV producers could be the most important email you ever receive.
3) Start Doing More Media Interviews
Most authors come to me after their book is out. When I ask about media, they tell me that they want more.
I say “What are you waiting for?”
Even if your book is not yet out, start today to do more interviews. There are 9827 radio interviews each and every day in the United States… and that’s just the old fashioned terrestrial stations. I recommend getting started with blogs and podcasts. On BlogTalkRadio alone there are thousand of shows looking for guests. Millions of floggers are looking for content.
Start by doing a search of the shows and blogs with keywords that match your expertise. Then listen to the show live. Most online shows have a chatroom… and most blogs have a comments feature. When you see an issue that you know about, make sure you are logged in and make a public comment. Once a show host knows you it’s much easier to ask about being a guest on a future show. (don’t ask in the chat or comments.. usually a private email to the host or blogger is appropriate)
It’s even easier when you start granting interviews for your blog or show. Most online media is done by other authors and experts like you, and most are anxious to reciprocate and cross promote.
Online social media is revolutionizing the way books are sold and authors are promoted. Still in it’s infancy, there are tons of opportunities and few barriers to entry. Anyone with a computer and phone line can participate.
Authors using social media, blogs and networking sites are finding new connections with readers, more opportunities to do business beyond the book and having a lot of fun.
For more help getting started online, take my FREE Book Marketing Strategy course.
Selling books online continues to grow. Smart authors aren’t depending on the book stores alone.
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