I know it's not fair, but today along with knowing how to write a book and get it published, authors have to understand the digital marketing landscape as well. If you want to write books, publish them and sell them, you need to make an investment in your career and brand, and today that investment means having a digital marketing strategy all year round.
If you are a little overwhelmed by the rapidly changing world of digital marketing, you are not alone. Remember all of us, experts and novice, are learning as we go. You don't have to become a social media strategist to be effective. By using the most important digital marketing outlets in a targeted way, your book, brand and bottom line can benefit.
Website - It's best to have a website in your name rather than your book title. Your website will be your home base and is critical to your credibility. 46.1 percent of people say a website's design is a criterion for discerning the credibility of the company. (Source: Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab). For more information on having a more social- and mobile-friendly site, you can read: 6 Tips for Designing Author Websites.
Blogging - Look at blogging as your most effective tool because it brings traffic to your site, builds a fan base and helps your readers to connect with you. Remember, people buy from people they like. Visuals are so hot right now. You can use graphics, cartoons and quotes along with your own writing. You can use excerpts from your book, create top 10 lists, how to articles, or a behind the scenes look at your book-writing process. Asking questions at the end of your blog will build engagement by encouraging people to comment.
Mailing List - If you don't already have one, a mailing list is a must-have asset in your digital marketing plan. Think of the people on your mailing list as "super fans" and treat them accordingly. You don't have to send out a newsletter often, but do stay in touch with this core group.
Facebook - A Facebook fan page is one of the most effective ways to build engagement and it's fairly easy to maintain a page once you set it up. You can use it to promote your blog, post quotes or excerpts from your book, link to your book's Website, or ask your followers questions that pertain to your content or message. Just remember not to make every post about you and your book. On Facebook, photos perform best for likes, comments, and shares as compared to text, video, and links, according to Dan Zarrella.
Twitter - Twitter is an effective way to get your message out in small sound bites. It's also a great forum for conversation, to share your expertise and to find interesting people to follow. You can also use Twitter to listen to what other people are saying about your book and topic. I have found it to be a great learning tool. If you follow the right people, you'll learn a lot from their curated information. For more information, you can check out a video: Promoting Your Book on Twitter.
LinkedIn - It's always a good idea to have a LinkedIn profile since many people, including myself, use it as a contact database. It will help you connect with people and make good contacts. LinkedIn is the number one professional networking site so remember to keep your updates about professional matters. You can share resources and information which will help brand you as an expert in your profession. For a deeper understanding of the etiquette of using LinkedIn, you can read: 7 Ways to be Effective on LinkedIn.
Digital marketing today is an extension of the author's work. It may take some time to learn and some more to generate the content, but it is worth the effort to build your readership. Remember to keep the majority of your content of value to others, and make sure only a small percentage of your content is promotional. Be authentic and respectful and you'll do just fine.
Fauzia Burke is the Founder and President of FSB Associates, a digital publicity and marketing firm specializing in creating awareness for books and authors. For online publicity, book publishing and social media news, follow Fauzia on Twitter: @FauziaBurke. To talk with FSB and ask your book publicity questions, please join us on Facebook.
© 2013 Fauzia Burke. All Rights Reserved.