Having a foundation in online book marketing makes a difference to any book’s ability to succeed in the market.
With an author-first approach, it’s making sure you and your brand goes out in the world. Many of you will have a coaching, consulting or a particular business in the background and with this approach, it’s going to have the most effect.
The is the best way for you, rather than going with only book-led marketing.
The first 3 times I published, I had zero brand and no real connection to ‘me’. But the next time I published, I went hard on research and achieved some relevance with adding my own case study experiences (and supplier details) to the book. This book tied into our web design business, which helped.
If I could start again, I would make all my books talk to the one audience but on a number of different topics. Well, I guess it’s never too late to start over!
1. Start marketing early
It’s also never too soon to begin raising awareness of your first book, and more to the point, of you as an author. If you have very little presence online apart from some Facebook friends, you should ideally begin your platform-building efforts while you are writing the book. If it is a passion area (not business)—this applies too!
It took me around five years to gain traction and build a following in my current industry. Start fresh but be prepared for the long haul.
By sharing updates and asking for feedback (in Facebook profile or group) on your book cover/ blurb/ theme while you write, you’ll be stimulating curiosity. As noted in the great book, Launch, by Jeff Walker, getting this early interaction with people means they get
2. Build your website around yourself
You need to have a branded website, but it needs to be built around you, not around your book, or something irrelevant to you today (e.g. an old business). Many authors still overlook this, relying on Facebook or their publisher’s website to act as their main online home.
But think about it. Your website will forever be under your control, and will never become obsolete. Instead, its power and relevance will only grow stronger as your career develops.
Your site doesn’t need to be fancy — in fact, it’s better not to pack it full of unnecessary features and distracting design elements.
Aside from a page dedicated to your book and an “About me” page, the most critical element of your site will be a blog. By maintaining a regular blog, you can build a following even while you write. Then promote the content out on social media profiles with the same name as your author brand. The great thing is, when your book is ready for launch, your readers will feel they already know you.
Example of author website pages:
- Book landing page (with nothing else)
- About Me
- Coaching service