Writing a book can be a hard enough process, but getting it out to your audience can become a nightmare. However, if you start working on promoting your book as soon as you start writing it, and even right before that, it can be a much easier and much more rewarding process. Your writing and your confidence can even benefit from it. The social media author of today has to go beyond the traditional promotional tools that we’ve been used to for so many years. I wanted to show you some easy ways that you can use the Internet to promote your book yourself, without any costs, so that you make sure your audience will know about your book when it’s ready.
Start early. The sooner you start promoting your book, the better. It doesn’t matter that you’ve only just got an idea and nothing else – none of the research or none of the planning. Having an idea and being sure that you are going to write the book is all the reason you need to start promoting it. You can start even a year, if not even more, before your book’s release date. The more time you have to build up an audience and a list of e-mails, the better.
Social Media. Social media is one of the easiest DIY ways that you can find your audience and start communicating with them. I personally would recommend Twitter and Facebook, at least to start with. They are very easy to use and can be very effective if used right. Getting lots of followers/friends shouldn’t necessarily be your priority, contrary to popular belief. It’s better to have fewer followers, but who are genuinely interested in you and your book, then to have 15,000 followers that couldn’t care less. On Facebook you can join different groups that are related to the subject you are writing about and join in the conversation. You will find some of your target audience this way. On Twitter, make the most of hashtags so you can start engaging with like-minded people and what your subject book is about. It is very important that you try to have meaningful conversations and build honest relationships. Over time, you will have built a certain “fan base” and you will have an audience, however small, that is eagerly awaiting your book and that will help you promote it by sharing your posts. That is why it is important that you start the promotional process as soon as possible. To get help and lots of ideas for your social media strategy, get in touch with @networkerplus, founded by my friend and client John Coupland. For help executing on that strategy, contact Socialable, run my by good friend and brilliant entrepreneur Lilach Bullock.
Every once in a while, let your readers know how your book is progressing and ask for their advice whenever you feel like you are in a rut. This will make them feel like they are a part of your book, they will show you support and you could even get some great advice from them.
To make life easier on yourself, try using a social media tool such as HootSuite, which will allow you to post on different social networks at the same time and to schedule tweets and posts, thus saving time.
Keep up a blog. Start writing a blog, and make a point of it to do it regularly and as often as possible. It will help you promote your book, build a bigger audience and it might even help you in your writing process. You could write about several things. For example, start by writing articles related to the subject of your book. You could also start a bi-weekly/weekly journal on your blog where you keep your readers up-to-date on your progress. This, again, will make them feel like being a part of your book, as they are feeling bad for you when you are down and happy when things are going your way.
Give up free stuff and collect emails. People love getting free content, so you could also try giving it to them every once in a while. For example, you can write a short story, an essay or a how-to guide, related to your subject. The best part of this is that you will be able to collect emails that you can later use to let them know that your book is out.
Create a website for your book. Once the launch date for your book approaches, you should create a website where your book is the star. Make sure you include your blog, links to where people can buy your book, a few samples from the book (one or two chapters), as many reviews as you can muster, a list of all the future events you will be attending and of course your contact info.
Comment on other blogs and guest blog. Look for other relevant blogs (the keyword here is ‘relevant’) and start commenting, which will help you reach more people. You can also talk to other bloggers and convince them to let you guest post on their blog. This way you will reach a whole new audience – just make sure to include a short description of yourself and a link to your own blog/website.
Post videos. Try to post a few short videos every now and then (doesn’t have to be as often as you post on your blog) on Youtube and on your website. In these videos you can talk about the subject you are writing about in your book. If you have the necessary confidence you can also try to keep a video journal of your progress, where you talk about how your writing is going.
Host a competition. Competitions are great ways to get your audience animated and a great way to promote your book. You could offer your book as a prize and even offer to put the winners’ names in your book.
I hope you will find these tips useful and easy to follow and that you will start promoting your book right away!