There is a natural tendency for many writers to shy away from blowing their own trumpets, but if you are a published author and you want to sell some of your books, then you really cannot afford this luxury. Being a published author and inconspicuous is a contradiction in terms. All the best marketers of books, digital or otherwise will tell you that you need to promote yourself.
Popular recommended strategies for this are:
- Running your own blog
- Participating on social media sites, at least one that allows you to engage with people properly
- If you have a Google account or a Facebook account then there really is no excuse for not having a page to promote your work. If you haven’t got an account, then it couldn’t be easier to get one. This link provides some information on setting up a Facebook page for example http://blogaude.com/create-facebook-pages-for-your-blogs/
- Personal videos – that’s a little trickier because you do need to come across professionally, but if you can do it, then it’s definitely worth it
- Adding a signature to your emails that includes a link to your author page on Amazon for example, this assumes of course you have set up an Author Central Profile. Shame on you if you haven’t and don’t forget there are now 4 Author Central sites where you can add your profile, see below.
- When joining various online organisations, forums, social media sites etc. include the description ‘Author’ in your user name. At least people will then know you are an author without you ramming it down their throats. It’s subtle but effective
- On a similar theme, when you are asked to share your biography or to provide a short description of yourself, then don’t forget to mention that you are an author and where possible add that link to your author page or one of your books
- Remember to join up and register on the most popular book review sites like Goodreads (now an Amazon acquisition), Shelfari and Library Thing
- Then there are always the Web2.o community websites like Squidoo and HubPages, these are free publishing platforms where you can write and publish articles and even put links to your book pages on Amazon, Smashwords or wherever else you are published. You have to abide by their terms and conditions but they really are a great resource for anyone trying to get a presence on line and come with ready made communities that will typically go out of their way to help you out, especially if you do the same for them
So are you being too shy and retiring? If you are you could be missing out on well deserved sales. Friends, family, work colleagues and anyone else you communicate with on a regular basis are all potentially promoters of your books. But if they don’t know you have written a book how can they possibly promote it for you. By not telling them you are taking the decision away from them, why would you do that?
The same applies on social media sites, I think everyone knows that the hard sell does not work with social media, but there is a huge difference between selling and raising awareness. Treat people fairly and sincereley and that is likely to be reciprocated, if you strike up a genuine relationship then there is a good chance people will genuinely want to help you out. So no it doesn’t work being a one way traffic merchant but making friends, gaining trust and helping people generally does.
Author Central Sites
Creating an author profile on all the Amazon Author Central sites will ensure that potential purchasers on those sites can see your profile and associated information, you would be surprised how many times it is the interest in the author that tips the decision to buy in your favor. No author central profile might just mean a lost sale and will definitely mean no author ranking, a parameter recently introduced by Amazon.