When we ended Part 3, we were explaining how to spend 15 minutes a day at marketing. Here are some of the particulars.
Using Your Website
When setting up your website, be sure to acquire your author name or brand as your URL. When choosing an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to host your site, avoid providers that require you to have advertisements—no one wants to see clutter when they visit a website.
If you’re not able to able to do the work to build a website yourself, hire a designer to do it for you. If you can’t afford one, offer to do some work in trade, such as writing for them. Need ideas for an attractive website? Visit Top 29 Author Websites for a look at some of the best.
Keep in mind when you set up your site that it needs to be scalable—you’ll be writing more books, so there needs to be a way to add more pages (one for every book or series). Be sure to include the following:
- Book pages with buy links
- Author information
- Contact information (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, etc.)
- Newsletter signup
Since you’ll want to own the #1 spot on Google’s rankings for your brand and book, you need to control the messaging at all times.
- On the book’s webpage, embed one-click-to-purchase / pre-order links for all your retailers for each book
- Sign up as an affiliate with the retailers and add the links to increase revenue
- Link your website on your bio across all the social media sites
- Any book marketing content you create (blog posts, for example) should include a link to your site
- When sending links to reviewers and reporters, use your URL instead of a retailer’s product page link
Creating an Author Facebook Page
Unlike your personal Facebook page, an author page is where you want to post information about you in your life as an author and about your books.
- Create a page at Facebook Create A Page
- Choose Artist, Band or Public Figure
- Select “Author” from the Choose a Category pop-down menu and type in your author name
- Upload a cover image that includes your book(s)
- Upload your author photo as your icon
- Invite your friends to “Like” the page (you need to start somewhere)
- Over time, the “Likes” and “Followers” will organically increase as you participate in promotional opportunities and as more people discover and read your books
Creating a Twitter Page
Although there are some who swear by Twitter to sell books, others will tell you it doesn’t work for them. Even if you never tweet anything, others will be tweeting about you or your books, so you at least need an account. If you plan tweet on a regular basis, you can automate your tweets with third-party software like Hootsuite.
- Create an account at Twitter
- Complete your profile
- Upload a cover image that spotlights your book (it can even be the same as the one you use for Facebook, although the size requirement is slightly different)
- Upload your author photo
- Use that short Twitter phrase you created earlier to describe yourself (don’t use a link to a book—this is about you and your brand)
Creating a Pinterest Board
Pinterest has long been a favorite for saving recipes and images of favorite people and stuff, but it’s also a great marketing tool for your brand and your books.
- Create an account at Pinterest
- Create a board and name it your author name
- Click “Add a Pin”
- Upload your book cover
- Add the short description of your book (you should find it in your Synopsis folder) and list where it can be purchased
- Pin it!
- Repeat for all your books
Using Other Sites
There are a number of sites that can help promote you at little or no cost. Be sure to take advantage of them!
- Amazon Central Author Page
- Add your bio
- Claim your books!
- Add your upcoming events like book signings and book conventions
- Add the links to your blog and Twitter account
- Authorgraph (your readers can get your digital autograph for their e-books!)
- BookBub (become a partner and set up your author page)
- Independent Author Network (if you can’t afford a website of your own, this is the next best)
- The Romance Reviews (okay, so this for romance authors, but there are similar sites for all genres)
- The Romance Studio
And dozens more!
Creating a Book’s (or Series’) Facebook Page
Why does your book need its own Facebook page? You don’t have to get “Likes” and post from it, although you can. The real reason you want your book to have its own page is so that you can run Facebook ads from it instead of from your Facebook author page.
- Create the page at Facebook Create A Page
- Choose Entertainment > Book or Book Series
- Upload a cover that features the book
- Upload the audiobook cover of your book or create an icon from your book cover and use that
- Complete the details in the “About” section (there are fields for the ISBN, book blurb, etc.)
Creating Ads on Facebook
When you promote from the book’s Facebook page, it looks like the book is selling itself. That way, you’re not the one saying, “Buy my book” all the time.
- Link your ad to a sales site—you’re not looking for “Likes” or followers here—you’re looking to get “Clicks” to the sales site so you can sell books
- Use your 9-15-word description as the hook
- Target a specific audience—use the granularity that Facebook provides, such as the appropriate locale, age range, sex, and “likes” information to drill down to the best, most likely target for your book
- Some use the default image that appears from the sales site while other upload a custom image. Be sure to follow Facebook’s guidelines for images with respect to the amount of text on them. Book covers are now exempt from many of the restrictions Facebook puts on other ads, although if your cover shows too much skin, the autobots may reject it. Simply file an appeal so a human can take a look, and remind them that your book is targeted to an audience over 18 (if applicable) when you file your appeal
- Set the budget per day and schedule your ad to run for at least a week
- Revisit your targeting and budget if your ad doesn’t seem to be getting you “Clicks”
- Need more help? Mark Dawson is the master at Facebook ads (he spends thousands on ads because he’s made them work). You can find out more at Self Publishing Formula.
That’s it for now. In Part 5, we’ll continue to list promotional opportunities, including building your newsletter list and using your newsletter, blog, social media and email promoters to reach potential readers. Keep on writing (and doing that 15 minutes a day of marketing)!