My professional life is the book business. I own a publicity company and specialize in creating awareness for writers and books. I feel blessed for my work because I help aspiring authors realize their dreams. It’s incredibly rewarding.
Maybe you have a book idea inside you or half of your book is finished. Maybe your manuscript is finished and collecting dust on your desk. No matter the stage of your book, here are five things you can do now if you want to write a book.
1. Think about your brand.
Your personal brand is your expertise. It’s the content in your book. Think of your brand as what you want to be known for, or your knowledge. It’s how you describe your message to the world.
If you are still stuck, answer these three questions:
- Why did you write your book?
- Who is your book for?
- What interests do you share with your audience?
2. Know and find your audience.
As you begin to get a clear picture of your personal brand, you are gaining clarity on your reader, too. Think of everything you know about your reader and jot it down.
- Is your reader male or female?
- What other books/authors/magazines does he or she read?
- What TV shows does your reader love?
- What are some of the common values of your ideal readership?
- Does your audience have a problem, concern or frustration that your book seeks to solve?
- What does your audience want?
When you can describe your audience, you can begin to figure out what content interests them and where they hang out. For example, if your reader is a major DIY crafts person, you're likely to find that reader on Pinterest. (So guess where you need to be?)
If your readership consists of CEOs everywhere, you'll want to be on LinkedIn. It’s never too early to identify and find your audience because personal branding takes time.
3. When it comes to building your brand, hurry up and wait.
Our digital world can give a false sense that success, recognition, book sales, awareness of your brand, and national media invites can happen overnight. All it takes is one viral post.
That’s not often the case. Think slow build. Start a conversation with your readers. Today’s readers are connected and they want to be connected to you as the author. They want to know more about you. Build your loyal following and you'll have an audience for your message and your book.
Your ongoing conversation with readers can result in speaking engagements, paid blog posts, interview opportunities, more fans on your Facebook page, more traffic on your site, increased sales for your book (when you get to that point) and a recognition and expansion of your brand. Think of what you can do daily to keep the conversation going.
4. Have a home base online.
If you're an aspiring author, you'll need a website, which becomes your hub and home base. It should feature you first and your book second. Even if you quickly develop raving fans for your work, they'll want to follow you and not a static book website.
For your digital marketing strategy to be effective, you need to be a designated storyteller, marketer and brand evangelist. Decide how much time you can dedicate to the work of crafting your story and message, writing blogs and reaching out to your targeted audience.
5. Develop a plan.
You don’t have to join every shiny new social media app, platform or site. Join the social media platforms that make sense for you, your message and your brand.
Connect where you think you'll find your ideal reader and start authentic conversations. Try not to get too caught up in the number of followers. It’s so much more important to go for engagement, people who really want to interact with you than it is to go for numbers. I’d rather have 500 interested followers than 50,000 who don’t interact on my social media sites.
Remember: Digital marketing is new to everyone and we're all trying things out.
It's important that you just keep an open mind and experiment. Just make sure you start the conversation now if you are going to write or are writing your book. Sometimes it can take up to two years to really see the results from your consistent efforts.
But isn’t your dream worth it?
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