Online Publicity, Where do you begin? Map it Out!
Guest Post by Susan Violante
I won’t give my age away but let me just say that computers were not found anywhere during my college years. So I understand the challenges of technology that independent authors face when trying to publicize their books online. It took me a while to get acquainted with the Internet and to learn how to use it to achieve my goals with my own books. After years of publicizing online I find that each day is a new discovery of creative ways to get my book out there. It is sometimes overwhelming even for me, even though I eat, breath and sleep online, because things change by the minute. At the same time, the challenges of the constant changes are what keep me interested because I am learning something new on a regular basis.
We at Reader Views are committed to helping authors publicize their stories by maximizing the exposure of our reviews as well as dedicating our time helping authors through our affordable online publicity packages. But there are things that authors can do themselves to keep the momentum going. In a recent email conversation with one of our authors, I realized that many authors are not as computer savvy as I thought they were, and didn’t know where to begin. So I decided to create a series of Articles to simplify matters for our indie, and traditional customers! Below is my first tip:
Make a Plan before you even do research of how – The internet has not just created the possibility of doing many things yourself but it also created the possibility for us to get bombarded with ideas, tools and services. But which ones are the ones that you need? That is the question you need to keep present in order to keep yourself on a path and not get lost online. Furthermore, I can tell you that you do not need to utilize everything you find online. I can also tell you that you do not need to do everything at the same time. But if you go online without a plan you will end up spending too much time and money shooting at the air instead of your target. Below are some tips I wished I had when I first started about how to choose what I need and come up with a plan.
- Take few minutes by yourself and look at your book. Your best source of information when planning your book’s online marketing is your book! Take note of the genre, age group, topics covered and come up with a list of possible interest topic markets. Then choose the two most relevant and make them your first and second target. If you have trouble coming up with your target market then maybe you should consider a marketing coach or workshop. Here at Reader Views we understand the importance of affordable coaching. That is why soon we will be offering affordable and immediate advice to our authors. So stay tuned with our newsletter for details! In the meantime you can also check out our articles on our website to get great advice on all the areas of the publishing Industry at http://www.readerviews.com/.
- Make an Inventory of what you can do yourself and what you can’t. Author website, Press Releases, Blog Tours, Articles, Book Giveaways, Literary Contests, Online Radio Interviews, Book Trailers, Book catalogs, Social Media …etc. There are so many things and tools to promote your book online it is almost impossible to do them all and still be able to write another book. Although we encourage authors to purchase our publicity packages, we also offer the option of additional services to help them with the things that they can’t or choose not to do themselves such as Press Release distribution, Live interviews…etc. For more information about those services at http://readerviews.com/services_additional.html
- Keep it Simple. Have you looked into social media lately? It’s insane! New Social sites show up every day! I actually attended a couple of workshops in the past couple of months to try to get a grip on all the Social Sites. The biggest lesson was to keep it simple. You don’t have to create a presence on all of them to get your book out there. Once you know your target market, pick a couple of sites that work best for your book. For example, if your book is about writing and promoting your books, you might want to consider a site like Author Den to target that market, and connect it with your FaceBook and maybe Twitter. That way you can socialize to the general public and your target market almost instantly. You can then promote the articles you publish on other blogs and increase your traffic with crosslinks. We created Blogging Authors to give our authors an outlet to publish articles without the hassle of posting them and give them a cross link venue. Did I mention we do this free of cost for our authors? Check it out it at http://www.bloggingauthors.com/.
- Schedule your Online Time. For me this one is the hardest as I struggle to balance my online time through Reader Views, my own book and my writing. The trick is to experiment and keep trying until you find a balance. I actually found the best way by giving internships to high school kids to post my blog entries. This way I write them as they come to me, email a batch to the intern and reduce my time online. To make sure I get reliable and responsible kids, I interview only AP or Honor English classes. The internships can be paid or unpaid, depending on the school. On some instances I have given iTunes gift certificates for non-paid interns as a stipend. I encourage you to visit your local high school and establish a relationship with them. You will be getting the help of a social media savvy intern and at the same time you will be mentoring a student.
I Hope these quick tips help put in perspective where to start with online publicity when putting your book out there, and remember to visit our Articles link for free information on Writing, Marketing, Publishing, and Publicizing your work!
Susan Violante is the author of Innocent War: Behind an Immigrant’s Past, speaker, Blogger, Host of her online radio show I Have Something to Say Live, and Managing Editor for Reader Views and First Chapter Plus. For more information about Susan visit www.susanviolante.com