Often when I go on social media to see what people are up to, someone is posting something about how much and how quickly our world is changing. For example, a meme that asks, “Who knows what this is?” And below it is a picture of a telephone with push buttons on it.
Technology isn’t the only thing that changes as time moves forward. There once was a day when you sold a book to a publisher and they did the majority of the publicity and marketing to promote your book, including an author tour!
Now, that job is mostly yours. You may already know that from putting the proposal together because the biggest section is how YOU plan to market and sell the book. If you’re self published, well everything about everything is in your lap anyway.
At this point in time, not only do you need to have a fabulous book, but you need to be your own publicist and marketer, too. So what exactly does that mean and what should you be doing right now?
Here are some tips to help you with your efforts;
Start marketing now
I know it may sound a little crazy, but you want to start your marketing plans the moment you have the idea for the book. (Obviously, if your book is already out then this applies to the next book.) When you have the idea for the book, that is the time to be thinking about who, specifically, your book is directed toward. Who is the perfect buyer for your book? What is their pain point? How are you going to help them to solve it?
Warm up your channels
Get the content on your channels to begin moving in the direction of your new content. Once you answer the questions above, this can be the start of the new content you’re posting. Talk to them. Get in rapport with them. Remember, it takes time to build an audience. While instant messaging and texting gives us the idea that everything is speeding up, building an audience still takes time. While it may look like some people are an overnight sensation, I can tell you from experience that it can take years to get there. Begin now.
Be thinking about your own brand. What are your values? How are you helping others? What do you want to be known for? What do you want others to think of when they think of you and your book? What are the problems you want to help solve for your audience and share your knowledge. Take some time to write down your first-blush responses and then build on them. Everything should flow from this to your various channels. Create connections through online conversations and be sure to offer value with solutions, ideas, resources or expertise. Don’t worry about giving too much away; You really can’t do that. The Golden Rule applies.
Do your research
Groups about your topic are everywhere. True, there are a few topics that are so niche there may not be a lot of groups and conversations, but there will probably be some. If not, you will create it. For most topics, however, there are plenty of opportunities. The time to get into these groups and get known is long before your book comes out. If you wait until you have your book in hand, it’s going to look like you’re suddenly showing up to hawk it. Not very appealing and people are getting more and more sophisticated all the time, so start early.
And by monitoring yourself I am saying to watch what others are saying about you in the digital Universe. You have a reputation to protect so ignoring social media and turning away from digital conversations is not in your best interest. I understand the need to detox digitally from time-to-time, but make smart decisions as to when you’re going to do that, and not within six months of your book launch. You need to monitor these things so if your plan is to outsource your social media efforts, you still have to monitor what is going on. Your brand and your reputation depend on it and no one knows you like you do.
It’s easy to be influenced and persuaded to do the next mastermind or high-level program for writing your book, promoting your book, launching your book, ad infinitum. Keep razor sharp and clear on what you want and where you are going. If you need some help, get it, but be sure it’s not the Shiny Object Syndrome that we have all fallen for in the past.
You’re writing a book, or you have a book! Find ways to talk about the problems you solve both to your networks and to media. You are needed and now is your time to shine. Having a little fun goes a long way in making the process easier and more productive.
Some authors are only interested in book sales and that’s a fine goal. Many others are looking for speaking gigs, consulting gigs, coaching opportunities, paid blog posts, interview opportunities, more social media followers, more traffic on their websites, and recognition and expansion of their personal brand. Start early, be consistent, enjoy the little successes along the way, be patient, and celebrate all your wins.
I am celebrating right along with you!
To your success!
P.S. Time to celebrate the decision to get goin’!!
And if you prefer to go “old school”, here you go!
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