Self-publishing has leveled the playing field.
Instead of being forced to follow the lead of outdated publishing companies, authors now have full control of the book marketing process.
The issue is that many authors don’t know where to start when it comes to marketing their book.
Well, the good news is authors can start with the basics. A great book marketing process starts with a strong online presence.
Here are some practical steps that authors can follow to build a strong online presence for themselves.
What a Strong Online Presence Looks Like
So, what does a strong online presence actually look like? Let’s take a look at some general characteristics.
- An established brand. Every author has a brand, whether they’re writing their first or tenth novel. Your readers should be able to tell what you are all about as an author.
- A target audience. You should know who you want to write to. Knowing what type of audience you want to write for can help you market to them.
- Active social media platforms. Do you need to post something on your social media platforms every day? No. But your last post shouldn’t be a year or two years ago either. There should be a balance between the amount of posts you share on social media.
- Interactive content. There should also be a nice balance between your personal posts and engaging content for your audience. You should provide content that will add value to your audience.
- Positive reputation. Let’s be honest – the Internet can be a negative place. But that doesn’t mean that you have to engage in it. You want to be likeable to your audience and the general public.
How To Build A Strong Online Presence
Now that we know what a strong online presence looks like, it’s time to create one.
Let’s take a look at some simple steps authors can take to start building their online presence.
Define Your Brand and Values
Your online presence starts with you.
Before your readers purchase your book, they want to know what you’re all about. What are your passions? What motivates you to write? What do you like to do outside of writing?
Don’t let the recent debates about AI fool you. The last thing that readers want is to read books made by a robot. They want to relate to the authors they read.
Take some time to think about your personal brand. Think about some values that you want to be associated with you and your work – honesty, excitement, laughter – and take it from there.
Does this mean that you have to associate yourself with a particular social issue? Not necessarily. It’s honestly up to you.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure that your brand is authentic to who you are as a person.
Create Engaging and Unique Content
After establishing your personal brand, you want to start creating some unique content for your readers.
What are some types of content you can create?
- An author’s website. You can create a website where your readers directly connect and engage with your content.
- Blog posts. You can create a personal blog post on your website and write about topics that will interest your audience.
- Videos. You can create visual content like trailers that can explain to your audience what your novels are all about.
- Podcasts. Many authors are creating podcasts about different subjects related to their novels.
The good news is that you are able to create different types of content for your audience. Whatever type of content you want to create, you want to make sure that it is creative.
Build Social Media Profiles
Next, you want to create some social media profiles that your readers can follow.
Look at your social media profiles as two things: another way for you to create content and another way for you to connect to your audience.
When it comes to creating a social media profile, there are no specific rules. You can post content that relates to your personal values. You can post content that your audience will find funny.
You can even post clips of your videos and podcasts and direct people to your website.
The best thing that you can do is create a regular schedule for you to post content on your social media profiles. You want to engage with your audience on a somewhat regular basis.
What does a regular basis mean to you? It depends on what you find most convenient. If you can engage every day, that’s great. If you want to post content once or twice a week, that’s great as well.
It all boils down to what you can maintain.
Partner With Others in the Publishing Industry
Last but certainly not least, partnerships are another great way to strengthen your online presence.
One of the benefits of having an online presence is that you have the chance to connect with others from around the world. That means that you can collaborate with authors from different states and countries.
There are greater opportunities for you to work with authors and content creators in the publishing world. You can collaborate on podcasts with other writers in your same genre.
If you’re into self-publishing, this is a great way for you to promote yourself. There are many authors who are starting their self-publishing journey and are looking to network with others.
Even better, there are many readers who are looking for great books to read. The more you collaborate with others, the more exposure you can have to those new readers.
As you can see, these steps don’t require rocket science to execute.
Building an online presence as an author can be as simple as you allow it to be. Of course, it takes some preparation and work. But it doesn’t have to be tedious.
In fact, it can be fun.
To learn more about life as a self-published author, check out my blog posts 5 Marketing Problems That Self-Published Authors Face (And How To Solve Them) – Valeria Publications and Can Self-Publishing Really Work For You? – Valeria Publications.
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