We've already talked about book marketing as part of the preparation for writing your book. Now that the book is ready to meet its public, the same social media sites will be even more important to your efforts. If you've followed this plan, you've already started to build a platform of followers and readers. Now it's time to expand your efforts.
Once you've created a publishing company and have the books ready for purchase, a website is a prime requirement. It should serve many functions -- introducing your area of expertise, talking about your book, providing a detailed biography so that readers feel they really know you, allowing readers to contact you, and making book ordering easy. Articles on how to build your website are found elsewhere. Just be sure you do it.
A word of caution about the usual social media sites may be necessary here. Readers turn to Twitter for pithy sayings, not to be told to "Go buy my book." Facebook provides enough ads as it is. Don't make it worse by using your status updates as just another ad. Your readers are probably interested in your signings, your awards, your public speeches -- but don't beat them over the head with flat demands for their money.
YouTube videos can reach huge audiences, but don't post something unless it makes you look like a professional, not a silly amateur turned loose for the first time with a cellphone. And LinkedIn audiences are even tougher. The participants there are usually serious business people. Give them information they can use, not blatant self-promotion.
A Virtual Book Tour is a wonderful device for building your following. Every time you visit the blog of someone new and post an interesting article, you get a chance to add that person's followers to your own. So look for people with interests similar to your own, read their blogs until you are sure you like them (and their audiences), and then ask politely if you can do a guest post for them. If you offer their readers some information of value. you may create a long-term relationship that works for both of you. As an example, just last week I made my second appearance on a blog managed by a woman who wrote an article for my own book launch. Our interests jibe, and we easily fill in for one another when we need a fresh voice.
The final item on this chart talks about press releases -- which sound serious and mysterious but are easy to do because there is a standard format. Everything must fit on a single page. Forget about fancy fonts, pictures, clever little sketches -- just get the facts out there, with no grammatical errors or typos.
Start with the words "FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE"
Follow that with your contact information.
Write a short catchy headline. Look at your local newspaper for examples.
Write a two-sentence description of your book.
Provide a synopsis, similar to the one on the back of the book jacket.
Include a brief biography, with pertinent qualifications, other publications, and any awards.
Add a quote or two from any reviews you may have
Provide book details -- ISBN, publisher, ordering information
Repeat author contact information
Finish with that useful printers mark -- ###
Once you have a good press release, you can send it to local news media, give it to people who will be hosting your book signings, and use it to introduce yourself to potential customers. Consider it your own personal Town Crier, going out ahead of you to announce your presence.
Finally, let's add one more item: PERSERVERENCE. Success in the book publishing world does not come easily or quickly . It just seems that way when you look at it from the outside, because readers don't see the agent turndowns, the rejections from publishing houses, the low sales figures, the negative balance in your business ledger. Your book will not be an overnight phenomenon. Accept that, and keep marketing, keep talking about your interests, and keep writing. Really, which would you rather have -- a one-night stand with an Amazon "best-seller of the day" or a steady, growing relationship with your readership?