Talking to authors of late, many whom have a lot to offer the world, I noticed there is still the fear of putting themselves in the spotlight. Folks, you don’t have to do what doesn’t feel right for you when it comes to author marketing (sometimes called ‘being an influencer’).
Some authors are great at interviewing, so podcasting/guest podcasting becomes their thing. (Podcasting also has an extremely good take-up rate of regular listeners buying)
Some jovial guys and gals make videos their thing; whether reading a book passage or showing others their world or creative use of video.
Some new authors take their first steps in blogging on a theme… (some never leave ;-))
Some authors are social creatures, so they create interesting content to tie in what they write about to current topics floating around Facebook.
Some authors love photography or making mandelas or sharing book covers, and so Instagram is their jam.
You get the picture… pick one and do it well.
Building Your Network
When building an ‘author platform’, I know of one other thing that will help you. And that’s building a network of relatable others, usually on LinkedIn. Relatable others are people who can identify with your topic. If you do it via LinkedIn, whenever you need a particular type of support, you can easily ‘search’ your network. Or if they need you–because they’ve seen your fantastic BACKGROUND on your LinkedIn profile–you’re the first to get a message asking for help or an interview.
Get a freelance graphic artist to create yourself a bunch of background shots and ‘covers’ for social media in the required dimensions. (All the social networks have different size requirements)
Interviews are crucial, both pre- and post-book launch. The more interviews you do, the more write-ups and media mentions you’ll get and being known = sales & opportunities.
But, you don’t have to go to the top (e.g. Channel 9 Today, ABC radio), where all the crows are fighting over the spot. There are plenty of local radio stations, niche topic bloggers, niche online magazines, real magazines (YMag, Writing Queensland), and topical Australian PODCASTS who will interview you.
The write-up or final show may not be in your control, but sometimes you can talk about how you wrote your book or why. This alone will interest those who resonate with the theme of it. It’s not about being outgoing, but more about being authentic and knowing ‘your stuff’.
There are also many arts magazines which not only accept a unique article or essay from proficient, creative writers, but they also PAY you. Although most will strongly suggest you become a ‘subscriber’ first. This reading will help you pick up the vibe of their writing too. There is a list of 10 Australian arts magazines who pay writers at this blog. Overland pays $120 – $500 per article and is $60 a year to subscribe to.
You know I love my marketing tools. The first one an author should have is an Email Marketing program. Do you collect business cards or the like? Why don’t you ask if you can send them a free article or chapter when you take their business card. They say yes (that’s called marketing consent!) Then just pop their email address and first name into your email marketing system and your automatic first email will shoot out to them.
Obviously, you must set up that email with a link to your ‘freebie’ first. The freebie could be hosted on your website (some blogs are free to run) — or you can try out BookFunnels.com or BookLaunch.io — both amazing tools at the cost from US$10 per month. Upgrading from free seems worthwhile – you can then choose your own SEO meta data plus categories for their own internal searchers.
I’ve tried both, and BookFunnel is better for getting your book securely out to beta readers and launching giveaways, while BookLaunch is just easier to replace the necessity of a book website. There is no obligation to keep on paying the US$10 a month after your six months of publicity activity (or however long).
Click below to VISIT MY BOOKLAUNCH.IO EXAMPLE
Placeit — as seen in the banner for this post — is another cool resource for the time-poor author. Place-it images are like having a (poorly paid) pro photographer putting your book cover in certain scenarios. I have paid in the past $US8 each image, or they offer a monthly subscription if you love the site’s unfathomably deep number of options.
Well, some food for thought Aussie authors. No need to be concerned over shining the light on yourself and your work.