Having recently announced the debut of my first novel, I now find myself being plunged into a whole new world. My head is swimming with the vastness of marketing; more specifically, internet marketing.
I never considered myself a stranger to social media. I have always tried to keep up with the latest sites, if only just to follow in the steps of my peers. But these past few days have shown just how different interacting on the web for pleasure is versus promotion. I'm suddenly forced to learn a plethora of techniques; to get a website on google, how to reach the largest amount of people possible, and how to get them to listen. This is often an author's worst fear.
Writers tend to be introverts, living more inside our heads than in the real world. That's why the idea of having to branch out in the world can be utterly terrifying. I'm still learning, but here are some things that have been seeming to help me.
#1. When looking up the answer to a question, be specific.
I had the hardest time trying to figure out how to make my author website visible on Google. I looked up one link, which led me to another link, and another and another. I felt like I was in an entanglement of links, where the information was a puzzle I couldn't solve. Finally, with a hefty sigh, I typed in: how to get my website to show up on google.
Then, presto! A whole how-to page detailing just that. I leaned back in my chair thinking, "Why on Earth didn't I type that before?"
So if you have a question about social media, look it up specifically. If you can't find the answer, widen your search parameters. It will save you hours of research.
#2. Take every chance you get to reach someone.
Do not let your modesty get in the way of this. If you make a Facebook page, invite all your friends, even ones you don't know very well. If you make a Twitter, follow everyone you know plus authors that write similarly to you. You may be surprised at who ends up supporting your book.
#3. Be creative.
Marketing is all about creativity. Think about the guy who started the trend of selling his books for 99 cents. That was a brand new marketing strategy. Branch out, and constantly be brainstorming about new ways to reach people. If you can't think of any, start out by looking up classic marketing strategies, and build from there.
#4. Be willing to spend a little money.
This one makes me cringe, but it's true. Promotion costs money. If you really want to promote your book, you may have to pay for some promoting services. Just make sure to research the company first and compare prices. You don't want to be led into a scam!
#5. Be friendly.
Simple, but true. Be friendly! When someone comments on your post, take a moment to comment back. Little acts of kindness go a long way.
As I said, I am still learning, and am no expert on this. But I just wanted to share what I have learned from my own experience in beginning inernet marketing. To all my fellow authors: Good luck!
Here is a link for more marketing ideas: http://www.authormedia.com/89-book-marketing-ideas-that-will-change-your-life/