Guest Expert: Phyllis Zimbler Miller
You’re written a book – or two or three – and you’ve probably put blood, sweat and tears into making this as good a book as you possibly can.
Now you want people to read this book, don’t you?
Then you must be willing to put blood, sweat and tears into learning as much as possible about the tremendous online opportunities to market your book with little or no money spent on advertising and promotion.
(And, of course, once you learn these opportunities you need to implement them – although not all at once.)
How do you start doing this?
First, you commit to understanding that this is not an overnight miracle worker. Effectively using online book marketing (unless you are a mega book author) starts with these steps:
• Identifying places that fans of your book might hang out online
• Joining in those places
• Engaging in online conversations without selling
• Building trust by sharing information helpful to others
As people begin to interact with you online and learn more about you, you can expect many of them to naturally become interested in what you write about. This, then, is the appropriate time to share links to your blog or your book website or a podcast interview someone did with you.
BookBuzzr offers an opportunity for people to get a feel for what your book is about and your writing style. You can put up on BookBuzzr a first chapter or a pivotal chapter or whatever you believe will most entice people to read your entire book. (Or, as I have done with my novel MRS. LIEUTENANT, you can put the entire book on BookBuzzr to be read for free.)
As part of this sharing about your book, the sharing of information about book writing, book editing, book publishing, and book promotion experiences can be very helpful for other writers and can be informative for fans.
Now this is where a blog can be particularly helpful. And writers by definition have an advantage – they can write. (You could also do a video blog)
While it often seems that nonfiction book authors have more to blog about, check out the article written by author Carolyn Howard-Johnson and myself at www.fictionmarketing.com for numerous ideas about how and what to blog on if you’re a fiction writer.
But, again, if you decide to blog, you need to commit to blogging over the long haul if you want to see results. And getting people to your blog requires you participating on social media sites to connect with people likely to be interested in your blog posts.
This, in turn, requires researching what’s out there. For example, there are book marketing groups on LinkedIn.com in which authors share information with each other.
Join LinkedIn for free, go to groups and search on the words book marketing. The results are returned with the group with the largest number of members at the top and the group with the least number of members at the bottom of the list.
Facebook has groups and Pages (formerly called fan pages) dedicated to all kinds of book writing, publishing and marketing topics.
On Twitter there are lots of writers and editors. For example, do a search on #kidlit or #yalit to get a feel for Twitter participants active in these arenas. And Twitter makes it very easy to start interacting with these people by following them and then tweeting content of interest.
Here’s the bottom line:
If you are not willing to put in the time and effort (and frustration sometimes) to make connections that can help your online book marketing, you best not start.
This is because a half-hearted effort over a short period of time won’t do it (unless you are incredibly lucky – and even then?).
You’ve written your book and it’s been birthed. Now it’s your turn to say yes to giving your book all the care and nurturing that you possibly can in order to share this new entity with your potential fans.
Get started now!
Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller on Twitter) and her social media marketing company co-founder Yael K. Miller (@MillerMosaicLLC) work with clients to help them harness the power of social media to promote their book, brand, cause or business. Visit the company’s new Facebook Page www.facebook.com/MillerMosaicSocialMedia to get access to a free report and learn more social media marketing tips.
Phyllis is also the author of the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semi-finalist MRS. LIEUTENANT, the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION, and the co-author of the book FOUR COMEDY SCREENPLAYS – all available on Amazon.