Prep Before You Publish
You are ready to publish your book. Editing and design/layout are underway. Publishing is right around the corner. What should I be doing? Let’s build a base to start from. It is time to start getting ready for your book launch and the publishing of your book. I break this down into 4 key areas.
1. Build Your Author Platform
2. Create an Author Blog/Website, Your Online Home, 5 Essential Pages
3. Create a Media Kit for Your Book
4. Book Marketing Workbook/Checklist
How You Can Build an Author Platform for Your Book 1/4
CONCEPT: Start building your author platform today.
THE WHY: Your author platform is important because these are all the people connected to you. Some are loose social media connections, Facebook and Twitter. Some are stronger like those on your email lists. The strongest are actual buyers of your stuff and then your family, friends, and co-workers. This is where your initial sales will come from. If you are doing a book launch, these are the people who will give you that bestseller. These are your fans and the people who will buy your books.
Marketing Starts the Day You Start Writing Your Book
Marketing and selling your book starts the day you start writing it. We often don’t even know we are writing a book when we begin. But the key is to reach out to the world with your ideas as soon as you can. For most people, this is a hard concept to get our heads around. We don’t know what we are writing and we rarely want to release anything until we feel it is perfect. But to gain exposure and to build our author platform, we need to release content as early as possible. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
In fact, it most likely will not be. But it takes a while for the world to find us and connect with us. We want to release our ideas and content because Google will notice and start sending people our way. The goal is to build a platform or audience of fans who know and like us. People who are there when we release our books. Building your author platform is a long-term game. It is something you always need to be doing.
Build Your Author Platform and Connect
• Set up your social media accounts. Identify where your potential audience is and start connecting. Work with popular sites, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube. Pick a couple to get started. You want to connect in their world.
• Begin building an email list of interested fans. You want to build and store your emails with an email service provider like AWeber, MailChimp, or ConvertKit. These are some of the popular ones, there are many. In fact, MailChimp is free for the first 2,000 subscribers. Once you get over 50 subscribers, it gets awkward to manage your email. Using a professional email company will also keep you away from violating the spam laws.
• I have had great success building a community around publishing using a Facebook Open Group. Come over and join me at How to Publish Your Book Facebook Group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/HowToPublishYourBook/
• Register an author URL for your website, NameNameAuthor.com will work if you can’t get your name.
• Begin building an author’s website or blog. WordPress and Google Blogger are two popular blogging platforms. Website builders like Weebly and Wix will also work.
• Note and collect all the people that you have connections with. Family, friends, co-workers, anyone that you know. Any customers you have and organizations you belong to. Anywhere and anyone you might be able to sell a book to.
Connecting with Influencers in Your Market
• Research bloggers and people who have an influence in your market.
• Connect with these people through their social media accounts. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, their YouTube Channel, and Pinterest.
• Subscribe to their blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn groups, and email lists.
• Look for people who have a bigger audience or online footprint than you do.
We can connect with almost anyone today because of social media. They may not notice us, but we can connect. The task then is to increase their awareness of you. Making friendly comments is one way. Buying their products is another. You may not get Kim Kardashian to notice you, but someone two levels down will. You can build up.
Start commenting and engaging with them on their blogs and social media sites. Try to get on these people’s radar, start building a relationship. This will become much more important when we come to launching your book.
If you support them, they may support you. When it comes time to launch your book, reach out. You may already be on their radar. This is a long-term strategy, but it can be very effective. This strategy is called The Dream 100. But you don’t need 100 influencers, 5 might work very well.
Social Media Homes: Facebook Open Group
• Building a Facebook Open Group is one of my favorite recommendations because you can build a community around your topic. Facebook has open, private and secret groups, you want an open one. Building a community can be a powerful tool. I have done very well with my How to Publish Your Book Group on Facebook. Last year, it helped me launch a #1 category bestseller on Amazon.
• Pick a group name that is general enough to allow you to move in many directions. You want to attract people. How to Publish Your Book, works very well for me. It is about publishing books but gives me lots of room to add different content. I would have a tougher time if I picked How to Publish Children’s Scientific Picture Books. How to Train Dogs works better than How to Train Scottish Terriers. I also wouldn’t use your name. Keep it general.
• Add existing YouTube videos and web content to help get the group going. If a topic interests you, it might interest your members. Share news and information from blogs that you follow.
• Thank everyone who comes into the group. I thanked the first 2,000 people who joined my publishing group.
• Answer members’ questions, make comments and add content. You want to engage your audience.
• Don’t be afraid of managing your group, your members will appreciate it. You can kick people out of the group that aren’t playing nice. It is your group, after all.
Social Media Homes Other Than Facebook
• Set up social media locations for you or your book. Use sites like Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube. LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Instagram work as well. Pick a couple to get started. The important point to remember is that you want to be where your audience is. If they are on YouTube, then you need to be there. On LinkedIn, be there. You can be in other places also, but you want to at least be where they are.
Building a platform can be a lot of work. Be patient, keep working at it. This doesn’t all have to be at once.
Offline and Local Connections
Offline connections are also very important to develop. Locations like regional media, and your local bookstores. Your friends, family, and co-workers.
• Prepare now for the future when you release your book. Connect with a local bookstore, coffee shops, and other outlets where you can sell your books. Depending on what your topic is, there are many non-traditional places to sell as well. Retail stores, professional services, speaking, conferences, etc. Pet stores sell books as well.
• Build a list of local media in TV, radio, and print that you can connect with. Connect with their social media sites, start getting on their radar. Identify who the reporters and personalities are and connect with them. “Local author makes good,” makes for a good public interest story. Most people are on social media somewhere.
• Do the same with any organization or service that you belong to. Most professions have national or regional organizations. These are great places to gain exposure. They all have some form of “Whats New with Our Members.”
• As you get closer to publishing your book pull together your Book Media Kit. Write your author bio and book descriptions. Collect cover images, bio images, videos, everything we will use to launch your book.
• Does your company have a newsletter? Does your company have a website with your bio on it? Are you part of local organizations? Do they know about your book? Look around, you will find all kinds of places to build your exposure.
1/4. Build Your Author Platform
2/4. Create an Author Blog/Website, Your Online Home, 5 Essential Pages
3/4. Create a Media Kit for Your Book
4/4. Book Marketing Workbook/Checklist
More to Come…
Excerpt from How to Sell Your Book, How I Made $322,650 and Sold 34,605 Books on Amazon, The Inside Secrets, by J. Bruce Jones. Bruce is the author of over 50 books on music, geography, children’s, coloring, and publishing. His latest book is available at Amazon and as a Downloadable PDF with bonus videos.
Available as a Downloadable PDF with bonus videos
Come over and join almost 5,000 authors and self-publishers in the
How to Publish Your Book Facebook Group