“Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer. ” - Barbara Kingsolver
Even without a finished book, you need to promote, promote, and promote some more.
As an author, who wanted to have a professional writing career as a novelist because I love to write and can’t afford to spend so many hours doing something that makes no money, I ignorantly thought that all I needed to do was write good books.
How wrong I was!
It used to be that you wrote a book and just prior to publication, your promotion work would begin and the publishing company handled most of it. Nowadays, if you want to be a successful writer, much more promotion is involved, and it must start long before your book is even finished for publication. It is recommended to begin marketing years before you want to publish a book.
So how do you start to promote your name and build up a large follow-ship?
Today with the worldwide web and the growing demand for e-books, I feel a website is the most important tool for marketing. Every author needs a professional website and the possibilities of what you incorporate on the website are endless. A few things are essential on your website if you want to build a good group of followers.
1) Author Blog
Incorporate an author blog and post regularly. This helps you attract followers, allows you to share yourself with them, and builds credibility.
A newsletter on your website is another way to keep your followers informed on all your latest news. Having your followers subscribe to your newsletter is a perfect way to gain a database of involved followers that allows you to contact them when your books or e-books are finally being published.
3) Interactive Tools
Having interactive tools on your site like quizzes, polls, contests etc. is another way to get followers involved, giving them enjoyment and motivating them to come back to the site. I think the key is to do something different, so you stand out in the crowd and your followers will remember you.
4) Subscriptions to Social Networking Sites
Use an array of social networking sites that you build-up and make sure to incorporate the icon links on your website. Register with Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Linked-In or other well-known sites. These sites help you to build followers all the while giving you a place to communicate with them, your peers, and promote your work.
In a time when people love to watch videos, producing a commercial for your book and placing it on your website and on YouTube is necessary.
Do more by getting video and audio interviews done with radio, TV, and newspapers.
I have to admit, the list intimidated me when I first started the promotion of my book. I think it still does; it’s a job in progress. I also wondered how one finds time to write in between promoting. And how much time does one devote to each area of promotion? Honestly, I am still trying to figure that out, and in the meantime, juggling all of them as best I can.
My Advice: Get professional help
No matter what you use to promote you and your book, it is important that it be done professionally. Since most writers are not versed in web design, video editing, cover art, marketing, etc., we need to hire a professional who is.
Remember, you want your work to stand out and nothing stands out more than professionalism. We often only get one chance at gaining or losing a follower. It has been reported, people decide in the first seconds whether they want to stay or leave your website. And even if they do stay, the average time spent on a website is less than half a minute! With these kind of stats working against you, second best is not an option.
With good tweets, one will have good twitter following.
When I joined twitter, I applied this rule and began to tweet what I thought were good tweets, tweets that I felt would interest my followers, tweets of value. I also set myself a goal, to reach one thousand tweets by the year-end.
December 19, I hit my 1000th tweet!
For some twitters that may be a miniscule amount but only having joined twitter a number of months ago, I thought it to be a realistic number for me.
I have to admit, the number was intimidating. I remember thinking back, wondering how long it would take me to reach that many tweets. What made me feel inept was that my intimidation for a thousand tweets appeared groundless when I saw twitters with twenty or thirty thousand tweets.
How had they accomplished that large feat?
I still haven’t’ discovered their secret, but I did discover how I had accomplished my goal – with ‘persistence’.
Every day, I made sure to add tweets, even if on some days, I managed only one or two. On the rare occasion when I was unable to tweet at all, I doubled my tweets the next day to compensate for that missed day.
My persistence eventually reaped success. Not only have I reached my goal, my followers are steadily rising.
“Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.” – Bill Bradley
My next goal is five thousand tweets, which feels as intimidating as my first one thousand did.
I was asked, why I wasn’t celebrating my number of followers instead of my number of tweets. This saying sums it up nicely: the amount you give will determine the amount you get back
I find comfort in knowing that although the trip might be long, with the application of persistence, I’m guaranteed my success in the end.
How has persistence helped you in life? I would love to hear your stories.