Self-Marketing for the Self-Publisher

By John Focht

The challenge for most first-time self-publishers is trying to sell their book once they complete writing it.  A number of first-time authors either don’t have a marketing plan, or face a fear of feeling like a sleazy salesperson trying to sell their book.

As a self-publisher, creating a marketing plan for your book is critical.  Unlike the traditional publishing route, as a self-publisher it is all on you to make people know who you are and know that you wrote a book.  As a great as your first book may be, as a no-name author, your book is not going to sell itself.

Start with your own network of family and friends.  As a first-time author, the chances are pretty good that most of your family and friends will buy a copy of your book in support of your accomplishment.

Don’t be shy about going old-school in today’s fast-paced, technological world, as word-of-mouth marketing is still a great way to sell, and more important, it’s free.  By spreading the word to your family and friends, they are almost sure to also tell friends and family on their other-halves side about your work.

The word-of-mouth campaign will be sure to gain you a couple leads you otherwise would not have had without your network of family and friends, so talk to them as they will wind up being your biggest marketing channel.

Today’s world, with the ease of creating your own website, and the use of social media outlets, allows you a channel of marketing that did not exist even a decade ago.  In preparation for your book, create a website that publicizes you as the author.  Start creating a buzz around your name.  On the homepage of your website, create a bio of yourself.  Be sure to provide some information about your book and provide an estimated published date.  Even if you don’t know what this date is yet, put it on your website.  You can always go back and edit it.

If you are not hooked onto social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, or professional network sites like Linked-In, do so now.

Facebook and Twitter are social media sites that can quickly provide you traction in getting your book publicity.  It’s very similar to the word-of-mouth campaign that you have also launched, except this word-of-mouth is over the internet.

Facebook will allow you to create a page for your book, or you can even use your own personal Facebook page to market your book.  All your connections will know of your book in an instant and can further assist you by “Liking” your book.  Use Twitter to market your book to your followers.

Linked-In is a professional networking site where you can connect with former co-workers and colleagues.  Update your profile as an author and link to your website.

Once your book is published, create a press release and publish it on your website, Linked-In page, and Facebook page.  Send your press release to local newspapers.  As part of your marketing your plan, be sure you are distributing your PR to as many media outlets as possible.  Most local media outlets, particularly home town newspapers, will list a press release for local authors on their website or in their newspaper.

If your book is being sold through Amazon, provide a link to it from your website, Linked-In profile, Facebook page, and Twitter feed.  Generate a buzz on your website and your social media outlets that your book is now published and for sale.

Also, contact local bookstores and request to sign copies of your book at their store.  Most bookstores will accommodate requests from local authors.  Book signings, no matter the author, stirs up added business for bookstores too, so they are usually willing to oblige.

Communicate through your web and social media channels when and where you are doing books signings.  Book signing are great way to draw interest from friends and family who may not have seen you in a while.  Former co-workers from years past, or old college friends may see your press release or read of your book signing and stop in for a copy.

Finally, create some business cards with either your website or the name of your book.  Hand it out to anyone and everyone you come in contact with. Make sure people know you are an author and your first-book is now published.

Breaking the barriers of marketing a book for first-time authors is tough.  Getting in the mindset of making your name a brand name is critical in getting your book out there.  Create a stir about you.  Get people talking about you.


Does Your Website Need an SEO Strategy?

Search Engine Optimization is a little like Moby Dick.  While many have claimed to have seen the great fish, er uh mammal, not many actually have.

Many small business owners find themselves battling the same battle as Captain Ahab himself; finding their White Whale – search engine optimization.

Does the While Whale known as search engine optimization really exist?  Many small business owners and website owners have been lost at sea when it comes to chasing search engine optimization, or SEO.

Search engine optimization does exist.  Search engines like Bing and Google do indeed rank websites.  Websites get ranked on search engines based on their relevant content, trends, keyword recognition, user visits, and more.  Despite what some SEO experts may say, landing at the top of the search engine rankings is not an overnight trick.

Making your website relevant on the search engines is truly a day-to-day grind.  Now of course, any website can instantaneously land at the top of search engines through buying mechanisms such as Pay-Per-Click ads, or through traditional advertising outlets, or through automated tools that consistently click on your site to give it a stronger web presence.  The more users that visit your site, or the more clicks to your site, will pay immediate dividends for your website on search engines

But if you do not have truckload of cash to back into advertising, then a methodical approach to your website will be needed to begin to see your site land on the higher rankings on the search engines.

Keep these five tips in mind when trying to deliver web traffic to your website:

  • Consistent and relevant content.
  • Strong keyword recognition.
  • Social media networks.
  • Email marketing.
  • PPC ads.

Web 2.0 is real.  With today’s interaction features between websites and potential customer’s, website owners truly need an SEO strategy.  Good SEO strategies include blogs, keyword recognition, social networking, email marketing, PPC ads, and more.  Without an SEO strategy, your website is as good as invisible.

Don’t be one of the website owners lost at sea trying to find your White Whale, Contact Me today on SEO plans and Website


Creating a Blog for Your Small Business Website

One of the most fascinating words to enter everyday language in the past ten years is the word Blog.  We hear it every day.  Some even say it every day.  Heck, most read from several of them every day.  But what is a blog?  Wikipedia refers to a blog as a discussion site published on the web.

Blogs have evolved over the past few years as a more interactive way for website owners and end-users to communicate.  With the ability to add comments to blog posts, blogs have truly transformed themselves into the Web 2.0 generation as a way of communication.

For small business owners or website owners, blogs have become one of the most effective means in generating web traffic to their website.

Blogs have enabled website owners the ability to transform their website from pure static websites into interactive websites with their clients.  With the ability to add new content multiple times per week, or per day, blogs have provided website owners a unique ability to drive web traffic to their site that wasn’t available to them ten years ago.

The efficiency for website owners to have and maintain a blog today is very simple.  Most blogs available to website owners today do not require the website owner to be technical or have anytime of development background.

Content Management Systems (CMS) like WordPress and Radiant are very user-friendly CMS tools.  WordPress enables website owners the ability to enter free text into its system and allows the website owner to post directly to their blog site. No coding, no development, no troubles.

Although there are many user-friendly CMS tools available, it does not mean the website owner have an easy ticket to instant web traffic to your website.

When creating a blog, and the content associated with a blog, the website owner needs to be aware of the audience they are trying to attract with your writing.  For example, the website owner probably does not want to add cookie recipes to their blog if your overall website and business in auto repair.  While baking cookies might be a hobby, writing about them on a blog won’t attract to the type of web traffic needed for an auto repair business and website.

When designing a plan, website owners should strategically plan out what type of content and how often they want to publish to their blog.  There will be occasions when the website owner will need to post something because of breaking news or trends on the market, but for the most part web owners will want to have a strategic plan associated with their search engine optimization plan that touches on your blog.

If a website owner leaves their blog go for periods of time without making updates to it, well, it’s as good as not even existing.  To land in search engine results, search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo look for websites and blog that have consistent, relevant, keyword driven content.  If a web owner is unable to do that, their blog is as good as non-existent.

My Services will provide you assistance with your website, blog, and search engine results.  Contact Me today.