One of the many responsibilities of a self-published author is to inform potential readers that they write books worth reading. With no publishing house backing them, a self-published author is tasked with their own self-promotion.
So, how do authors beat their own drums without crossing the line into being annoying or even obnoxious? This guide shares top self-promotion tips and tactics for aspiring authors.
The Art of Self-Promotion
Before we explore the art of self-promotion, it helps to have a general understanding of what the term means. Self-promotion is exactly what it says, promoting oneself. That is not the same thing as promoting your book, mind you. Instead, it is learning how to self-promote as an author, and to feel comfortable doing it.
Why is self-promotion important, you may ask? After all, it isn’t the author that someone is purchasing, but the book that the author wrote. True. However, increasingly people today base their purchasing decisions on feeling a certain connection — with the brand, the message, the cause, and in this case the author.
Successful self-promotion is subtle, genuine, and not obnoxious. Discovering the type of self-promotion that works best for you will unfold as a process of trial and error. Continue reading for some helpful tips to take out for a test drive.
Self-promotion is an essential piece of your overall marketing strategy, so let’s consider some winning tactics.
Build a Social Media Following
A self-published author must learn how to utilize social media sites, period. This doesn’t mean creating profiles on eight different social media platforms, but instead, select a couple that are a good fit for you and your audience. The three platforms that are especially worth trialing are Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.
Once you have created a separate author profile from your personal account on these platforms, take time to truly cultivate a following. Do this not by hard-selling your book or using a slew of obnoxious hashtags, but by revealing a bit about who you are as a person. Weave that persona into your posts when you mention your books, giving followers a taste of your personality, interests, passions, pets, or whatever. When they connect with you as an author, they will be more inclined to buy your book and post book reviews.
Maintain a Great Author Website
These days, creating an author website is pretty easy. You can use a cool template to build your website on Wix or Squarespace, and also purchase your domain name at the same time. Keep it clean and simplified, and feature your book descriptions and covers on the landing page. As you continue to promote your book, you can add more to it, such as links to guest spots on podcasts or radio, or photos of your book signing events.
The website can be as simple as a home page, a blog page, and an author bio (About Me) page. The blog page is immensely important, as it is a great way to promote yourself as a writer. Make it a goal to write two blogs per month, sticking to topics around your book or genre, that you can share on your social media feeds. To further optimize your self-promotion efforts, be sure your About Me page is well-written and interesting, as this serves as a window into who you are as a person, in addition to your background.
Do Book Signings
Book signings offer authors a great opportunity to shine. By meeting prospective readers face to face, you have the unique ability to make a real-life connection, versus just an online one. An engaging smile and a positive, welcoming attitude will add a ton of impetus to your efforts to make book sales that day.
To leverage the book signing, come prepared with an easel and poster or a banner displaying a large photo of the book, plus your name as a “Local Author.” Have sharp-looking business cards that include social media contact information, wear a nametag, and don’t forget to put out a dish of chocolates.
Get Your Book in Local Libraries
It isn’t only at bookstores that authors should covet shelf space. The local libraries are a great venue for introducing your book to your target audience and the community at large. True, no money changes hands, but the library provides added exposure, even opportunities for book signings, which is what shameless self-promotion is all about. Meet with the library manager to learn what steps to take to have your book accepted into the library system.
Use Goodreads to Generate Reviews
Goodreads is an online community of voracious readers who are passionate about books. As an author, there are several ways to promote yourself on Goodreads. Sign up for the Goodreads Author Program, which allows you to upload a flattering author photo and engaging bio, as well as links to your book and your website. Once your book is listed on Goodreads, the community is able to discover it and leave reviews.
Consider Partnering with Influencers
Don’t be shy about reaching out to book bloggers and relevant social media influencers on #booktok or #bookstagram, as these individuals may be willing to review and promote your book launches. Connect with these entities strategically, selecting only those that would be welcoming to your particular genre. Conduct some research first, and then personalize all subsequent communications. Make sure your outreach is sincere and personable, as your goal is to make a positive connection with those who can assist in your self-promotion and book promotion efforts.
While self-promotion may feel awkward or uncomfortable, it is an important aspect of promoting your book at large and is well worth the effort. Remember, readers enjoy making that connection with the author, which increases the chances they will click that “Add to Cart” button.
Self-Publish with Gatekeeper Press Today
Never lose sight of one important truism. All your efforts to self-promote will be in vain if you haven’t written an amazing book. If you have decided to self-publish your book, you don’t have to go it alone! Partner with the publishing experts at Gatekeeper Press for ongoing support and guidance throughout the writing process. Reach out to them today!
Click to tweet: Self-publishing a book doesn’t only mean marketing your book! Self-promotion is an art that authors need to learn too. Read to learn self-promotion tactics. #authorlife