I love checklists. They always help me make sure I have everything done and keep me headed in the right direction. When my husband published his first book last fall, I wish I would have had a checklist for new authors. I’ve been writing and publishing books for close to 5 years now – it’s been a while since I was new at this. Looking at book marketing from his standpoint, and helping him through it, I wanted to take what we learned (or re-experienced) and share it with you.
In this post, I’ll share a jumpstart checklist to help you get started successfully marketing your books. This list is for new authors and focuses mainly on platform building vs. book marketing. The reason for that is that your platform is probably your biggest book marketing tool. Building up your following is a huge step in the right direction. Below you’ll find 5 steps to building your book marketing platform.
The Book Marketing JumpStart Checklist
1. Create a Website or Blog
Shelley and I highly recommend having your own website. You can get affordable hosting with Bluehost, or more robust hosting through Servint. Another option would to go with an all-in-one company like SBI – however that is a bit more expensive. We have a tutorial on how to set up a wordpress site here.
Author websites are important as they are sort of like a base of operations for all your marketing efforts. You’ll want to include the link to your website in the back of your books, on your FB and Twitter accounts, on your business cards, etc. Having a good author website is key to successful book marketing in my honest opinion.
2. Set Up An E-Mail List
Email lists are an important part of being a successful author. Having a list of dedicated followers who you can send updates to can really help take your success to the next level.
Shelley and I use to use Aweber to manage our e-mail lists, but decided to switched to TrafficWave. They are one of the most affordable options we have found and we highly recommend them. You can read our post about why we switched here: https://www.trainingauthors.com/aweber-vs-trafficwave/
3. Create Key Social Media Accounts
When setting up social media accounts, it’s always best to know who your target audience is and where they hang out. You’ll need to do the research to see what platforms are the best for your niche, but we’ve listed the two that we think every author should have below:
Every author should have a Facebook page. Facebook has over 500 million users. Creating a page is quick and easy, and it’s a simple way for fans to connect with you. Even if all your FB page does is send your readers to your website, it’s worth having.
If you need help setting up your Facebook page, here’s the link to a training we recommend: https://www.trainingauthors.com/facebook
Warning – Facebook can be addictive. Check out this post Shelley wrote with 5 steps to get back the time Facebook is Stealing from your writing for time saving tips: https://www.trainingauthors.com/5-steps-to-get-back-the-time-facebook-is-stealing-from-your-writing/
Twitter technically beats out Facebook with over 650 active profiles. However, with Facebook, you’re only allowed to have one account, and multiple pages, with Twitter you set up a new account for each profile you want. So even though Twitter registers more profiles, that doesn’t mean that it has more users. It is active though and it would be a good idea to create a profile.
You can learn more about Twitter in the following posts here on our blog:
Or, if you need even more help getting started, we recommend this training course by the Savvy Book Marketer: https://www.trainingauthors.com/twitterguide
4. Set Up a Gremln Account
Gremln is a tool we use to help automate some of our tweets. Twitter is very fast paced, and none of us can be on there 24-7. To comp for that, we use Gremln to pre-schedule recurring tweets to market our books.
Important Note: This is not the only way we use Twitter and is not a replacement for the real thing. It’s a tool to increase exposure.
Through Gremln, you can schedule tweets to recur automatically every so often. We don’t recommend repeating the same tweet more than once or twice a month. Most of our tweets are scheduled ever 21-45 days. But we do have some that recur yearly during the holidays or on other special dates.
We also use HootSuite to schedule some of our posts, but Gremln is the most important one.
5. Create These 3 Author Profiles
The final step to solidifying your author presence is to set up the following 3 profiles:
- Sign up for Amazon Author Central – This is a must for every published author. You can learn more about using Amazon as an author in this book by Shelley.
- Become a Goodreads Author – Rachelle Gardner wrote a great piece on “How Authors Can Effectively Use Goodreads” over at Books & Such.
- Register for G+ – This is for authorship, search engine results, and so much more. Copyblogger has an awesome article about it you can read here.
Each one will help you on your journey to reaching success as an author.
Book marketing is an amazing journey each author gets to take. I kind of think of it like one of those things you dread before you start, but the further you get the more you wished you would have started years ago. With the right foundation and outlook, marketing your book can be fun. I hope this checklist helps you get started off headed in the right direction.
Where to next?
Once you’ve got a solid foundation, you might want to check out the following resources on marketing your book:
- Building a Book Marketing Plan – A free training on developing a book marketing plan that works for you.
- “Book Marketing for Beginners” – An eBook for new authors (written by me).
- Our blog post: Are You Losing Book Sales Over This Common Problem
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