Why write a book that no one will read? Your book may have been a labor of love, but there’s no reason why applying PR strategies to foster audience engagement and book sales has to be exhausting. In fact, when you focus on being an effective PR strategist the “doing” feels less forced. New York Times Bestselling author, Marianne Williamson, says, “We don’t need to do lists, we need to be lists.”
Here, we’ve provided 7 “to be” strategies for establishing a successful brand and online presence as a book author, we hope the budding author out there finds these tips useful.
1. Be Business Minded
Your website is more than a virtual space for descriptive and promotional information about your book, it is a powerful business tool for building an ongoing relationship with your customer base. Most book authors know that they should either sell their book through their websites or provide a link to where it can be purchased. In addition to this, create a clear call to action for people to sign up for your newsletter or e-mail list. Reward them for their connection with offers like special discount codes, free book excerpts or samples of your other works.
2. Be Visually Consistent
Make sure the theme of your website is consistent with the content and message of your book. If your book is light-hearted and comical, make sure that feeling is reflected in the colors and format of your website by avoiding business style fonts and prominent dark colors that may confuse the vibe.
3. Be Thematically Coherent
Authors are often dynamic people with a variety of interests, but it’s important to show the skills and talents that are most relevant to the book’s themes. If your day job is in auto insurance and you’re promoting a children’s book on how to raise a globally conscious child, there’s no need to advertise why you think life insurance is so important and how you help people get the best rates. Disparate themes can easily confuse audiences that come to your website or promotional event. Make your marketing copy (including author biography and all text on your promotional website) and materials coherent.
4. Be Smart
Leverage social media to demonstrate that you are a thought leader. Share messages via Twitter and Facebook that engage timely and popular topics relevant to the book’s theme. I’m currently consulting Mensah Medical, a practice that treats biochemical imbalances through nutrient therapies, enhancing their online presence and promoting Research Associate, Dr. William J. Walsh’s book, Nutrient Power. Part of our strategy involves creating infographics on nutritional deficiencies that we will share on their forthcoming blog, Facebook and Twitter based on chapters from Nutrient Power. Mensah Medical’s social media updates on innovations in biochemistry, mental health and nutrient therapy will demonstrate their credibility to a broader audience.
5. Be personable
People will appreciate your wisdom as a thought leader, but also want to know the person behind the book. Quynn Johnson, shared images of her niece and nephew reading her book, Lucky’s Tap Dancing Feet on her Facebook page Christmas Day. The photos not only demonstrated the joy of children reading the book, but that Quynn valued family.
6. Be proud
Ananda Leeke, author of Love’s Troubadours: Karma: Book One and That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery and founder of the Sisterhood Network advises that its important to publicly celebrate your milestones on a regular basis. Note the dates you sold your first book, received an important endorsement, had your first interview or any other meaningful moments. Blog, Tweet and share Facebook posts about these accomplishments on the anniversaries of these occasions. For example, you can say: “One years ago today, I wrote the concept for my book on a napkin. Since then, Thanks Dad! has sold 5,000 copies.”
7. Be true
The one tip that pervades the other 6 is to just be yourself. For example, don’t tweet something that “feels off,” like an invitation you think is phrased too aggressively or cheesy. The most expensive and extravagant PR marketing campaign is no substitute for human sincerity.