Got Something to Say? Get the Word Out with a Little “StorySelling”
Everyone has a story to tell.
Consider the success of TED Talks. These gatherings feature an eclectic mix of speakers, from former presidents to academia to leaders in the technology fields. To date, over 2,400 talks have been viewed online by millions of people. There is a huge demand for people to tell their stories, to share their experiences, and to offer shiny gems of wisdom.
You may be thinking that you don’t have a story to share. I want to tell you in no uncertain terms that your story is important.
Regardless of your background, or the field you’re in, your voice matters. Every path to success is unique, and let’s be honest, you probably wouldn’t even be reading this if you weren’t already successful. Here’s the great part – not only are your stories worth telling, they’re also worth money.
Congratulations! You’ve Written a Book…Now get to work
Writing a book is one of the most painful, arduous, and fulfilling goals you will ever accomplish. Unfortunately, your work doesn’t end with the last period. In fact, you’re about to embark on the next chapter of your literary career. It’s now time to let the whole world know about your masterpiece.
You’ll always want to do traditional marketing for your book, like book signings and speaking engagements, but the Internet adds a whole new dimension to publicizing it. Marketing your book online makes it both easier and harder for you. The Internet allows you to cast a wide net to reach potential readers, but you also have to break through more clutter to grab their attention.
Don’t let your book get lost in a sea of cat videos. The Internet is an awesome tool for marketing your book. In fact, literary agents look for authors who have a healthy web presence. A demonstrated online following can set you apart from other authors and get your title in front of more people. With the Internet, you can almost be everywhere at once, if you do it right. Here are some ways to ensure your book gets maximum online exposure:
Think Globally, Act Socially
Social media isn’t just a good way to market your book, it’s an essential part of the mix. As with any type of online marketing, you don’t have the time to publicize your book on every social media site, so you want to focus on the ones that give you the most impact. Let’s take a look at the big three – Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Facebook – There are thousands, hopefully millions, of potential customers you can reach on Facebook. The site gives you the flexibility to market your book through words, pictures, and video. The Facebook page has a dual role of both marketing your book and establishing you as an expert on the topic. It gives you a platform to interact with your audience. I encourage you to reply to all the posts on your book’s Facebook page, whether someone leaves a positive or negative comment. A simple, “thanks for the feedback” is sufficient for anyone who disliked your book.
To keep the page looking fresh and well-maintained, update the cover photo frequently. Remember, your followers receive a notification every time you change the cover photo. Another great tool is the Facebook Live feature that allows you to stream live video on your Facebook page. Your followers are automatically notified when you’re live and the video is saved on your page if they want to view it later.
One final thought on your book’s Facebook page: always, always, always have a link on the page for people to purchase your book.
Twitter – A good rule of thumb for Twitter is to keep it fresh, keep it relevant. Twitter followers are very picky, so if you keep posting tweets that basically scream, “buy my book,” they’ll leave you in droves. Don’t worry so much about how often you post. Focus on finding relevant topics that complement your book topic. For instance, an author could post a comment about a company’s horrible ad campaign to highlight his book about marketing mistakes to avoid.
One really cool feature to market your book on Twitter is the AmazonCart hashtag. Anytime you post a tweet with a link to the book’s Amazon listing, a follower can type a reply with #AmazonCart and the book is automatically added to their Amazon shopping cart so they can purchase it later. To take advantage of this feature, customers must first set their Amazon social settings to connect their Amazon and Twitter accounts.
YouTube – This site allows you to vlog with your audience. An excellent example of harnessing the power of vlogging is author John Green, who post videos with his brother, Hank, under the name, “Vlogbrothers.” His posts are sometimes silly, but always engaging and thought provoking. How successful is his channel? He and his brother have almost 3 million followers. How did they get so many subscribers? I highly recommend you check out his video from September 2016 titled, Failing to Follow Up The Fault in Our Stars, to understand John’s appeal, along with some good insight into the joys and heartbreak of writing.
Invest in a Dedicated Website
You have your own website, your book should too. A website devoted to your book is a powerful way to entice people to buy it. An effective book website should prominently display your book and include a description of the book and your bio highlighting your expertise as a subject matter expert. Be sure to include any awards and recognition you’ve received to emphasize your credentials.
Your book website should also feature a blog that allows you to expound upon topics from the book and helps you take advantage of trending topics on social media. By adding new content, you make the site more relevant, and make it easier for search engines to find it, especially if you can get other sites to link to your blog. Try networking with other authors to establish a reciprocal relationship for sharing backlinks to each other’s sites.
Another great promotion strategy is to offer something for free on the site, such as a bonus chapter to the book. You can also feature the promotion on Facebook and Twitter to give it greater visibility.
Most importantly, each page should prominently display a link to purchase your book. Check out our solution to setting up a book website at www.authorbrandbuilding.com. It’s an effective and economical way to get started.
Spreading the Word Online
I hope this helps jumpstart your online book promotion. These are just a few of the steps you can take to launch your book online. The secret is knowing the best ways to take advantage of the Internet. Remember, the old adage about how to eat an elephant applies to marketing your book – you tackle it one bite at a time. I wish you great success in harnessing the power of the Internet to sell your story.