So one day while browsing the interwebs, I came across a post from AuthorHouse’s blog entitled “6 Online Marketing Tips to Boost Your Author Image.” In short, the 6 tips are:
- Create your own author website.
- Create a blog.
- Make the most out of social media.
- Establish relationships.
- Get your book reviewed.
- Increase traffic.
My response is “D’UH.” For those of you who don’t know, AuthorHouse is a vanity self-publishing company–and not one of the better ones. These tips aren’t really tips at all. Yes, you should have a author website, blog, social media, and etc. What the post doesn’t say is that you have to be active on them. Yes, you should establish relationships, get your book reviewed, and increase your traffic to all your sites, but how? AuthorHouse gives you little insight into this. So here’s my 2 cents. It takes A LOT of time, dedication, and hard work.
There’s so much more to each of these items. To be effective, blogs should be updated AT LEAST 3 times a week, it’s better if you can hit 5 or more. And it’s difficult coming up with ideas for blog posts. Social media is the same way. You must be active. You cannot just create a facebook page and think you’re going to sit back and watch the likes come in. Join groups and contribute. Post interesting status updates. And for the sites like Facebook and Twitter, you need to update at least once a day, preferably more, and again, interesting updates, not what you eat each meal of the day.
Establish relationships is probably the second vaguest suggestion on this list. What sort of relationships? How do I make these relationships? Conferences and writing groups are one way to go, and probably better than trying to create relationships through social media outlets alone. I’ve met some of the funnest authors, writers, and just lovers of books at conferences and festivals.
Get your book reviewed! That one is easier said than done. Sure you can get your mom and your niece to review you on Amazon, but it’s going to take more than that to build your Author image. You have to mail in your books to places and there’s never any guarantee it’ll actually be reviewed. Finding the right places to send your book (and finding out how early before publication they want your work) takes a ton of research.
Increase Traffic is the worst so-called tip ever, and the vaguest suggestion on this list. Increasing your traffic is not a tip, that’s a goal. Of course you want to increase traffic. Increased traffic leads to increased leads which leads to increased sales. But how do you Increase traffic? See the above for suggestions–those are just a couple of ways to increase traffic and build your image.
Being your own publicist is a full-time job. Writing is only half the battle. There aren’t any magic “Tips” that you can check off a list and then sit back and watch as your popularity rises. The world is ever-changing and always updating, and you as an author must keep up to become and remain relevant.