Promoting Your Book Online? 3 Lessons I’ve Learned from Marketing Experts

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Happy New Year everybody! I hope that everyone got a chance to relax during the holidays and that you’re all ready to tackle 2015 and pursue all of your writing goals! Today we’re in luck, because  author and blogger Stephanie Faris is sharing some kick-ass advice about marketing. I don’t know about you guys, but I need some good marketing advice in my life!

Stephanie’s upcoming release, 25 Roses, will be available tomorrow. You can check out the book cover and blurb below and add the book to your Goodreads shelf by clicking here. And guess what else? Stephanie is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card, an autographed copy of her book, and a chocolate long-stemmed rose. Scroll down to enter the giveaway:)

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Children’s writing doesn’t pay the bills (yet), so by day, I write content for a variety of marketing firms and entrepreneurs. Part of that work involves advising small business owners on their online promotion efforts. I’ve found much of what I’ve learned in the past few years translates easily into book promotion since, in essence, authors are small business owners ourselves. Our brand is our name and our product is the book(s) we publish each year.

Whether you’ve just started your writing career or you’re launching your forty-second book, the time to build your brand is now. Here are three big online marketing lessons I’ve learned that you could put to use in making a name for yourself online.

Stop Promoting, Start Engaging

If you’re reading this, you probably have a blog and at least one social media account. One mistake I see made every single day in both of these areas is over-promotion. If every tweet or blog post is a promotion for your next book, you likely notice very little interaction. In fact, many of us are scrolling past your promotional posts in search of more interesting content. Granted, the occasional “My new book is available for pre-orders” post is great. But that post should be preceded and followed by interesting, insightful content that keeps people interested in what you have to say.

The good news is that you don’t have to create all of this content yourself. If you read an interesting article about writing, share the link with your social media followers or blog readers. Swap guest posts with friends and invite them to post on your blog occasionally. This will save you time, as well as expose your readers to more great bloggers.

Build a Platform

When an author uses her blog or social media sites to provide information about her area of expertise, that site then becomes a platform. Quanie’s blog is an example of this. Marketing tips are in high demand among writing communities, so her blog draws people in to learn as much as possible. It’s the type of content that turns a reader into a loyal follower.

When your blog contains interesting content, readers will naturally want to learn more about its author. Because your blog and social media sites consistently bring interesting content to readers, when you do have a reason to promote something, you’ll have the built-in audience to receive that message.

Give, Give, Give

When people ask me how I’ve gained such a large blog readership, they never like my answer. I read a great deal of blogs every day. I enjoy doing it. While I’d like to say that a well-crafted, thoughtful blog will naturally draw the masses, that simply isn’t the case. In order to receive, you have to give. Find blogs within your range of interest and comment on a regular basis. Soon you’ll find your blog is getting more comments than ever.

The same philosophy applies to social media. You may have a built-in following of friends and relatives on your personal Facebook page, but professional engagement requires much more work. Find like-minded individuals on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites and follow them. Regularly share status updates you find intriguing and occasionally comment on posts when you have something interesting to say. In time, you’ll find others are interacting and your audience will grow from there.

Online promotion is a great deal of work, but by sharing interesting content and interacting with others, you’ll soon find marketing through blogging and social media is not only easy but fun. Turning your name into a brand is a matter of posting interesting content and remaining true to your personal interests. If you’re having fun, others will naturally enjoy hearing what you like to say.

 

25 roses book cover

 

Mia moves from the shadows to the spotlight when her matchmaking plans go awry in this contemporary M!X novel from the author of 30 Days of No Gossip.

Mia is used to feeling overlooked: her perfect older sister gets all the attention at home, and the popular clique at school are basically experts at ignoring her. So when it’s time for the annual Student Council chocolate rose sale, Mia is prepared to feel even worse. Because even though anyone can buy and send roses to their crushes and friends, the same (popular) people always end up with roses while everyone else gets left out.

Except a twist of fate puts Mia in charge of selling the roses this year—and that means things are going to change. With a little creativity, Mia makes sure the kids who usually leave empty-handed suddenly find themselves the object of someone’s affection. But her scheme starts to unravel when she realizes that being a secret matchmaker isn’t easy—and neither is being in the spotlight.

Stephanie Faris

Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go outside and play with the other kids. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science in broadcast journalism, she somehow found herself working in information technology. But she never stopped writing.

Stephanie is the author of 30 Days of No Gossip and 25 Roses, both with Aladdin M!x. When she isn’t crafting fiction, she writes for a variety of online websites on the topics of business, technology, and her favorite subject of all—fashion. She lives in Nashville with her husband, a sales executive.

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21 thoughts on “Promoting Your Book Online? 3 Lessons I’ve Learned from Marketing Experts

  1. Quanie I swear you are the queen of relevance! Dreaded as it may be, marketing crosses my mind even as I write the story. Stephanie exudes the confidence we should all employ to ensure success and I’m sure 25 Roses will be just that! Write on, Ladies!

  2. All of these are absolutely great tips that, for me, are easier said than done. I still haven’t found a rhythm for my online promoting/engaging. I promise you, the struggle is real. Not because I don’t enjoy communicating with like minded people, but because there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to do all that I want to do! I’ll keep working on it though. Hopefully, I’ll hit my stride soon and it will all become second nature.

    Thanks for sharing the tips and congrats on your new release Stephanie! 🙂

    That part about commenting on blogs with similar interests is SO true! I’ve connected with some really great authors thanks to this blog Quanie 🙂
    Faith Simone recently posted..4 Ways Blogging Has Made Me a Better WriterMy Profile

    • Someone showed me how to set up lists on Twitter…and every time I go away from those lists to the main page, it’s just a big mess of promotional stuff. I’m not sure how I ended up following so many over-promoters, but it’s too much noise. I can’t even find the interesting content in that.
      Stephanie Faris recently posted..25 Roses Blog Tour: Day OneMy Profile

  3. Great post! The trick to all social media when it comes to being an author is to not constantly post about your books. Fans will grow tired of seeing your book in their newsfeed everyday with information on the price or where to buy it. Doing it every now and then is okay, but not everyday. It’s important to find a balance with what you post. I like to post my blog posts (rarely are they all about my book) quotes, writing tips, writing/publishing updates, and even Throwback Thursday pictures. The main thing to remember is to be interesting.

    Do you want to know something funny? My post today is about building an author platform. Haha!
    Chrys Fey recently posted..How to Build a PlatformMy Profile

    • I’m going to have to check that one out! I write for a lot of businesses who are building their brand and they’ll have me write articles that show up in Google as answers to questions. A plumbing company, for instance, will hire a writer to create blogs/articles like, “Clogged toilet? Here’s What to Do” or “3 Tips for Winter-Proofing Your Plumbing.” People stumble upon those articles and, if they find them interesting, they seek more information on the plumber. I think writers are the biggest readers out there, so if you write for adults, how-to marketing articles are a GREAT way to get exposure. I actually look forward to posts like yours and Quanie’s.
      Stephanie Faris recently posted..25 Roses Blog Tour: Day OneMy Profile

    • I think it really helps when we realize that none of us really know what we’re doing! The problem is that it changes constantly…and it’s hard to keep up with what’s working/not working. You don’t really even know how many books you’re supposed to sell to be considered “doing okay!”
      Stephanie Faris recently posted..25 Roses Blog Tour: Day OneMy Profile

  4. love and agree 1000 percent…I took a web programming class in college and the professor hated the curriculum and turned it into a Market Yourself Online class lol. Best thing she ever did. I learned so much.

    • Funny story–I learned html before I had even seen the internet. My boss wanted a website for our agency, so they sent me to class. I had no idea what the internet looked like! I still remember html, although that was all the programming my brain could handle.
      Stephanie Faris recently posted..25 Roses Blog Tour: Day OneMy Profile

  5. Great advice, Stephanie. I am currently trying to engage more rather than promote. For a while, I think I overdid my social media with Facebook and Tweeting. It’s better to reach out to people and GIVE GIVE GIVE as well! I love helping other authors and bloggers because when the time comes, I am sure I will need it.
    I’ve said it before and I will say it again, I wish you all the best with 25 Roses! You have such a great talent and I am sure it will be a success.
    gina stoneheart recently posted..Monday Feature and Goals for 2015My Profile

    • I’ve been spacing my tweets out today–every two hours. I want each tweet to get seen by a new audience. I have noticed when people pile a bunch of tweets on, you pay less attention. Another tip I forgot to mention–use images in almost all of your social media posts. Visual marketing is huge. People tend to pay more attention when there’s an image attached. Today I’ve been attaching either images from the blog or an image of the blogger I’m promoting. It stands out in newsfeeds full of texts and links and at least makes people stop and look–especially when the blogger is pretty, as you guys are!
      Stephanie Faris recently posted..25 Roses Blog Tour: Day OneMy Profile

    • It definitely doesn’t come naturally for some of us! I’ll never forget pounding the pavement with my first novel. I was terrified. I’d walk in and introduce myself to bookstore owners and librarians with no idea if I was the 1,000th author to walk in there or the first. I still have no idea! Online you can use analytics to see if your efforts are working but when you travel from bookstore to bookstore or hold an event, you often have no idea what the impact was after you left. You can see spikes in your numbers…but you don’t get data specific to one bookstore. I think we’re all just throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks!
      Stephanie Faris recently posted..25 Roses Blog Tour: Day OneMy Profile

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