Guest Author: Rai Aren
As an author, your success is ultimately in your own hands. We all have limited time, and that time must be split between writing and book marketing, amongst other things. Deciding how to spend that marketing time to get the best return on our investment is a critical success factor for our books. So which book marketing efforts work, and which ones don’t? These are my top three tips to help you find and connect with your audience and keep it.
1. Consider what’s unique about you and your stories and share it
You are the very best ambassador for your work. Whatever you found compelling enough to write about is likely deeply embedded in your life, your personality, and your interests. The stories you tell are a part of you, and it’s well worth your while share those unique aspects with your readership. If you found something interesting enough to write a book about, chances are there are quite a number of people out there who enthusiastically share that interest.
For example, I have a lifelong interest in Egyptology and adventure and mystery stories. I’m completely fascinated by the paranormal, by space exploration and ancient mysteries. I am also deeply moved by the animal world. I regularly share things related to those interests because they infuse my writing. When you focus on your passions, writing can flow more easily and be one of the most pleasurable things you can do. Share that enthusiasm and passion with your readers. They pick up your books because they interest them, so it’s natural that they will be even further intrigued when you provide a window into the seeds of those tales. It always adds a lot for me when my favorite authors share insights into their stories. I really like the greater depth of meaning I get out of their books when they do.
What doesn’t work? Giving nothing of yourself beyond asking people to buy your books. Don’t make it an empty experience for your visitors. Open up and let people get to know you as an author. People enjoy getting a sense of the human being behind the book, and the opportunity to understand and appreciate where the inspiration came from.
2. Add value and interest at each outing
Personally, I think it’s best to consider every single blog post, tweet, and status update as a public relations opportunity to show yourself in your best light and generate even more interest in your work. I network with a great many people online, and the ones that keep me coming back consistently offer something interesting, something helpful, and an overall positive, fun tone. They stay on course and keep their focus sharp. Your reputation is something that must be painstakingly and lovingly built, then carefully maintained. Its worth is priceless.
It’s also a good idea to remember that people have a huge choice of where to spend their online time. If you want to keep your readers engaged with you, nurture your relationships with them through what you choose to share online, and respond to them. Remember your ambassadorial status with regards to your work and consider how your actions reflect on that. Make valuable contributions and allow yourself to shine by putting your work and your reputation in their best light, always.
What doesn’t work? Being repetitive and only shouting about where people can buy your books, your latest review, your book blurbs, etc., over and over again. People will just tune you out if that’s all you offer. Why should they return if you sing the same old tune time after time? Keep it fresh and develop your online personality into something that would keep you coming back if the tables were turned.
3. Be generous and engage with people
It actually shouldn’t be all about you. I know a lot of authors see every online post as a golden opportunity to sell a book. However, the human race has always got by through helping one another and pooling our collective knowledge and resources into something greater than we could achieve on our own. People like those who help them and who give of themselves freely. None of us goes through life completely independently. We all rely on others to various degrees. Therefore, use your online presence to benefit more than just yourself. Pay it forward. Not only does it feel really good, but it will foster loyalty and warmth. I like to pass along the word about books I like or want to read, authors I find interesting, news items or tips that I think will help others, and a variety of other items that I think add value in different ways.
You will also find others much more willing to help you and get the word out about your work if you are generous and help them, too. Do a good turn for someone else and always acknowledge how others have helped you. Show gratitude, and reciprocate good deeds. Have a generous spirit and people will gravitate towards you.
What doesn’t work? Talking at people and not with them, and making it all about you. Readers and fans especially love to interact with you. Engage with them. Remember, it’s not all about you. It’s also about how you affect and influence others. As an author, you write for yourself, but also to entertain and move other people in some way. So consider, what’s in it for them?
These book marketing tips are what draw and keep my attention in my online book travels. If you are fortunate enough that people stop to check your work out, make their time with you memorable and rewarding. Your writing success depends on much more than simple sales pitches in our globally interactive world. Engage and intrigue and people will happily come back.
Rai Aren loves writing and has an insatiable appetite for reading ancient mysteries, fantasy, thrillers, adventure tales, and anything with a paranormal aspect to it. Ancient Egypt holds a particular fascination for her. She is never without a good book to curl up with and loves to connect with her readers and fellow authors. She is also a vegan animal rights supporter and kitty mom to four adorable, cuddly furballs. Rai and her family look forward to living near a beach one day, penning stories while watching sunsets by the ocean and listening to the sounds of a tropical rainforest…