Editor’s Note: As I go through the process of moving, a couple of my expert (re: smarty pants) friends — experts in writing, marketing, publishing, and social media — are pitching in until I get back. Enjoy their wisdom and visit their sites, which are listed at the bottom of their posts.
You’ve written the masterpiece, survived excruciating edits and your book is ready to go – congrats! Now all the work is over, right? Not so fast, my friends… Let’s have a little chat about selling your book – what’s that you say? You don’t care about sales? A bestseller is not your goal? OK, then – let’s start, where all great books do, at the beginning.
Actually, let’s start, where many great books go, at the prequel. We need to lay some groundwork, get the back story, if you will. And if you won’t, there are some things to be done prior to your book’s release date.
Look at your author bio – 3rd-person only please. According to my colleague Kate Cornell, a biography is not an autobiography; it does not begin with the letter I. First-person is for “Dear Reader” notes or email. Make sure your bio is concise and compelling.
I know you have an author website – you do, don’t you? Your site is a fabulous way to make a first impression. Make it clean, modern, and easy to navigate. Be sure it jives with your author brand (more on that in Part 2). Include links to all your social media and make sure to have an easy-to-find Contact page. The most vital part of a website in 2014 is mobile optimization, since more than 2/3 of us access the web on our smartphones and tablets.
Check out all that gorgeousness in your author photo! I’m sure it is professional and high resolution. Make sure this photo looks like you look today – I want to be able to recognize my favorite Author when I see her at an event! I also recommend that you use the same Author Photo on each website that you are on, including social media. Remember that 2/3 stat above & make it easy for your readers to find you on those teeny-tiny screens.
Update all the websites that your author profile is on – GoodReads, Fresh Fiction, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, & others too numerous to list. Check to see that the links to your books & sites are active & correct. Put your current photo & bio up.
A quick word about social media: if you are going to be on social media, BE on social media. Post regularly. Readers do not want to only hear from you when you’re saying, “My new book is out – buy it!” Today’s readers want to make and to feel a connection with their Authors. You don’t have to put all your personal business in the street – just make sure your posts aren’t business only. A good ratio is 80:20 – only 20% of your posts should be devoted to the selling of your book. Let your readers in on your Author-ly life- it’s fascinating to us!
Your public needs you, dear Author. Please make it easy to find you, to know you, to connect with you, to relate to you, to trust you. These, along with your aforementioned masterpiece, are why your readers will keep coming back for more!
In addition to her work as a literary publicist, Janene Cates Putman is the Director of Sales & Media for Fresh Fiction. Her career is all about connections – making them, developing them, sustaining them, growing them. You may contact her at Janene.Putman@gmail.com.