The writing world undergoes a large amount of change at a quick pace. It’s difficult to know how to get started promoting yourself and your books, especially if you’re brand new. There are SO. MANY. outlets that even a seasoned author can be easily overwhelmed. And let’s be honest, most authors are introverted and/or hate the marketing game.
So we’ll start with TWO basic tips to get started in the author promo game, in order of importance:
- Buy your URL–your domain, your website name. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Typically, this should be your name or pseudonym rather than anything else. If you have an unusual name, your URL probably still exists. If you do not, you may need to add “Author” to the beginning or end of your URL, or be ready to get a different extension, like a .us or .info if .com is taken. I feel like .com is still preferred, since it’s the default most people think of, but incorporate that into your message so people remember. Even if you can’t or won’t do anything with the URL for a while, get it now before you have to get something…weird.
- Invest in a headshot or logo. I know. You don’t want your face out there. You don’t think you’re attractive. Or you don’t want coworkers to know you write gasp romance. You think whatever. The bottom line is that people want to connect with who they read. If they can see your face (or a glammed-up version thereof), this goes a long way. Likewise, if you are vehemently opposed to using your image for whatever reason, invest in a good logo to brand yourself. Again, it gives readers something to connect to, so make it personal. And then use that image or logo to represent yourself everywhere, bar nothing. It goes on your website, your social media, your email marketing, your business cards, your book’s back copy. EV.RY.THING.
You can do this! You can purchase a URL for less than $20/year. Many hosting platforms will give you a “basic” website along with your purchase (beware attached strings). Unable to spring for a professional photographer? See if you can trade with one: their skill for your skill. I’m in the process of trading headshots for website ‘beautification’. Maybe someone in your family or church would be willing to help you out. All you have to do is ask, and the worst they can do is say no. Same idea for the logo design. If you want to go this particular route, you can use websites like Fiverr.com to find someone whose style you like. It will likely cost you more than $5, but it won’t cost you like you went to Madison Avenue.
Let me know what questions you have! I’m NOT an expert, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
I’ll be sharing more tips and tricks next week!