We’re back with Lizzy Ford and step 2 of her promoting strategy.
Step Two: Building momentum
1. Keep your blog/website current and update at least 2-3 times a week. You want to keep the content fresh and relevant to your pursuit not only to draw in search engines, but readers as well.
2. Reinvest any money you make into your books by building a support team. My team consists of: an editor, graphics artist, IT guy. These are all things I cannot do. As a writer, your time is your most valuable commodity. Find others to fill your weaknesses while you focus on your strengths.
3. Set up a mailing list. The people on your mailing list are your rabid fans: people who will sell you and your books to others. If they take the time to sign up, they’re dedicated to you and your books. Offer them special deals! (Advanced previews of upcoming books, covers, free ebooks, etc.)
4. Give something away for free. You need to have more than one book out for this to be effective. What a lot of folks do: write a short story related to your book/series, and offer it for free to people signing up on your mailing list. Or post it online everywhere you can with links back to our website/blog. We post to about 15 different sites outside of the major eReader libraries, which makes it easier for us to bring in the international crowd as well.
5. Build brand recognition. Establish your online presence (Facebook, twitter, website/blog) from the perspective that you have one chance to leave an impression You want to send a message and you want to be memorable. Visual cues are always good. If it’s a symbol, logo, saying, picture, funky font, color scheme etc. – figure it out, and use it on all your sites.
For example, my website’s logo is the picture of a house with a cross through it on a pink and black camouflage background. You may never know what the heck all that means, but it’s a fun, funky image that you’ll recognize on nearly all of my accounts. We paid $20 on eBay for the design.
6. Do a blog tour, because it exposes you to new audiences who may also be interested in you and your work. My FB group does a Neverending Blog Tour, where interested authors sign up and interview – and are interviewed by – someone new every week. The secondary benefit of blog tours: you get a back-link to your site, which is invaluable when you get to the advanced steps. Book bloggers are also fantastic sources for blog tours.
7. Do a paperback giveaway on Goodreads.com or an ebook giveaway on librarything.com. My first giveaway garnered the interest of over 300 people. My next one: 998. It’s quick and simple exposure.
8. Explore funding ideas to support the team you’re building. Check out Kickstarter.com (for US fundraisers) or indiegogo.com (worldwide). You can also offer autographed books, sell ad space on your site, or create a ‘donate’ button on your website. Also, sign up for Amazon Affiliates and Google Adwords.
9. CONTRIBUTE to the blogs of readers/reviewers and the efforts of other writers. If people like you, they’ll buy your books.
Stay turned for Part 3 of Lizzy’s post.
About Lizzy Ford:
Lizzy Ford is a prolific author of young adult fantasy and paranormal (sweet) romance, to include the bestselling Rhyn Trilogy and the War of Gods/Damian series. Lizzy lives in the southwestern part of the US with her husband, Matt, two dogs, and a really fat cat. When she’s not writing or talking to her readers, she’s plotting to take over the world, though currently her world domination plans are stymied by a laptop with several missing keys. Lizzy’s current goal in life is to stop working for The Man and start working for The Readers.
The Lizzy Ford team consists of Matt, her IT guru; Christine LePorte, freelance book editor; Dafeenah, cover artist; and Toni, Spanish translator. In 2011, Lizzy will be releasing ten novels and will launch an affiliate program pilot in Fall 2011.