How to get the most out of your author webpage

An author webpage is more than just a “pretty face” on mobile devices and desktop computers.  It can also be a powerful sales and marketing tool; and you will increase your chances of getting the most out of your author webpage if you follow these 3 easy steps:

  1. Market All Your Books

If you’ve published multiple books with Outskirts Press (and many of you have), then your Author Webpage automatically features an “Also by” section in which all of your other book covers appear, each of them clickable to their own author webpage.  It’s like a dynamic author website that automatically grows with your writing career. Plus, it is a proven fact that readers of one of your books are more inclined to be readers of your other books, too, so be sure to publish multiple books to automatically add this cool section to all of your Outskirts Press author webpages.

  1. Link Your Webpage to Your Social Media Accounts

It probably goes without saying that every author should have a Facebook account and a Linked-In account.  If you’re more experienced with social media you may also have  a Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and/or Pinterest account.  That’s great! And guess what?  Your Author Webpage can link to ALL those social media accounts directly from your “About the Author” section — but ONLY if you tell your webpage how.

First, click on the “Edit My Profile” in the upper right-hand corner of your Publishing Center. Or, alternatively, you may have a “My Account” link. In either case, clicking that link will open up your Profile Page, where you can Edit Your Profile, provide Social Media Details, and set your Royalty Payment Details, among other things. In the Social Media Details section, enter in the URL for each of your social media profiles. The easiest way to do that is to go to each of your active social media platforms and go to your “home” or “main” page of your account, and then cut-n-paste the URL from the Internet Browser and place it into the appropriate field of this form. Don’t forget to save your changes. It’s as easy as that!

  1. Add Some Multi-Media

Your Outskirts Press Author Webpage features an “optional” menu item specifically for “Media” which includes book video trailers, audio excerpts, and/or audiobooks. The audio excerpt is included with many of our packages, so if you have recorded your audio excerpt, it is available from your author webpage already.  The book video trailer a very popular marketing option so if you didn’t order a book video trailer with your publishing package, you can add one at any time from the Marketing Options tab of your Publishing Center.  The most recent addition to the Media section is our new AudioBook Publishing Option. It’s half the price and twice the quality of our competitors, and opens up a whole new market for your book, so be sure to check it out from the Marketing Tab, or by clicking this button right here:

 

 

5 Tips for Using Social Media to Market Your Book

With the exploding popularity of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest, it’s easier than ever to connect with people all around the world. But, if you’re not sure how to get started or are unsure about how to make connections with your target audience, don’t worry! Here are 5 easy tips to help you!

1. Determine what your goals are.

  • Increase awareness? The average person spends nearly two hours on social media every day, and therefore social media is one of the best places to grab a reader’s attention.
  • Drive traffic to your book? Drive visitors to your author webpage or to your listing on Amazon.
  • Generate new leads? These are people who have indicated interest in your book in some way, shape, or form, but haven’t yet purchased it.
  • Build your royalties? You can use social media to turn your audience into paying customers.

2. How often should you post?

  • Facebook – Two or three times per day
  • Instagram – Once or twice per day
  • Instagram Stories – Eight to 16 Stories, twice per week
  • Twitter – Three to ten times per day
  • LinkedIn – Once or twice per day
  • Pinterest – Five to ten times per day

3. When should you post?

  • Twitter – 1-3pm weekdays
  • Facebook – 1-4pm weekdays
  • LinkedIn – 7-8:30am and 5-6pm Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
  • Instagram – 5-6pm weekdays and 8pm on Mondays
  • Pinterest – 2-4pm and 8-11pm weekdays with weekends being the best
  • Google+ – 9-11am weekdays

4. What should you post?

  • Facebook – Post videos about your book, live videos of you talking about your book or at book events, photos of you and your book, blog posts and curated content.
  • No matter what type of post you’re sharing on Facebook, the copy you add alongside your content can be key in how it performs.
  • Instagram – Post hi-res photos (your cover, your author photo, any images or illustrations within your book), behind-the-scenes photos of your book events, quotes, user-generated content (sharing other photos, such as attendees at a book signing) but give credit to the original creator (known as a re-post), and Instagram stories. Captions are limited to 2,200 characters, and after three lines of text, they become shortened with an ellipsis (those 3 dots you see on posts). You want to grab the readers’ attention with your opening line or two.
  • Twitter – Post news about your book, blog posts, photos of you and your book at events, curated content and images. The type of copy in your tweets can drive huge improvements in your results.
  • Pinterest – Images are the best thing to post on Pinterest. Post hi-res photos of your book, the cover, book events, step-by-step photo guides and infographics.
  • LinkedIn – Post professional information about your career as a writer. Since LinkedIn is a professional networking platform, the most suitable content will revolve around you as an author. Share news about your book and milestones on your LinkedIn page, particularly if the book involves career advice.

5. Automate, engage, and listen

  • Automate posting of your social media content. A tool like Buffer is great for automation. It allows you to create all the content that you want to, all at once, and then place everything into a queue to be sent out according to whatever schedule you choose.
  • Social media requires engagement. When people talk to you, talk back. Set aside time during your day to follow up with conversations that are happening on social media. These are conversations with potential customers, references, friends, and colleagues.
  • Don’t forget, the ultimate purpose is to sell copies of your book. So always be polite, helpful, and generous. Book sales will follow.

For more information on marketing your book, log into your Publishing Center for a complete list of marketing options and to access the free Book Marketing Resource Center.

 

Resolutions Every Author Should Have for the New Year!

Structured and manageable goals are important to those of us who consider ourselves works in progress. Well, it’s that time of year when we all start thinking about those goals — in this case, New Year’s resolutions. They’re especially necessary to moving a book from an unknown publication to a chart-topper. It’s a big project!

But, whether you’re just starting to figure out marketing or already a best-selling author, there are simple things you can resolve to do in 2019 that will make you an even better at selling … or simply a better you. Here are resolutions for published authors or anyone bent on self-improvement.

  1. Set goals. “Wait, I thought a resolution was a goal!” Well, yes, it is, in a sense. Ideally, your New Year’s resolution is the culmination of your goals throughout the year. It’s important — and ultimately more productive — to make goal-setting a habit, not just a tradition we do once a year and promptly forget. So set lots of small, attainable goals rather than one insurmountable to-do you never actually do. For example, if your resolution is to sell 2,000 copies, break it down into smaller goals. Resolve to promote one giveaway in January, schedule a book-signing in February, then a book fair in March and so on for the entire year. Or, set a goal to schedule 20 book-signings next year and average 10 sales per event. Way less intimidating, right?
  2. Facilitate goals. If you’ve resolved to sell big in the new year without so much as a marketing calendar in the house, you’ve not facilitated your goals or your year’s resolution. Remove barriers to progress and instate conditions that help you achieve. Buy an entry-level PC for getting on social media to promote or gather a list of bookstores you can call to set up events. Then, resolve to reach out until you get the bookings you need to fulfill your resolution.
  3. Make marketing a priority. Once you’ve divided your marketing resolutions into smaller goals, it’s much easier to give them top priority. Knock out those little to-do’s first thing in the morning!
  4. Read, read, read. Top-notch authors are always top-notch readers. Get to know your genre not just by practicing it but by being an avid consumer of it. That way, you’ll get to know your audience and what appeals to them.
  5. Master the basics of social media. No matter what your stripe, there’s are many others with similar interests on social media. Facebook “friend” other authors and readers, and learn from them. Follow publishers. Rub elbows with book clubs. You’ll find kindred spirits in the virtual world who can enlighten you with real wisdom. Use that wisdom to refine how you communicate with potential readers.
  6. Try something new. Make 2019 the year you branch out. Start a blog. Meet new people with similar interests. These new experiences will all enrich and inform so many other aspects of your life. At the very least, you’ll be a more social and well-rounded person. Hey, you might even discover a whole new audience for your book!
  7. Just do you. Yes, you should be reading a lot, meeting people and making connections that pay off in sales. Ultimately, you’ll assimilate all these influences into a voice that is uniquely yours, and you’ll find your true audience. Don’t fight it — feed it.
  8. Consider “cheating” a little. Many of us are afraid to ask for help. It feels lazy, like we’re cutting corners. Let us put your mind at ease: It’s not cheating to ask for help reaching your marketing goals! In fact, it’s pretty smart, if you ask us. And, if you’ve tried new things, delved into social media and checked off other goals, you likely have crossed paths with new people who may be able to help you get past the hump. Reach out to friends and family to help you get the word out or purchase inexpensive marketing service options to help you reach the goals you set on the road to your resolution. (Even full-time professionals parse out their duties from time to time.)

Whatever your resolution, the important thing is to keep moving, to take whatever steps necessary to move you toward fulfilling the great things you planned for your life.

Need help moving toward your New Year’s resolution? Consider hiring a Personal Marketing Assistant for 5 hours of expertise and a Custom Marketing Plan. You can log into your Publishing Center to see what book marketing options are available to you or chat with us using the live chat option on our website (www.outskirtspress.com).

 

What Does it Take to Market a Memoir, Biography, or Autobiography?

Memoirs are a tricky thing to write, much less market, and their cousins the autobiography and the biography are equally so. When an author draws from real life and the history of a moment in time, it can seem daunting to do the deep research, trap the sands of time on the page, publish a finished book … and then also have to market that book! And given the fact that your book is deeply invested in, the facts, there is a widespread reluctance on the part of memoir, biography, and autobiography authors to pump up the drama in the heightened emotion of the kind of sales copy you’ll find tied to works of both literary and genre fiction. That said, there are some reliable and useful ways to market your work of non-fiction drawn from real life that ought to prove helpful as you set out to start marketing your latest book.

1. Identify your readers and where they “live.” We bring up this point often, as it applies to marketing for so many different genres in so many different ways. When it comes to memoir, biography, and autobiography, we’re talking about a very specific subset of readers. Readers of these branches of non-fiction are not always hugely prolific readers, in that they may not read widely on many topics, but they are incredibly deep readers and will often read more than one book on the same topic, to ensure they have a thorough picture of a time, place, or life. As a result, they’re not necessarily shopping for their books or their ebooks in the same place as everyone else; they’ll be just as likely to turn up online in history forums dedicated to particular time periods or particular military campaigns or particular Napoleonic-era war ships. Don’t be afraid to get hyper-specific in your marketing: identify key bloggers and other authors writing about the same subject, place, or time as you are and reach out to them. History buffs hosting influential profiles on Instagram, YouTube, and podcasts are another great resource to identify and consult about doing a social media or blog tour!

2. Get in touch with your local history buffs. Do not underestimate your own community’s potential hunger and thirst for non-fiction in the memoir, biography, and autobiography subgenres! Memoirs by small-town retired war vets routinely pack out libraries hosting readings and signings, and travelogues and tell-alls too. People are excited to expand their world and taste of other lives, and they haunt libraries, museums, and local businesses looking to connect with those stories. When you start to market your book, make sure you include a book reading or signing at your local public library as one of your first and most highly publicized events, and reach out to local organizations such as the VFW, Elks, Rotary, and Kiwanis clubs as well as your local museums, universities, and archives for partnerships. All of these organizations take an interest in preserving history and in expanding the career prospects of young entrepreneurs. What better way to inspire the next generation than with a book about a well-lived life?

3. Bring it home. That is … don’t be afraid to make this book, and the marketing of this book, personal. After all, the average reader picks up a memoir, biography, or autobiography in the first place because they’re fascinated with the outline of a life–and because that reader wants to fill in some of the blanks! Don’t shy away from making the most of your personal experiences or the personal experiences of the historical figure around which you’re centering the book in your marketing campaign, and make sure to touch upon the perspectives and worldview that have informed your writing; just as you want your book to ring true on fact-checkable details, you also want all of your marketing copy to ring true to your personal voice. Even if you didn’t draw from your own life for the content of your book, there’s room in the margins for your story. Think of Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks–Skloot herself is present in the text as narrator, and the author doesn’t shy away from including her very hands-on research process as a part of the braided story of the book. That braiding continued in her marketing of the book after its release. You can always share significant places, things, or aspects of your story, and engage your readers with all kinds of digital media (blog posts, pictures, videos, and social media posts) during the marketing process. So, start thinking of what makes your story unique, and think of how you can use that to draw readers in — outside the pages of your book.

No matter what steps you intend take to market your memoir, biography, or autobiography, we’re with you on your journey–and eager to help you travel that path as smoothly and effectively as possible! And if you’re still not sure where to get started in marketing your book, it may be time to lean on an expert. There’s never a better time than now to inquire about the wonderful lineup of marketing options available to you through Outskirts Press; simply visit us online at www.outskirtspress.com, where you’ll find countless further recommendations to suit your marketing needs.

To see our staff picks of amazing memoirs, biographies, or autobiographies from many of our authors, visit our Pinterest page by clicking here.

 

Why the Holidays Should Be on Your Marketing Radar Now

For many of us, the red-and-green bling and piped-in Christmas music at the local big box store — usually before the kids’ Halloween candy is even inspected — is the first tip-off that the giving season is around the bend. It always seems ridiculously early to think about the holidays … but is it really?

If you’re a self-publishing author with plans to market a book, it’s certainly not. In fact, it should be on your mind now, even as summer is at full sizzle. Let’s work backward on the calendar to illustrate why.

By Black Friday, the official kick-off for holiday shopping, most print news and magazine organizations have already planned and sold out advertising space in their regular editions, gift guides and other special holiday publications. If you want to reserve ad space on time, you’ll need to think one to three months ahead; this means you should have your holiday marketing ducks in a row even before those trick-or-treaters come knocking.

That brings us back to October. By some estimates, one-third of shoppers are already buying gifts in the fall, taking advantage of Labor Day sales when the fervor is less aggressive. This can be a golden time to grab the spotlight with a print ad or polished social media banners with less competition than you’re likely to encounter in December.

To prepare, you should create marketing pieces or work with a copywriter and/or graphic designer in September to have your materials ready in plenty of time for a Labor Day push. Consider it a dry run — a chance to gather valuable data you can use to refine your approach to Christmas. (Then get started on Christmas, asap!)

In the two months leading up to Labor Day, focus on a marketing calendar and budget. Spend August saving your coins, determining your marketing budget, researching where best to allocate your money and drafting a marketing calendar specifically for the holidays.

So, now that you know how short time really is, start planning! You’ll be way ahead of the competition — and, dare we say, far less stressed — by the time your happy holidays roll around.

Want to expedite your marketing plan and marketing calendar? Consider purchasing time with an Outskirts Press
Personal Marketing Assistant for help preparing your holiday promotions.

Six Ways to Market Your Self-Help Book This September!

For many readers, Fall marks the perfect time to kick back, slow down, and pick up a new book or two to savor, whether while celebrating the return of pumpkin spice lattes or taking long strolls among the color-changing leaves … or adhering to the same work schedule as always. Book sales in niche genres, including self-help, spike in the Fall, and for good reason! Whether readers are looking for a change of pace or to prepare themselves for the new year lurking just over the horizon, self-help books are the best possible way to launch into pumpkin spice season. They can be, however, difficult books to market. While massive numbers of self-help books are sold each year, those numbers are not, by and large, coming from standard bookstore sales and standard marketing campaigns.

So how do you market your self-help book effectively? Here are six ways to get underway!

1. Identify your ideal reader. This is a critical step for marketing any kind of book, it’s true, but particularly important when it comes to self-help books as this is considered a niche market. If you don’t know who your readers are, you’ll definitely struggle to market your book to them. Once you’ve established who they are, however, and the kind of habits and values they share, you’ll be able to determine if, for example, they’re likely to need visibility-boosting aids like e-book versions and so forth.

2. Consider creating an e-book version. E-books may have been around a while, but current market trends indicate that they’re going nowhere but up in terms of popularity, even as sales for traditional print rise along with them. With their easily resizable fonts and other tweakable view functions, e-books are critical to readers with limited mobility or impaired vision. If you want to render your lifestyle accessible to oft-neglected readerships, you can’t overlook the importance of e-book editions for the Kindle, iPad, and other tablet and smartphone devices!

3. Consider creating an audiobook version. This is a rapidly growing sector of self-publishing that is still in many ways just getting off the ground, but for all its newness it should not be discounted. Just as e-book versions for the Kindle, iPad, and other kinds of tablets render books more accessible for those of limited mobility or impaired vision, an audiobook version makes your book more accessible to those who would love to learn but whose ability to read a traditional visual format is limited.

4. Identify where your ideal readers live, physically. And where they shop, where they eat, and where they slow down. Are they coffee shop aficionados? Are they likely to shop at whole-foods grocery stores? Are they purveyors of Italian restaurants? If your self-help book relates to financial planning, perhaps you can build relationships with local accounting firms to keep bookmarks featuring your book on the counter. Or if your self-help book relates to nutrition, perhaps the local gyms or health-food stores would do the same. Self-help books each have very specific audiences. The most effective marketing strategies all involve targeted in-person advertising, so it’s best to try and find those places your ideal readers would frequent and market there.

5. Identify where your ideal readers live, digitally. Just as every marketing strategy involves in-person advertising, it must also include effective digital marketing. Some of the same rules apply: self-help books appeal to specific kinds of readers, and those readers probably visit very specific websites, whether forums or blogs or Instagram accounts or shopping sites. It’s always worth approaching the owners of these website, or blogs, and asking if they’d be interested in partnering with you in spreading the word about your book. The worst they can say is no, but chances are, if you put together an effective press release and marketing package, someone influential will say yes. And then you have your foot in the door!

6. Be your own best advocate. All of these tips and tricks we’ve shared today are bound together by the one shared concept of self-advocacy. New ways and means of marketing your book will crop up regularly, as the world changes and the Internet evolves and the ways in which people consume their literature also evolves. The key ingredient of every marketing strategy is you, and cultivating a willingness to go out and observe, identify, and make use of these new ways and means of marketing is crucial to your ongoing success. In this way, marketing your self-help book is just like marketing any other kind of self-published book; this is where the streams cross.

Still not sure where to start in marketing your book this Fall? It may be time to lean on an expert! If you’re looking to market your self-help book, there’s never a better time than now to inquire. Visit us online at www.outskirtspress.com, where you’ll find countless additional recommendations to suit your marketing needs.

To see our staff picks of amazing self-help books from many of our authors, visit our Pinterest page by clicking here.

5 Ways Authors Can Finish Strong in 2018

It’s hard to believe there are less than five full months left in the year. But for authors trying to sell books, the good news is that those months include the holidays, when die-hard bookworms are gifting and gobbling up books of all kinds.

What that means for you is that opportunities still abound to boost book sales and make 2018 a banner year. If you plan accordingly, your most successful months of selling lay ahead.

For instance, did you know the Reader Views Literary Awards are in December? And is October’s Frankfurt Book Fair on your radar? Put them on your marketing calendar (or get an Author’s Marketing Calendar from Outskirts Press and have important dates like these available to you in an instant).

A well-crafted marketing calendar is priceless. It gives you solid promotion deadlines to meet, keeps important events and benchmarks in one place, and inspires you keep moving toward your marketing goals. Here are five things you can track on your marketing calendar to finish strong in 2018:

  1. Literary contest deadlines. It’s not just important to know when a contest is being held; it s vital to keep track of submission deadlines, too. That way, you can plan ahead to complete submission requirements on time.
  2. Book review opportunities. There may or may not be a firm deadline for a book review. You’ll want to track the ones that do have submission timelines and plan for open-ended reviews in between.
  3. High-profile book expo dates. There are scores of local, regional, national and international book fairs where you can display your book. It helps to research which ones are appropriate for your book genre, what level of exposure to expect and when you need to complete registration.
  4. Smart and doable book marketing prompts. Think about some of the little things you can do in between big events to boost your visibility, such as creating a Pinterest page for your book or acknowledging holidays on social media.
  5. Include resources you can access for more information and assistance. Save links and helpful articles directly to your calendar for future reference. This not only serves as a prompt but keeps you from digging around for the information you need to complete a task.

Needless to say, your marketing plan has a lot of work to do! If you’re not sure how to draft a marketing plan and put it into action, Outskirts Press can help. Or, hire a Personal Marketing Assistant with expertise in promoting all genres of books! As our way of saying thanks, we’ll throw in a FREE 2018 Marketing Calendar when you purchase this or ANY marketing option! Just enter promo code FreeCal2018 at checkout and your calendar will be added to your Author Toolkit within 48 hours.

Now, let’s make 2018 epic!