Note: This post was first published on 563media.com in 2010.
It’s that time of year again—when we evaluate our business accomplishments and goals and decide what we can do better in the New Year. If you’re an author: what will you do differently in 2011 to market yourself and your books?
Here are 5 easy items you won’t want to overlook. In fact, you can implement all of them this week (though I recommend you refill your coffee mug first).
- Sign up for Amazon Author Central. In the last week, Amazon announced that it’s granting registered authors access to Nielsen Bookscan geographical data. Finally, you can see where in the world your customers are located, and when they’ve been buying. This is invaluable data for anyone running special promotions, appearing on regional TV or radio, or doing book signings or meetups. All you have to do to access this data is sign up for a free Author Central account. Click here for the FAQ.
- Add your blog to your Facebook Page. Do you have a Facebook Page for Business? Log into your account, then go to Networked Blogs. Add Networked Blogs to your profile, then set the app to broadcast your blog’s RSS feed. Your Fans will be updated automatically whenever you publish a new post. You can also add a tab to your Page that will display your recent posts. Your Fans won’t have to leave Facebook to vote up your blog content or share it with their friends.
- Participate in #FridayReads on Twitter. You’ll need a Twitter account for this one. #FridayReads is one of the hottest memes of 2010, probably because it’s so simple. Every Friday, Twitter users from around the world tweet what they’re reading, and tag their tweets with the hash tag #fridayreads. Participating in #FridayReads is an easy way to get your name in front of new people, show your Followers that you’re a real human (You read as well as write!), and support literacy and the book industry.
- Set up a Goodreads Author Profile. Goodreads is one of the most popular book-related social networks on the internet. Sign up for its Author Program and you’ll have the opportunity to participate in official Book Giveaways, site-supported Q&As with readers, and possibly even the weekly newsletter. I recently ran a Book Giveaway on the site for an author client—and received 663 entries in 4 weeks. Hands down, this is the most efficient and cost-effective way I’ve found to get the word out about a book.
- Schedule a day to stockpile your content. This is a challenge I’m issuing to myself, too. As critical as blogging, Facebooking, Tweeting and updating your LinkedIn accounts can be, when you’re under deadlines, self-promotional and marketing activities can fall to the bottom of the list. I recommend setting aside a single day to brainstorm a few months worth of content. “Impossible!” you say. Not so. Go to a quiet place, away from distractions, and draft 30 titles for future blog posts. If you’re stuck for ideas, write in the form of Top 10 lists related to your area of expertise (e.g., Top 10 Exercise Trends for the New Year). Next, write down 30 one-line pieces of advice you’d love to pass along to others in your industry. Finally, reflect on 30 insights or accomplishments from 2010. When you’re done with this exercise, you’ll have 90 pieces of content. Some are already complete, and can be used as Tweets and Status Updates. Others are starting points for future blog posts. Get up, stretch, yawn, then write down 10 more thoughts for a nice, round 100. Congratulations! You have a Content Strategy for 2011. But don’t forget the first step: putting this mini writing retreat on your calendar.
These are my Top 5 suggestions for 2011. If you’ve found them helpful, please Like this post using the buttons below. Thanks, and Happy Holidays!