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Ten things every author should do in their first year of publication

Every author traditionally and non-traditionally published will benefit from this list…

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The first year of publication is the most challenging time of an author’s life. I know you think writing the book or getting published is the most challenging part, but nothing is more complicated than getting the word out about your book. This list makes that first year of publication the most accessible, most profitable year for your book. 

The first year of your book publication is the year that will shape every year after. Take this list and do what you will be but I can attest to the success I accomplished because of everything this list. 

This list is meant to give you a starting point. Take the information and do with what you will but I urge you to do your research before implementing any of these tips. What works for one book doesn’t work for every book. Plus, I only gave you bread crumbs, you gotta go deeper if you want to truly be successful at this book game. 

1. Website

As a new author, a website is your most essential tool. In this day and age, people shop online more than in person, and they definitely buy most of their books online. Even if you have your book on Amazon, B&N, Target, or any other major retail store, you want a website. 

An author website not only provides a way for you to make 100% profit off your book, but it’s also a way to connect with your audience, and as writers, isn’t that all we’re trying to do. 

Websites allow easy access to you for people looking to purchase your book, book you for an event, or know about your next event. Website makes it easy to build a subscription list, which ultimately helps build your client list. A website is also an anchor point if you want to advertise online.  Basically, websites are your audience’s first glimpses into your brand. 

Making a great author’s website can be easy and cheap. There are tons of youtube videos that can teach you, or you can hire someone. I recommend learning how to do it yourself because updating your website goes smoother when you’re the one in charge. 

The top three recommended websites are WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix. Whatever website you choose, make sure you can collect payments. 

 

2. Social Media

Everyone and their Grandmomma have social media. If you don’t have it, you’re neglecting a big chunk of your audience. 

Social media like websites are a way to promote your book and connect with your audience. 

Social Media might be more important to have than a website. Social Media is probably the first contact your audience will have with you. Most people use their social media pages to lead potential customers to their website to buy their products. 

Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok drive shopping trends. Most people buy things they see featured on a social media post; because of this, most major companies use social media for advertising their products, whether through paid or non-paid advertising. As an author, you too should be using social media to promote your books and drive people to your website. 

If you don’t have any social media, I suggest getting Facebook. Facebook is the #1 social media site for daily users. I also recommend making a page separate from your main page that is dedicated to an author page or book page. There are tons of How to YouTube videos for setting a Facebook. 

Oh, and side note… you should be posting about your book every day. 

3. Marketing plan

If you are traditionally or non-traditionally published you need a marketing plan for your book. 

Marketing Plans are the simplest way to break down how and where you will sell your book. Ideally, you want to do this before your book is released. 

A marketing plan should include every way you want to promote your book from how you will do it on your website all the way to what events you want to do,  your press kit, and what awards you think your book could win. So many different elements can be added to your marketing plan it all depends on how you want to market your book. 

Building a marketing plan requires research. You want to research different trends in your genres, popular books in your genre and mimic what the top sellers are doing. Don’t forget to put your own flare on it. That means coming up with metadata centered around your book. 

4. Metadata

Metadata is a complied template with everything you need to market your book successfully. It is a how-to guide that includes keywords tailored around your book, phrases that promote your book, and information specific to your book’s uniqueness. 

Metadata tells you how you will market your book and tells others (retailers) how you want your book marketed. 

Metadata is one of if not the most essential tool you possess. How you market your book is directly related to future sales. A poorly marketed book produces poor sales. Your market strategies should start with your metadata. 

Metadata should include who you will sell your book to, how you plan to sell your book, the keywords used for search engine, description of the book (short and long), author’s bio (short and long), every detail about the book, and so much more. 

I strongly suggest researching metadata best practices and finding what works best for you and your book.  A great marketing plan includes metadata.

5.Subscription list

Subscription lists are a way to stay connected with your audience after being on your social media page or website. It is the biggest way I have built my audience. It is how I connect with them on a more personal level. A subscription list gives you direct access to someone’s email. Emailing marketing is still one of the biggest tools used to reach customers on a daily basis.

Think about how many times Amazon, or Target emails you about products you may like. Now, think about how many times those emails get you to buy something. They wouldn’t be able to retarget without adding your email to their subscription list. Having someone’s email of your subscription list allows you to retarget them for other products you offer, tell them about events you’re at, and give rewards for offering up their precious email.

My favorite advantage to having a subscription list is being able to email everyone on my list with a click of a button.

You can’t have a newsletter without subscribers, and you can’t gain subscribers without a subscriber service. Some of the best are Sendinblue, Mailchimp, or MailerLite, to name a few. These services will help you manage your collected email, and your newsletters plus so much more.

6. Newsletter

Newsletters are another way to stay connected with your audience. People that subscribe to your newsletter want to hear all about what you’re doing and what you’re selling. They subscribe because they want to know more about you and your brand. They tell you they are invested in what you do by subscribing to your newsletter. You tell them you are invested in them by producing a newsletter that keeps them informed. 

A newsletter is one of your biggest marketing tools—the best way to retarget customers or keep them invested in your journey. 

It is recommended that you send out a weekly, monthly, or quarterly newsletter. 

Consistency is key. If you are consistent, you will build a substantial, responsive audience. 

 

7. landing page

A landing page is a standalone page used to guide future customers to your product. A landing page is very important if you run ads or plan to run ads. 

A landing page is another way to stay connected to your audience. 

A landing page allows you to collect much-needed data about your customer before sending them to Amazon, B&N, or even your own shop page, etc. 

When you send a customer directly to a third-party site or even your own website, you miss an opportunity to connect with your customer on a deeper level. 

Landing pages set the stage for you to showcase your product to potential customers while collecting data to retarget them at a later date. 

Landing pages are also an excellent way to collect subscriptions. Most people don’t always buy on the first look; that’s why having the data to retarget them is essential. 

Your landing page should include a description of your book, an author’s bio, reviews, pictures of your book, and a call to action to buy, subscribe for more access, or both. 

8. Business Cards

Business cards are a direct marketing tool that can easily go anywhere with you. 

Business cards are a great way to meet new customers and give existing customers a way to spread the word.

There are a million places a business card could end up after it leaves your hand.  

Business cards are a great first impression to tell potential customers everything they need to know about your brand. 

You’ll create more opportunities having a business card than you would without having one. 

Business cards are magic…use them!

9. author brochure

Author’s brochures like business cards are a direct marketing tool. 

Author’s brochures are another way to advertise your book and any programs center around your book. 

If you are a children’s book author and plan on doing school events, I’d advise you have some at every event you do. Teachers are everywhere, and they love authors’ brochures. 

My brochure has landed me six speaking events and 14 school visits. 

Your brochures should include book descriptions, author’s bio, programs you offer, reviews of previous events, or the book. 

 

10. author bio

An author’s bio is the description we as authors give to the world. It is how we want the world to see us. In my experience, it is the worst thing I have been asked to write. 

And, I get asked to write an author’s bio at least once a week. 

I recommend having multiple author’s bio. You have the one for the book. The one for the website. Some people want a short bio, that doesn’t include your achievements. Some want a long detail ones that include what schools you went to. 

The point is, you want a bio for every occasion because having to write about yourself can be daunting. 

I also recommend updating your bio/s at least once a quarter. You’re always doing great stuff make sure the world is always updated. 

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