Part One - Creating a Presence
So you’ve published your first book and now you need to market it online. This will require a few essential tools, and they will fall under two categories – creating a presence and measuring. Let’s start with creating presence. As a minimum I’d suggest a Twitter account, Facebook ‘fan-page’ and a website.
Before you jump in with a Twitter account based upon the title of your book, consider this question. Do you intend to only write one book? If the answer is ‘no’, then avoid naming your account after your book. If you do, what is your strategy for book 2? Start all over again with a new Twitter account? Not the best idea, I’m sure you’ll agree. I personally believe people are more likely to engage with you on Twitter if you include three things within your Twitter account. 1) A photo of you 2) An informative bio and 3) The word ‘author’ in that bio. The reason for item 3) will become apparent in a moment.
A Facebook ‘fan-page’ is also a useful addition when trying to ‘get the word out’. Unlike a ‘standard’ Facebook page, a fan-page also provides a few tools for measuring your reach, and letting you know the most viewed/liked/shared posts. All useful stuff for deciding upon the content of your future posts.
The final key tool for creating presence is a website. I’d suggest avoiding just a blog, as it has its limitations. A website provides greater flexibility, but perhaps also have a separate blog, using Blogger or WordPress. (I've chosen Blogger as it is extremely versatile, and easy to use.) There are numerous pre-designed websites on the market, but if you are trying to display creativity, (and what author isn’t?), then a bespoke solution is probably more appropriate. If you don’t want to be dealing with html coding you may want to consider Serif’s WebPlus x6. It’s inexpensive, easy to use and very flexible. My author website was built using it. You’ll also need suitable ftp software for uploading your updates onto your server. FTP Commander is available free of charge in its basic form. I've used it for several years for various websites, and it's both simple and reliable.
So, you now have your ‘presence’ toolkit. The next stage is to measure what you are doing, and to start using a few tools to help you become more efficient and effective online. This I’ll cover in Part Two of this article.