A website or web page and a blog are basic essentials for online promoting. From there a writer can branch out and establish a fan base through Facebook, Twitter and other online social networks. Blog tours, book giveaways and book trailers are other ways to generate reader interest.
The Business Website: an Essential Part of Online Promoting
An author should have a web page or website where readers can find a list of book titles and how to order them. The information should be current, and the books should be easy to purchase with the click of a button. Books that are difficult to order or unavailable discourage potential customers. Readers can be directed to the publisher’s site or online bookstore such as Amazon. Self-published books or books that are not listed on Amazon can be sold from the website itself by setting up a PayPal account and a simple shopping cart.
Maintain a Blog
A blog is a good way to generate reader interest. Blogs work best when they offer the reader something more than just a forum for the writer to promote the latest book. If a blog isn’t entertaining, it won’t attract many readers. Many authors offer writing tips, publishing advice or free short stories on their blogs.
Facebook and Twitter: Being Social on the Net
Social networking is important for online promotion. Facebook and Twitter offer many valuable ways for a writer to promote.
Using Facebook to Promote
Authors can set up a regular Facebook page By inviting friends the author can soon have a good base of people who might be interested in their books. Announcements, such as new book releases, can be posted to the Facebook wall. Promoting on Facebook should be casual and informal.
Authors can also set up a Facebook fan page for readers to visit. Some writers even go so far as to make a fan page for a character in one of their their books. In order for these to work well, the writer has to have some name recognition.
Promoting on Twitter
A writer can also build up a fan base on Twitter by inviting people to “follow” them. Twitter only allows brief, one sentence announcements. This is a good way to keep interested readers informed of upcoming releases, promotions and book signings.
Besides having a presence on Facebook and joining Twitter, it also helps to join online lists and forums to connect with other writers and readers. Use the email signature to advertise a new release or to direct people to a web page.
Book Buzz-Interest-Generating Events
A book giveaway is a good way to attract new readers. A giveaway can be arranged through Goodreads.com, or an author can arrange one through their own website. Many readers like to have a personally autographed copy.
Another way to increase readership is to have a blog tour. This means the author visits several different blogs at a scheduled time as an invited guest to discuss a new book, provide personal insight, and answer questions.
A book trailer can also be good advertising. A book trailer is a video advertisement similar to a movie preview or trailer. Many authors with basic video skills make their own trailers. Samples of book trailers can be found on You Tube.
Promoting Oneself as a Writer
As the internet continues to expand, companies are finding new ways to harness the internet to make a fortune. Most of these companies, like Twitter and Facebook, did not exist at the start of the twenty-first century. The internet giant Google, has dramatically improved its services over the past year, offering many more applications to avid internet junkies and to other people who frequently use the internet for business and other purposes. This enhancement of technology has opened up many doors of opportunities for aspiring journalists and budding authors. Today, there are several ways writers can promote themselves and gain exposure online.
Online Revenue Sharing Magazines
Online revenue sharing magazines are not the greatest way for a writer to make money. In fact, when starting out, it is highly recommended that a writer has a regular day job. However, online revenue sharing magazines do give writers the opportunity to promote themselves and build an audience of readers.
The key to building a large audience is to write quality articles that are flawless, write often, and write in various topics of interest. Articles should be informative, but rich in key words that pertain to article topic and theme, and should contain links to external sites within the body of the article or in a works cited list below the article.
Writers do not just want to write for any online revenue sharing magazine. Some revenue sharing magazines are more popular because they offer better advertising programs than other revenue sharing magazines. Suite101.com, HubPages.com and eHow.com are the most popular and highly rated revenue sharing magazines.
Online revenue sharing magazines are a great way for writers to get exposure. However, writers who do not want to write for revenue sharing magazines can start their own blog. The one advantage blogs have over revenue sharing magazines is that the writer can personalize them according to their theme and taste in color. Writers can express themselves freely using their own unique writing style on a blog without having to conform to a certain style of writing. Blog platforms, like Blogger and LiveJournal, are also completely free and easy to use and maintain.
The one setback to blogs is that the companies who run blog platforms do not provide features that enhance blog promotion and advertisement. It is completely up to the bloggers to gain exposure. However, there are sites that actively promote and advertise writers’ blogs, giving them all the exposure online that they need.
Social Networking Sites and Online Writers Communities
The internet has made it very possible for writers to promote themselves. In fact, it is just as easy for a writer to promote him or herself online as it is offline. Social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook has revolutionized the way professionals market themselves.
More and more writers are now using Facebook and Twitter to promote their personal websites, blogs, books and any freelance writing services they may offer.
Online writers’ communities are also becoming more and more common. Some online writers communities cater to genre niches, others are more general. The presence of such communities on the internet is even making it much easier for writers to connect with literary agents.
The internet is the best way for a writer to gain exposure because it reaches a large audience much faster than offline networking.