On the first episode of The Author Hangout, our guest, social media guru Jason T. Wiser made a very bold statement. When talking about promoting a book, Jason said:
“It’s not about the book, it’s about the brand.”
Many authors think that they need to promote their books, and you definitely need to, but if your focus is only “my book, my book, my book” it will tune out your audience. In fact, they probably don’t care about your book… yet.
Your audience wants to know you. They want to connect with you. In this self-publishing, digital age, readers have unprecedented access to authors, and authors like you have unprecedented access to their readers. Don’t take this relationship for granted, but definitely use it to your advantage!
The best part is, once your readers get to know you, when you do share about your book, the readers will care and be interested in the book, because they are invested in you!
Use Your Website To Build Your Brand
Your first step in building your author brand is your website!
If your website is not setup well, then you will be communicating a wrong message about your brand that you don’t want to communicate to potential readers.
Be sure to read our blog post: 5 Things You Need On Your Author Website
As the article states, the main thing you need on your website is a mailing list sign up form. This is a great way to interact with readers, and if they trust you with their e-mail address, you can then promote your book when it’s ready to be promoted.
Through the mailing list, you can ask them what their favorite parts of the book are, who their favorite characters are, and other types of things that let them interact with you and that give you great feedback as well! This builds a solid relationship with your readers, that pays off when it is time to sell to them. Focus on the relationship first, then you can sell.
Build Your Brand on Social Media
The next way to build your brand is to share about yourself on social media!
Try sharing something about yourself on social media this week. You’ll be surprised at how those readers you’re already connected with will respond and you may even pull in some new readers! This is how building your brand works, and it will lead to sales.
Plus, one of the best ways to drive people to your mailing list is to use social media. Once people have connected with you, you can let them know that they can connect with you more by joining your mailing list so that they do not miss any updates.
Trust the process!
It is easy to fall into the trap of needing to sell more books and putting all of your focus on that, but if you instead focus on engaging with readers, connecting with them, and letting them know the real you, then you will sell more books in the process. Building a brand this way will create fans who will want to talk about your books, buy all of your books, and become the word of mouth publicity that can never come from you just saying “Buy my book!”