One of the main things you need to do is stand out from the crowd. You need an online hub or place where people can readily find you and your books. This would be your website or blog. I have a website and my blog is one of the pages on my site. Your blog can be separate from your website, but you need to link both places together.
Blogging is important and may seem tedious and like a thankless task with no rewards, but again—if you keep working at it, you will get blog followers and it is a way to keep drawing people to your website. That is what you want. If you only have a website that is static and never changes, why should people continue to flock to your site? It’s all about online content. People want to read new and fresh ideas and content online and if your blog offers that, you will keep your current followers and draw new readers.
Join a blog alliance. It will be another way to draw people to your site. I am a current member of the Clash of the Titles Blog Alliance and Book Blogs (their buttons are on the sidebar of this blog).
So what on earth do you blog about every day? If you get all caught up in that and thinking no one will even read what I have to say, then no one will. You need to believe in your blog before anyone else will. When I started my blog back in August 2010, I wrote short posts about my day or the status of my writing projects, but it didn’t even seem interesting to me and I knew it wasn’t interesting to anyone else. I’m a new author; who cares anyway? That’s why I needed to make the blog interesting.
I post author interviews, guest blogs, reader corner interviews and I also post book reviews that I do. For this year, I am trying something different—I am having guest authors write on themed blog posts, specific to each month. If you’re interested in guesting, please let me know. The Mustard Seed is a place for authors and readers to connect.
Social networking is very important. Start your own personal facebook page and then a fan page. Open a twitter account. I have my blog linked to post to twitter and also my facebook personal and fan page through Networked blogs and it posts to my book blogs page; this is a great way to get multiple avenues of exposure from one posting.
Try to do as many online author interviews or guest blogs that you can do and post links on your social networking pages. Have reviews done on your books. Look into doing radio interviews. Think about doing book giveaways of your books on your own blog or when you are a guest on another person’s blog.
Another big part of succeeding in the publishing world is to market your name, not your book. Yes you need to market each book you write, but your name recognition is what will pave the way to continued sales. If a reader likes one of your books, he or she will look into your backlist to see what else you’ve written. You also need to continue writing books. Don’t stop. After you publish one book, go back to the drawing board and get started on a new book.
There are so many avenues for success, you just need to keep your eyes open and be willing to think outside the box. What works for one author may not work for you. Be open to that fact and to find what does work for you. Be open to change and trying new ideas. Not everything you try will always work, but never give up. If you give up, you won’t ever find what could have happened if you stayed with it and kept persevering.