5 Things Every Writer Should Do Before Hitting "Publish" - by Victoria Ellis
Tip Number One: Start all of your social media accounts!
And by ALL I mean ALL….
You can’t have too many social media accounts because people have preferences!
Think about yourself, you probably find yourself scrolling on Instagram more than you scroll Twitter or vice versa. The more accounts you have the better.
Having Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, GoodReads, and even LinkedIn
provides you with an awesome author platform while simultaneously allowing you to connect with people from all backgrounds in all places.
While having all of these accounts is the right step to take, you need to make sure you
are keeping up with them! Having social media accounts with no updates/updates only once a month/once a week won’t satisfy your followers. Also, with the new algorithms being introduced across all social media platforms your followers won’t see your content as much if you don’t post - the platform shows those who post the most first.
I’m not telling you to just throw up a bunch of BS to stay relevant, don’t give your
followers crappy content. Find out what they like and figure out creative ways to connect!
I recommend having and keeping up to date:
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Goodreads. Any additional are just bonus points!
You should be posting at least once a day on Facebook and Instagram as well as
keeping up with your stories. Twitter has the option for even more interaction with your
Followers and both the writing and reading communities.
Tip Number Two: Create your Author Website!
This one is SUPER fun! But daunting. But FUN! But suuuuuper daunting. So buckle up!
You want your website to be perfect, and trust me, nothing is ever perfect, especially in
its early stages, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself. I recommend visiting your favorite author’s websites and finding different elements you enjoy. That is one of the first things my graphic designer had me do. I am NOT suggesting to copy anyone. But once you start looking at different styles you’ll see how many pages you want/need, how you can incorporate your Instagram or other social media feed into your website, how you can promote your books, etc.
You’ll want to develop your overall theme using your fonts, colors, logos, etc.
Now, I mentioned my graphic designer. Let me stress the fact that you do NOT need a graphic designer in order to develop your website. If you are tech savvy enough on your own you can totally take control!
If you want your own domain (which I recommend primarily because it looks more professional to have a .com) you’ll need to purchase it via a site such as Godaddy and
then host it via a site such as Hostgator. There are other domain and hosting sites out there but those are the two I have experienced and used that have worked well for me!
There are tons of videos on Youtube and tutorials out there to guide you through the
steps. OR you can go the easy route and hire a professional like I did. :]
Here is my website as a reference. It is ever growing and changing:
Tip Number Three: Develop your Newsletter and Reader Magnet!
A newsletter is something that many, many authors recommend doing because it puts
your work right in front of the people who are interested in it! Newsletters allow your followers to have direct access to everything related to you and your books and other things you want them to be privy to.
I use the site called Mailchimp to host and provide my newsletter. It’s user friendly and
keeps track of your contacts and provides the author with templates that makes organizing and sending newsletters easy. Mailchimp will also provide you with a direct link that you can put on your social media accounts to give people an easy way to sign up for your newsletter.
Now, for the reader magnet.
Many authors, including myself, also recommend
developing a reader magnet to give as a thank you or to entice people to sign up for your newsletter. A reader magnet can be anything from a short story, to a novella, to an entire novel should you choose. The format would be an ebook because for the author that is the best way to get your book to anyone fast and easily to those who sign up for your newsletter.
You can decide how you want to move forward with this. I used another graphic designer, the one who has designed the majority of my book covers, to make my reader magnet ebook cover. My reader magnet is a short story consisting of right around 5k words.
A reader magnet not only just shows appreciation to fans and followers of your work but also excited potential readers if they enjoy it. The newsletter and reader magnet combined are a wonderful resource.
Tip Number Four: Cover Reveal and ARC Giveaways
Build up the anticipation by doing an awesome cover reveal!
Readers truly do judge books by their covers - even I am guilty of this. You can put out social media posts all day long with words but once you have a tangible photo of the cover they will be even more excited for your book because of the visual connection.
You can start by announcing WHEN your cover reveal will be and HOW you will reveal it.
I suggest announcing WHEN, no more than a week in advance otherwise you’ll lose interest with a long wait time. Each day leading up to your reveal you can post little teasers, snippets of the cover or the blurb and then on release day make it a REALLY BIG DEAL! Ask for people to share, share, share and even offer a giveaway of an ARC copy of your book.
Number one, people LOVE free things, especially books! Number two, it doesn’t take
much to share a post. It’s easy for the follower to do. You can decide how many copies you want to give away. For my first novel I gave away three free ARC copies to my Facebook followers. You could do something fun like: “Like my instagram picture, share my FB post, and then RT my twitter post and you will be entered in THREE times!”
It’ll just provide you with additional exposure and allow for you to connect with more people! You MUST be hyped. If you aren’t, why would you expect your audience to be?!
Tip Number Five: Running a Pre-Order/Promotions
Here’s the thing. I did NOT do a pre-order for my debut novel. Aaaaand I regret it.
I’m doing one now for my second release because I truly think it makes a difference.
You won’t see the orders right away on your KDP dashboard (assuming you are self-publishing through KDP) but you can see them via reports. Sometimes pre-orders turn a better result for people who have a few books already out on the market because fans are anxiously waiting the next work, but it can work great for new authors too if you promote yourself and your book enough! (See Tip Number One!)
A pre-order encourages followers/consumers to purchase your book EARLY because
you run a promotion such as 2-3 dollars (this is up to you!) off of your regular release day price.
Amazon will show this to people browsing by putting a slash mark through the normal
price so people can see they are getting a great deal by doing the preorder-also enticing to buyers!
I suggest putting your e-book up for 99 cents if it’s your first book. People browse purely
for 99 cent books so you will have an advantage here! You could do it for the first day, week, or maybe even just a weekend-you will see success from this! Put it back up to your normal e-book rate after your promotion ends. Doing this from time to time can help boost sales when you are in a lull.
Alright readers! That’s all of the tips I have for you for today but I sincerely hope you got
something out of this that you can use to help promote and market your book! Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have questions. I would love to connect with you - my social media information is below.
Victoria Ellis is the author of the horror/thriller novel, Sinners’ Retreat.
Five couples are promised a weekend retreat in a beautiful vineyard. Once they walk in they realize they are trapped and the organizer of the retreat has very sinister motives. While ten seemingly innocent people walk into the retreat, they certainly will not all be able to walk out.
Her second novel, Deceitful, is coming out in June 2019.
Deceitful is a psychological domestic suspense novel. Connect with Victoria Ellis via social media to stay up to date!
Follow and get in touch with Victoria Ellis
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