When asked if writers should be encouraged or discouraged about the digital age, Pete Hamill, author of the bestselling memoir A Drinking Life, said, “I’m generally optimistic, since there will be more places for writers to publish. I do believe that cream always comes to the top. Well, not always, but I also think that every writer needs editing, which will have to be considered as the Internet process becomes more professional.”
The publishing world gets digital and poets and writers must adapt… or die. The digital age calls on self-published and independent authors to become agile, meaning they should do more than just compose a prose or a poem. Rather than hold onto the outdated ways of doing things, they should embrace and leverage new technology to their advantage.
Digital marketing helps authors gain access to a wider, even global, readership. They will be surprised to know that there are readers who want to read their kind of stories.
However, like most modern consumers, readers first browse the Internet for information about the book they like to buy and thinking they would get their money’s worth, they buy it from their nearest bookstore or order from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
As an author, you will want to take the opportunity to reach out to potential readers and offer them the information they need, something that should convince them to buy your book. This is where digital marketing comes in.
Support potential readers through digital marketing
As an author, how would you support your readers’ buyer decision process?
You should provide them useful information about your book or the topic(s) that you write about. This is the essence of digital marketing for authors: producing helpful content to market your book and boost sales.
Content comes in any form, such as:
- Blog articles
- Social media posts
- Web press releases
Why digital marketing? More and more people are buying differently today. They search online and read reviews before making a purchase.
Though it has become an uphill battle for authors to penetrate and sell in an oversaturated book market, digital marketing, if carried out effectively, could help them make inroads. Through techniques such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Advertising, and content marketing, you could reach out to new readers and drive more sales to your book.
By providing interesting content, you are able to guide potential readers at every stage of their buyer journey.
Why digital marketing?
- Readers want to know if you understand what you write about – How do you legitimize yourself as a professional author, an expert on your subject? How do you build readers’ confidence in you? Demonstrate your expertise by producing content that touches on the topics you tackle in your book.
- Readers want to know if you understand what they want in a story – How well do you know what your readers need? How do you let them know that you understand them? Publish content on topics that should only interest but provoke them as well. Post them on your author website and share them on your social accounts.
- Digital marketing is less expensive than traditional marketing – Digital marketing is far less expensive than TV, radio, and print advertising. Even if you pay a premium fee to use certain digital marketing tools, there’s still a significant difference in costs. A blog post, book trailer, or an infographic shared on social media do not change in cost.
- You measure your campaign’s performance – Unlike with traditional marketing, you are able to track your metrics real-time and even control overhead costs. You identify which content or topics bring in the most traction. You may update and even re-share or re-purpose content multiple times without incurring additional costs.
- Digital marketing delivers ready customers – You attract readers who are more likely to buy your book and they are not the crowd that just walk into a bookstore to browse for free reading. By concentrating your marketing efforts on people who are willing to buy, you get the most out of every marketing dollar and cent you spend.
With digital marketing, authors make themselves relevant to their potential buyers’ buyer journey by practicing a customer-centric, information-based marketing approach.