The idea of marketing your work and promoting yourself, to most Self-Publishers, seems a bit daunting. They don’t want to appear prideful, conceited, self-absorbed, and narcissistic if you will. However, Self-Promotion is not the same as being prideful and NO Indie can get by without some level of Self-Promotion and marketing. It is, after all, part of the whole “Self” aspect of Self-Publishing.
The Media Kit
Some time ago I added an Author Media Kit to my blog. The purpose of the kit is to make it easier for editors, book reviewers, and beta readers who are interested in my work to discover more about me without having to Google me. I think its important for every Indie to have both an electronic Media Kit, as well as a hard-copy version for those on the go marketing campaigns and book signings. Why? An Author Media Kit provides your readers with general information about you instantly. You don’t have to write a book, but should include information that is crucial to getting to know who you are. It also establishes you as a serious author who means business and can be step one in getting you used to promoting yourself. Some of what you can find in my media kit is:
This should be a professional head shot of you. Mine is not that professional but it will do for now. I have this picture attached across my social media so that I’m easy to find. All except Good reads which for some reason won’t let me add that particular pic but the one I have up there will do. Its the Author Photo I used before adding the current one. Like I said, it’s not perfect but it will do. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to be organized and professional.
No, not your life story, but enough information to satisfy our need to be nosy. Your full name, origin, and some of your past achievements is good. Any awards you’ve received as an author and your number of published works is also good to list.
Be sure to add links to all of your online social pages, your author website, email and a possible contact number if your feeling really brave. (I usually have people to contact me via email).
Once you get going in the wonderful world of writing, I think its important for Indies to have an author website and no, I’m sorry but I do not mean your blog.
A blog is a blog. I don’t know how much simpler this can get. A blog with a domain name is also not necessarily a website; it’s just a blog with a domain name. Blogs are designed as weblogs in which a post is published regularly in chronological order, in which readers can like, comment, or share. Take a look around my site. What do you see? Even though it looks like a website, the regularly updated posts are what make it, not just a website, but a weblog. Technically.
WordPress is actually a great foundation to build an Author Website but make sure its not just another blog. This is my blog but THIS (YES, CLICK HERE) is my Author Website. See the difference? I hope so. It’s not perfect, or as I want it to be just yet, but I’m sure we get the point here. Benefits of an Author Website are numerous. Primarily, it’s your readers’ introduction and entry into the wonderful world of you, the author. It gives them direct access to your store, where you can sell your product directly from your website. You can also link your blog to your Author Website. There’s a reason I do not sell product on this blog. I have an author website for that. You can surely combine the two if you like or sell from both your blog and Author Website.
Other Ways to Self-Promote. Basic Elements Include:
– Facebook Page
– Twitter Account
– Author Website
– Bookmarks and Business Cards < Yes Authors. Make sure you have business cards! Or get funky with it and make the Bookmark the business card. This means you need to add your contact info. Otherwise, yea, its just a bookmark.
Everything is a BIG Deal: Let’s Have Some Fun!
Before you stone me, hear me out. First and foremost I’m as introverted as they come. For those who know me personally, I hate attention. OK, hate is a very strong word. Let’s just say I dislike attention very much. I don’t care to stand in the limelight and I’d rather the attention go to someone else. I’m pretty relaxed and laid back. I actually don’t say very much if it’s not something I’m passionate about (obviously I’m passionate about writing). So TRUST ME when I say I completely understand not wanting to do this. BUT, when you find something you love doing and that thing is BIGGER than you, you become more generous in your social interaction. Or at least that’s what happened to me. I’m still very shy (Yes, it’s true), but when I can talk about what I love it’s not so bad. Actually, it’s not bad at all. This next part may only be exclusive to me but I think it’s important: Everything is a Big Deal!
Get people excited about EVERYTHING! My brother has a saying: “If you think like a peasant then a peasant you will be” and I totally agree. What it means is that everything exist in your mindset. You may be poor financially, but you do not have to be poor mentally. Stop thinking less of yourself and think bigger. If you think BIG then you get BIG in return. That’s not being arrogant, its just natural. You are only as strong as your mind is. What you think is what you become.
The thing that I do that may be exclusive to me is that I hype up everything I’m a part of. I want it to be special and I want it to feel special. Every single public interview or appearance, every blog feature, every book cover reveal, everything that may seem small I enlarge so that you are just as excited about it as I am. Why shouldn’t you be? A new book is exciting! Let us FEEL it. A new Book Cover Reveal. That’s exciting! Make it over the top. Don’t just publish it as “Hey, look everyone. Here’s my new book. Its got this really cool cover”. No, build excitement. Set a date and do a count down where your cover will be revealed. Make it sound EXCLUSIVE! And then publish it to ALL your social media pages. That’s right. Make sure EVERYONE knows about this OFFICIAL Book Cover Design to this AMAZING NEW BOOK!
*I mean, don’t be spammy with it. People can tell if you’re being phony. Keep it genuine and have fun. Otherwise, if your not excited about your work forget about it. We don’t care either.*
I mean, its not like you have get all big headed and start to think your King Turd on Boo Boo Mountain or anything, its just about taking advantage of the small things and placing a value on them that SHOULD be there. Don’t sell yourself short people. No one takes the time, sweat, and tears to pour their heart and money into a book they don’t care if anyone reads. If your that shy about it, why write the book? I mean, even if its just family members, I’m sure you do want SOMEONE to read it. Right? OK so hype it up!
Even though this is just me, I think every Indie should take into consideration to make every milestone a special one. Every interview or Author Blog Appearance, every giveaway, every sale, make it sound exciting. When you are preparing to release a new book withhold some of the details. Make everything an exclusive. This makes us readers curious as to what the big deal is. We want to hear you, read about you, and get to know you. Eventually, we want to read your books!