Today's challenge is to begin making your face and name - or pen name - into a brand, in three ways.
Unless you intend to be a one-book writer - and some people do, nothing wrong with that - you should be marketing yourself, as an author, not your individual books. Think about it - you put months, or years, into marketing the title of your book, you name your website, FB page, twitter handle, etc. all after your book - and let's say it's effective, your book is selling well. Then you write another book, with a different title, and you have to start all over again at ground zero.
YOU are your brand. You, as an author, are what you are marketing. There are a number of ways you do this:
- Use your name, or your pen name, on everything - your website, FB page, twitter handle, Google+...
- Get a good, professional-quality photo taken, one that represents the kind of writing you do, and use it as your avatar on social media, use it on your website, on Goodreads, on Author Central and other author's sites, put it on your business cards, posters announcing your speaking event, your book covers: the same photo, on every thing. You want to be recognized and easily found.
3. Contribute a comment every time you join a group or read a blog. What kind of comment? You can add something that hasn't been mentioned ("Another way I've found to do that is...") or ask a question ("How would you apply that to fiction authors?"). You can agree with something that's been said ("You made a good point about...") or disagree nicely ("I understand why you say that, but in my experience..."). You can just be appreciative ("Thanks for setting up this group discussion/sharing your thoughts/etc").
This doesn't sound like marketing your books or e-books, does it? But it is, because you're getting known. Most people who read a blog post or join a discussion group read the comments as well. Often they comment on a comment (that's why a question put to the group is good, and so is answering the question someone asks). Every time you read a post or check out a discussion group and DON'T add a comment, you are wasting an opportunity.