When it comes to book promotion, online marketing is the way to go for authors who want to make it big. Whether they sign up with a publishing firm or go self-published, novice and struggling authors can compete alongside established authors and give them a run for their money and readers. The internet creates a level playing field for all authors who want to share their story with the world.
But authors should remind themselves that while online marketing, when done right, pays off, it is not for everyone and results may vary depending on the author or marketing specialist’s strategies, efforts, and execution. The first myth about online marketing is busted: What works for one doesn’t mean that it will work for another. One can’t just “copy and paste”. Yes, there are tried and tested online marketing strategies, but anyone who wants to apply them to his/her own business will need to tweak them first.
What are the other online marketing myths that authors should know? And what they should do instead?
- Having a website is enough.
Authors may have different ideas about having a website, but they should be clear about a certain point: a website is not the only thing that makes online marketing but is just a part of it. While an author website supports online book promotion, a number of tools and methods keep the website relevant and undated. In short, don’t just own a website – support it with regular updates and upgrades.
- More traffic (quantity) means increased sales, better results (quality).
Website traffic does not equate to website results (unless traffic, not clicks rates, sign-ups and sales, is the metric of online success for an author or marketer). Like any online entrepreneur or marketer, an author can buy web traffic (through Google Adwords or Facebook Ads), but he/she can’t ever buy connections with readers. To build genuine connections with readers and attract organic (unpaid) traffic, authors should regularly update their websites with content (blog articles, images, videos, etc.) and share them on social media.
- Online marketing is free.
No, it’s not but it happens to be the most affordable and cost-effective method of marketing, and the only one which has measurable metric and provides real-time analytical data. When it comes to time and effort, online marketing is never free. Authors need to pay experts to create and maintain their websites and social profiles and advise them on the best practices so they could just concentrate on their books. To maximize the full potentials of online marketing, prepare to pay for premium services.
- Online marketing boost sales.
Not a few authors have fallen victims to unscrupulous sales agents who make false promises of increased book sales. Online marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme, and it shouldn’t be. Success and effectiveness of online marketing in terms of sales, sign-ups, and click rates are possible only if the author or marketing specialist knows what they do and what’s to achieve – and if they offer something relevant to website visitors.
Online marketing is all about focus and relevance. It’s important for authors and their marketing specialists to sit together and discuss their strategies and goals.