A few years ago, I attended a writer's workshop that was facilitated by Author, Carol D. O'Dell. She urged us to start out by Googling ourselves to see how far back we had to go before our name appeared. The goal was to eventually build up our internet presence. When I went home, I tried it and I landed on page 25. What to do?
- Do a Google search.
- Sign up for all facets of social media...Facebook, Twitter, Tumblir, Pinterest, etc. If you are already published, you may wish to create other Facebook pages to suit your needs. (I have a personal page, an Author,Jodi Sykes page, and one devoted to my book - The House on Pancake Hill.) Try to keep the personal page strictly for family and friends. That gives you creative license on your other pages, if you so choose to go that route.
- By all means, B-L-O-G! (Oh, STOP IT! I can hear the groans already!) I was diagnosed with Lymphoma in 2009 and began blogging about my experiences. My followers started saying, "This needs to be turned into a book!" so, I shut down the blog and listened to them. My book, Living La Vida (Lymphoma) was published in 2013 and I restarted my daily blog which now has over 42,905+ hits. I know this may be too much for you to handle all at once, so I promise that I will dedicate another post on the "how-to's" of blogging for you...not to worry!
- Once you've joined the various social media venues, its time to start building up your network! Go to Twitter, Facebook and Google -- do a search on anything that may pertain to your interests, goals, etc. For instance, I wrote another book, The House on Pancake Hill, which is my paranormal memoir. So, I used keywords such as "paranormal, ghosts, supernatural, ghost hunters" and started following and liking these Twitter and Facebook pages. Now they are following me. That's the beauty of social media marketing. Once you develop a friendship with like-minded people, they'll be willing to help you out, and you'll do the same for them with a re-tweet or to share their books or links on your pages.
- If you have a skill or knack for public speaking, maybe someone will invite you to be interviewed online, in public, or on radio shows. All of the opportunities I've had as a guest blogger or interviewee have come through via my contacts. If no one asks you, then by all means, reach out to them! Don't be afraid! That's what marketing is all about, dear hearts...you MUST be your own advocate and toot your own horn because NO ONE, I repeat, NO ONE is going to do it for you. There's a misconception nowadays that, if you are published the traditional way, the publishing house will handle all of your P.R....that is a BIG misconception. With the advent of e-book and indie publications on the rise, many of these publishers are hurting and don't have the time to spend on writers. (unless they happen to make the New York Times Best Seller list.) So, go forth and find digital radio shows and ask them if they'd be interested in listening to your story...the worst that can happen is they say, "No!" Then keep moving forward until you find someone who WILL let you!
Take the social media challenge...
YOU CAN DO IT!!!