How to promote your books more efficiently
Spending hours every day on promoting a book is hard work, and often counter-productive as it eats into your writing time.
Endlessly adding posts manually to social media or pumping out blog posts can help, of course, but is all this hard work effective?
The answer is probably yes, but only to some degree.
Wouldn’t it be better if you could spend less time promoting and more time writing, but still promote your books effectively?
If you agree, then read on.
There is no doubt that the Internet is the best place to promote books because books are now such an online commodity.
So it is natural that gaining exposure on social media and from Google and Bing search are the best means of letting the world know about your book.
The key to gaining market traction, however, is to work smart and not necessarily hard, to access these routes.
A little automation and much better social media scheduling will help you a lot.
How to automate your blog and online book promotion
To do this you will need a self-hosted WordPress site and a social sharing plug-in.
Most web hosting services now offer one-click installation of a self-hosted WordPress site and prices for annual web hosting are very cheap.
My host is not one of the cheapest around, but it still only costs me a little over $100 per year for hosting up to 25 websites.
You will also need a premium plug-in to automate your social media posts directly from your WordPress site.
I use Revive Old Posts, which costs $75.00, is easy to set up and use, and is very flexible. There is a free version you can try at first, but of course, it lacks the full functionality of the premium version.
I also use SNAP Social Media Poster, which is cheaper at $49.00, but it requires quite a bit of technical knowledge to set up. Again, there is a free version to try, but it is limited to only a few social media services.
Once you have your blog set up, add all the pages for each of your books, and write some blog posts about your books. You can very easily import your existing blog posts from a free WordPress site, or even import from Blogger.
Now all you need to do is set up your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts on Revive Old Post and set your posting schedule for all your promotional book pages and your existing blog posts.
If you wish to access many more social media platforms or use auto-posting of new blog posts, you can also use SNAP Social Media Poster.
I use these two plugins together on one of my blogs, and they do not conflict with each other.
To see how all this works in action, you can take a look at my personal Twitter account below, which is using this technique.
Take note that my book promotion posts are spaced out on a schedule to allow for a lot of content from my blogs in between.
My Twitter feed posts content from my website, my personal blog and from this blog.
Scheduling from Revive Old Posts or SNAP will depend on the amount of content you have. You don’t want to keep posting the same posts over and over again.
You might find that once a day on Facebook and twice a day on Twitter works for you. Or, posting a little more often on weekends could bring good results.
Create more great content to share
Automating social sharing from WordPress is quite easy, but creating great content takes more time.
The key benefits to gain from automated social sharing is to drive more traffic to your blog, which will improve your blog’s traffic and search ranking, and to gain more exposure and sales for your books.
To these ends, consider writing more evergreen blogs posts, which are much more shareable over a long period of time.
Also, don’t only have one page on your blog for each of your books. Create multiple pages and posts, so when you share there will be a greater variety of posts and pages to promote each of your titles.
As the cost of web hosting is so cheap, you could even consider having more than one website or blog. It is not unusual for authors to have separate websites for each of their books.
Sit back, relax, and write more
It will take a while for you to get your new blog and social automation set up, but once you have done so, you will have much more time to do what you really should be doing. Writing more productively on your blog and writing more books.
There will always be the debate about automation on social media.
But from my perspective, because I live in Europe and get a large proportion of my blog and social media traffic from the US, automation helps me get content out at the best time of the day.
Which just happens to be in the evening, and when I am sleeping.
I would much rather have my dinner in peace and sleep than be posting on social media.
But, keep it personal
How you use automation is up to you.
Used wisely it is a great tool and a huge time saver, but don’t become a robot and let automation replace you.
Never lose your personal touch and make sure you respond in good time to people who reply, like or comment on your automated posts.
I make sure I check my social media accounts and blogs at least three times per day and respond to every comment, with either a reply or a like click.
By doing so, you can still keep your social media feeds feeling personal, even if you respond a few hours later than you normally would.
So, automate for sure, but stay connected with your social media followers, blog commenters and of course, your readers and book buyers.