Imagine your dream of becoming a best-selling author coming true. A publisher accepts your manuscript. Your story becomes available for purchase, and boom! It goes viral! Everybody wants to read it, and anyone who’s anyone in the writing and publishing industry wants to talk to you! Podcasters want to invite you on their programs. The New York Times wants an interview. Readers want to know if you will sign their book.
There’s only one problem. You failed to build an online presence before you were published, so no one knows how to contact you. You essentially “don’t exist” online. You might be one of many new writers who think “there’s no point” in establishing an online presence when you have not yet published a book. Not true! In fact, the greater of a following you build before becoming a prolific author, the easier it will be to market your books.
5 ways to build an online presence, even before your book is published
If a publisher accepts your manuscript, your book could be available for sale within nine months, although it often takes longer. Regardless the exact time table, as you wait for your book to hit the stands, you’ll want to be active online, increasing a following and building anticipation in your target audience. Here are five ways that you can start to establish a strong online presence:
- Create a website and sync it to a blog. Consider investing in quality web development services to optimize SEO and conversions, and choose your domain wisely.
- Establish a brand that is recognizable across all platforms, using a logo, color scheme and other consistent strategies to become familiar to your target audience.
- Open accounts on all major social media platforms, and make sure settings are “public” not “private.”
- Start building an email list of contacts who would like to receive updates, info, discounts and details about your writing journey.
- Incorporate paid ads on your sites to grow visibility.
Each of these strategies takes time and effort to build a strong and high-quality online presence. If you’re able to do so, you can hire out certain tasks, such as building a website or creating blog content, so that you aren’t trying to handle every task yourself.
Strong online presence means you’ll be ready when your book hits the big time
There’s no way to predict with 100% certainty which books will be best-sellers or middle-of-the-road successes. If you’re serious about building a successful writing career, however, you’ll treat every one of your projects as though it has the potential to be a best-selling novel. There’s a saying about farmers preparing their fields for rain. So, too, must you, as an author, prepare ahead of time for success.
By implementing the five tips mentioned in this post, you can start building an online presence, even before you submit a manuscript to a publisher. Like a farmer who prepares a field for rain, you will be ready when the offers start rolling in and readers want to connect with you online!