Self-promotion is something relatively new to me, at least in terms of being a writer. As I head down the path of the self-published, it’s obvious that self-promotion is going to be essential to anything resembling success.
This isn’t necessarily a clear-cut path. There aren’t any guaranteed techniques. Regardless, I’m doing a few things right now to build a strong web presence and lay the groundwork going forward.
I’ve been on Twitter for a while now, mostly posting crap nobody really cares about. I’m repurposing my Twitter account to announce news and updates concerning my writing.
Facebook Fan Page
I created a Facebook “fan” page for myself, as a writer. My personal Facebook profile is private but my fan page is public. Other FB users can “like” the page allowing me to make announcements there and have them show up in fans’ activity streams.
I put together a new website devoted exclusively to my written works. This site is simple and clean, focusing on my work. Any free downloads of my work will be provided here as well as links to any self-published Kindle formatted work. Also included will be news updates and a short bio.
Journal or Blog
That’s this site, of course! This site is geared toward other writers in the same situation as me. It’s more of a companion to the traditional website; providing insight into my writing experiences.
Actually Writing Stories
Oh, and I’m actually writing too. You gotta have stories if you want to promote them.
The idea that the traditional website will provide everything I need is about ten years long in the tooth by now. The reality is that people use a combination of tools to stay connected to the things they care about. Twitter and Facebook have some real potential to drive people to my traditional website. This is where I want people to ultimately end up because this where they’ll download my work or get pointed to where they can download it.
Social networking sites aren’t really for providing my actual work for download or displaying a catalog of my work. For that I have the traditional website, brianjarrett.net. It’s simple, clean, and focuses solely on my completed works.
I think of my traditional website almost like a store. Let’s say I’m selling shoes. In this shoe store analogy Twitter and Facebook are like newspapers. I don’t actually sell my shoes in the newspaper; I just advertise there. I need people in my store.
Although I provide news and updates on the traditional site it’s not always as effective as Facebook or Twitter. Similar to hanging flyers in the store window; it’s not as effective as the newspaper.
So now what?
That remains to be seen. First, I need more work to offer. I’m currently editing some of my older stuff, the stuff I like best, and placing it on my .net site. After that, I’ll add new short stories as I finish them.
Once I have enough work completed and on the site I’ll start my spam campaign.
Actually, I’m only half-joking. If you want to sell yourself you have to behave as if you’re selling someone else. Upsell!
Horror and science fiction blogs are a place I think I’ll start. Genre fan sites maybe? To be honest I’m not exactly sure where a nobody like me starts parading their name around.
So I guess I have three very general steps I’m following:
- Create a strong web presence across multiple social media outlets.
- Promote the crap out of myself anywhere I think there might be a bite.
- Write lots of great stories, making sure they’re affordable and convenient.
Guess we’ll see how this works out.