In the last two months I’ve been very busy with marketing my new a course in miracles and I’ve learned so much by being indie (a self-published author who works fully independently and is a do-it-yourself person) that I wanted to share my knowledge with other authors to help them achieve success.
As a solopreneur and a business-woman who’s used to making things happen for herself, I have been working on setting up all the essential marketing tools for this book on my own. Everything – from buying a domain name and hosting to developing website’s headers, footers, pages, and looks, to setting a Facebook page, a Twitter account, Goodreads profile and a giveaway, linking all these together and making it look pretty, while creating a video script to produce a book trailer and actually finding an affordable producer – I’ve done it all just by myself.
Frankly, it’s been not easy by any means. So, I thought to myself: “Why not write an article about how I have accomplished all this, and dedicate it to self-published authors?” Here you go – you’re reading it now.
A website. The website for your book is aimed to serve as book’s landing page and contain the info that your potential readers and media may need: the book’s cover, the intro to your book, author’s bio and photo, samples of media appearances, a book trailer, endorsements for your book from readers, sign-up box for your potential readers, and the like. START WITH A CATCHY AND EASY TO REMEMBER DOMAIN NAME! To create my website, I went to GoDaddy and started trying different domain names that were popping up in my head. The actual name of my book contains too many words, so, obviously, this wasn’t an option for a domain name. I came up with a nick name for my book, tried SMARTgoalsBook, and it was available. I purchased hosting from GoDaddy for one year for $75 as well as the domain name for three years for $51 after some discounts, for which I received special discount codes via e-mail a few weeks before that. I did not purchase any additional pages – just one page that comes with a basic package. I didn’t pay for any website building tools either. Instead, I installed the WordPress app, which is free and has no page limits whatsoever. Installing the WordPress app took a few minutes and then a few minutes more to wait for a confirmation. Once that was done, I was able to login and start building my website.
First, I had to set up a theme. I tried a few, searching for something orange, clear, contemporary and good-looking – something that would look good on a mobile device it’s being viewed on. I chose the “Black and Orange” WordPress theme. I didn’t like a few things about it though, such as a Search box in a header. So, I opened Appearance/ Editor / Header on the right side, and it showed me the code. I had no clue how to work with HTML code, so I copied all of it into a safe place and started playing with it on the Editor page, saving and checking it out. I got the Search box out! Next step was to edit a footer, where it originally stated who developed the theme, etc, but I wanted it to say “© Current Year My Name and My Company, LLC My Company Website My Phone Number My Email Address” You will want to customize your footer as well – it’s a free branding and gives you credibility; it also shows that your website is professionally done. So, I did what I described before. Appearance / Editor / Footer on the right side, and it showed me the code. I copied all of it into a safe place and started playing with it on the Editor page, saving and checking it out. I got my copyright message in! For pages to appear the way I wanted in a certain order, I created a menu for pages under Appearance / Menus. Of course, your website’s name and tagline can be edited under Settings / General, unless you have a customized banner like I do – then, you won’t need these. Just play with it, save and see, if you like the look. Patience and time investment will pay off – I promise.
Social Media. Social networks are your free marketing tools and your opportunity to engage with your current and potential readers and clients. Definitely use them! I created a Facebook page for Turn Your Dreams and Wants into Achievable SMART Goals! in just a few minutes. You do need to have a Facebook profile first though. Facebook tools are free. To promote my book’s Facebook page, I went to Build Audience / Invite Friends and invited all of my current friends from my personal profile, 10 at a time. Then, I invited everyone on my Constant Contact list by exporting the contacts from Constant Contact to a separate file and uploading it to my Facebook page. Then, I also invited my Skype contacts. Next, I created a Twitter account for my book. It’s free as well. I added the Facebook page to my Hootsuite social media manager (another great FREE tool) and pre-sceduled once-a-day posts for a month or so. After that, I set my Facebook posts to go directly to Twitter. The hardest part was to create a Twitter tab for my Facebook page, which means that my tweets would show up on a separate tab of my Facebook page for the book. As a solopreneur, I like free everything, so I kept looking for another free tool and ended up using this one: It literally guides you on how to configure it for your taste – you can change colors of the actual tab, its links, the number of tweets shown, etc. This is a great tool to show your audience that you have a wide online presence.