When the big five publishers want to market a book, what is the first thing they do? They begin building a brand based on the author's name because the one thing that links ALL his/her books is that author's name.
But in today's market, the indie author is not the only author with a limited budget for publicity. The newly signed author with a traditional publisher is also unlikely to rate a full page ad in the New York Times.
For all authors, there are several absolutely necessary steps to take, all of which are free.
They do take a little time if you are unfamiliar with them, so consider doing one or two steps each night for a week.
Remember, your author name is your brand. It is what any Google search for your author name will turn up. You must develop your brand though social media—and it costs you nothing.
If you intend to do anything at all, you should create a PRESS KIT folder that is easily accessible (mine is in Drop-box, but many people use Google Drive), with these documents in it, so you have them at your fingertips:
Your Author Bio: short, and professional is the key to a good bio:
Your professional photo, updated every other year or so.
Your List of Social Links (for example, these are mine):
Connie J. Jasperson Social Links and Media
I hear some of you saying you don’t like Facebook or Twitter—you don’t have anything to say. I am telling you that it requires very little work if you use some common sense. I use a service called Hootsuite to preschedule tweets I have made ahead. I have a document with premade tweets I can easily change up so the page doesn’t get stale, and I copy and paste them into the schedule using the Hootsuite scheduling function. You can also use it to preschedule posts to your author FB page, or to Instagram, or Linked-in. I spend about fifteen minutes on Sunday scheduling tweets because I have many things that post automatically to update my other social media accounts.
Keep your tweets and your Facebook posts light, and keep them short. This is where you let your prospective fans know what is going on with your work, and connect with prospective readers. For this reason, I suggest you make your pages look as professional as possible, with a good, not-too-busy banner. If you are a graphic designer, you will have no problem, but even a person who isn’t photoshop-savvy can make a simple, professional banner by sourcing inexpensive art work through the many Royalty-Free art suppliers. I use Creative Commons (free), or Can Stock and Dreamstime for good, pocket-friendly art that is legal for the use you intend. (Remember, they all have licenses, and you need to be able to prove you have paid to use that image, or it is in the Public Domain or Creative Commons. Also, you need to attribute it according to the terms of the license.)
On Facebook, occasionally post about things you are doing, such as word-count on a current project, the projected date of publication for the new novel, these sorts of things. Also, post
Because I have taken these steps, this is what anyone who searches the internet for my author name will see:
My author name is my brand. I am gradually building a fan base (slowly, but steadily) and anyone who is curious can easily find information about where to buy my books.
Connie J. Jasperson is an author and blogger and can be found blogging regularly at Life in the Realm of Fantasy.
Branding Irons Public Domain, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Branding irons-Dutch K, c, and k.jpeg
Screenshot 02-11-2017, © Connie J. Jasperson, All Rights Reserved