Spending hours every day promoting a book in real-time is hard work and very time-consuming. It is often counter-productive as it eats into your writing time.
Endlessly adding posts manually to your social networks 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 save a lot of time on the repetitive tasks involved in promoting, and spend more time writing, but still have your books promoted effectively?
If you think so, then read on.
There is no doubt that the Internet and social media marketing are the best ways to market your books because they are now such an everyday online commodity.
So it is natural that gaining exposure on social media and Google and Bing search are the best means of letting the world know about your book.
The key to gaining market traction and sell your book, however, is to work smart and not necessarily hard, to access these routes.
A little automation and much better social media sharing and scheduling will help you plan a better marketing strategy and be a better social media manager.
To do this, you will need a self-hosted WordPress site and a social sharing plug-in to start sharing social media content.
Most web hosting services now offer one-click installation of a self-hosted WordPress site and prices for annual web hosting are very cheap. You could look at Bluehost as a good option for a hosting provider.
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 WordPress plug-in that will become your auto social media posting schedule manager to post your book and related content to your social media accounts directly from your WordPress site.
The following two plugins are popular with content marketers, especially for evergreen content.
I use Revive Old Posts, which 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, 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 post to only a few social media services automatically.
Once you have your blog set up, add all the pages for each of your books. Then 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 page, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts on Revive Old Post or SNAP.
Then set your schedule your social posting of all your promotional book pages, your existing blog posts and perhaps your book trailers.
If you want to access many more social media platforms or automatically post your new blog posts from your site’s RSS feed, you should consider using 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, which is using this technique for sharing content.
Take note that my book promotion posts are spaced out on a schedule to allow for a lot of quality content from my blogs in between.
My Twitter feed posts content from my website, my personal blog and 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 and your book cover 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 on your social media channels could bring good results. You can also set a time to post, so you could select evenings or late afternoon.
Using social media automation tools and setting your social media activity 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. Once you set it up, it is far less time consuming than email marketing.
To these ends, consider writing more evergreen blogs posts, which are much more shareable types of content over a long period of time.
Also, don’t have only 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 on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.
The cost of top quality web hosting is not expensive now. WP Engine is one of the best for WordPress sites.
So you could even consider having more than one website or blog. It is not unusual for authors who look at self-publishing as a small business venture, 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 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 about my free books on social media.
But, keep it personal
How you use automation is up to you. But don’t forget about your social listening.
If you use it wisely, automation 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. And especially online contacts who tell you that they have read your book.
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 at least 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 usually would.
So, automate for sure, but stay connected with your social media followers, blog commenters and of course, your readers and book buyers.
I started my working life as a lithographer and spent over 30 years in the printing and publishing business.
Originally from Australia, I moved to Switzerland 20 years ago. My days are spent teaching English, writing and wrestling with technology while enjoying my glorious view of Lake Geneva and the Alps.
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