4 Digital Marketing Tools Every Author Should Learn

The days when authors could expect publishers to do all their marketing are long gone, but unlike others, I think that’s a good thing. The change has forced all of us to become more independent, and have the ability to build a long term relationship with our readers.

Many authors still feel that they can farm their online marketing, as a PR and marketing firm I certainly advocate for authors to find expertise when they need it. However new digital tools and technologies, can help you save money for the day-to-day housekeeping. Learning these tools will help save you time and money and allow you more control over your brand.

  • Author Website: It’s 2018, there is no reason to wait for someone to update your website, or to pay a webmaster to make small changes. Try learning the basics of tools like WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, Weebly or of course Pub Site which is a website builder made specifically for books and authors. (Full disclosure, I am a co-founder of Pub Site). With so many options, there is bound to be one you can use yourself. Give them a try before you decide on the platform for your website. 
  • Mailing List: There are lots of options for maintaining your mailing list. Make sure you are collecting names on your website. The program I like the most is MailChimp. It offers ready-made templates and you can design newsletters using drag and drop design features. Prices start at $0 and go up based on number of subscribers. Other popular programs include Constant Contact and Emma. 
  • Social Media Management: We all manage multiple social media accounts these days. I recommend that most authors find two they enjoy and really commit to building an audience there. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the most popular tools for authors. It is really helpful to find a management tool that allows you to manage and schedule posts for all from one central dashboard. We use Hootsuite, but there are many more you can try. I am also trying one called PromoRepublic, but it’s a little expensive so I am reserving recommendation just yet. Other popular programs include: Buffer and Sprout Social.
  • Graphics: Designing graphics is a must for today’s authors, from daily social media posts, to blog and newsletter graphics to mockup of book jackets (you should get a professional to design your actual book jacket). There was a time only professional designers, who knew how to use sophisticated design programs like Photoshop and InDesign could make graphics, today there are many free programs that allow you to make professional looking graphics. Canva is my favorite, and I am also currently trying out PromoRepublic (mentioned above) because it allows me to create a graphic and schedule it in one program. 

Online marketing and building your digital brand is a huge part of being an author today. It can be daunting to learn these tools and take on more responsibilities, but it is necessary if you want to have a successful writing career. Learning these tools can streamline your marketing and help you get back to more important things — like writing your book.

If you have any thoughts to add, please join the conversation on my Facebook Author Page. Thanks

© 2018 Fauzia Burke. All Rights Reserved.