On Saturday 8th June, Romance writer Cassandra Dean
guided workshop members through several steps to successfully market and promote one’s book (and create a personal brand) online. Class members learned that the most important tool in online marketing is a personal and professional website. Authors must try to strike a balance between helping potential readers to feel as though they are having a personal interaction with the author, and maintaining a professional distance. Next on the list was blogs: how to create them, what authors might write about and most importantly, how to get potential readers interested. Using her own website and blog as an example, Cassandra took participants through the essential components of an author website.
Cassandra also helped the workshop participants understand the importance (and great variety) of social media sites authors can choose to be involved in: facebook, twitter, goodreads, tumblr, pinterst, to name a few. The rest of the workshop led participants through online marketing tools, from securing book reviews on relevant blogs and websites to options for purchasing online promotion. The point of all these online marketing tools, Cassandra explained, was to make potential readers feel as though they are connecting with you, and not as though you are only trying to sell them something.
The class was duly overwhelmed by these many avenues for online promotion and the time it would take to pursue these tactics. Throughout the workshop, Cassandra crucially reminded participants that they should only get involved in what they felt comfortable with and enjoyed doing. A veteran at online promotion herself, Cassandra enjoys sharing and updating on her very professional website and through all the social media channels. She’s been working on her website and personal brand (as well as her romance novels) for over five years. Another excellent piece of advice from Cassandra: copy authors who you think are good at promotion by using elements from their websites, and learning from how they interact on facebook and twitter.