Your Online Guide for 2014

Want to make some changes this year? Start by picking up The Independent Publisher: How to Build and Promote Your Bestselling Book. There is an entire section of the book devoted to all things digital—social media, websites, selling direct to consumers, and more. Peter Winnick, founder and CEO of Thought Leadership Leverage, says, “It’s about time that someone with such a thorough understanding of the independent publishing world wrote a book like this. Because of The Independent Publisher, new and published authors will have a more complete understanding of how to be a successful self-publisher. If you’ve written a book or are thinking of writing a book, you must read this book!”

You can learn more about the book here.


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New Year, New Strategies

Making the Most of Digital, Mobile, and Online Technology

If you haven’t already jumped on the digital bandwagon, now is the time. Start the year off fresh with new tactics to get yourself noticed in our increasingly technological world. While we all hope and believe print books will be around for centuries to come, we in the publishing industry need to face facts—if you’re not online, you’re incredibly challenged when it comes to sales and exposure. We’ve outlined a few simple steps to beef up your digi and e presence to make your books—whether self-published or published traditionally—do even better in 2014.


Step 1: Build a Website

Check out this month’s article, “Your Website 101” to learn more about why you need a website, how to create one, and what it can do for you. Keep in mind that although authors and small publishers might not get huge amounts of traffic and sales through their websites, it’s still important to have one out there. Websites are a great way to connect to readers, booksellers, and other authors, and are relatively low maintenance once you’ve created your site.


Step 2: Find Your Social Media Niche

Do you write best in short, funny quips? Twitter is calling your name. Are you a bit more long winded? Go for a blog. Only incredibly famous authors can be on all social media sites at once, and that’s because they have an entire publishing team behind them. Focus on which platform suits you and your books best. For a look at how to be most effective on social media, check out these articles:

Facebook 101: Using Facebook to Promote Your Book

To Tweet or Not to Tweet

The Author’s Guide to Twitter

From Blog to Book

Building a Social Media Platform


Step 3: Expand into New Markets

Get yourself noticed in new ways on the Internet with the tips below.

· E-BOOKS. (Yes, all caps.) If you don’t have an e-book version of your book or you’re a publisher without an e-book program in place, make sure you tackle that goal in 2014. According to Pew Research Center data, roughly 103 million people in the US own e-readers or tablets. And we all know how well e-books do on Amazon. Independent Publisher can help you learn more about the pros and cons of e-books, how to price your books, success stories of e-book bestsellers, digital lending, and more.

· Go viral. Market your book with an enticing book trailer, or create original video content that ties into your book.

· If you have a lot of information to share, try podcasts. Audio can be just as much fun as video!

· Get into the mobile app market. Apps are growing like crazy, and books have an important place in there. Millions of smartphone users read on their devices, and you can create related products to build buzz about your books. Read more about book apps here, and check out our article on how children’s books apps may be the wave of the future.

· Join an online reading and writing community such as Goodreads or Wattpad. Connect with other authors and find new outlets for your content. For more info, read up on IP’s article “Online Communities for Fun and Profit.”


Step Four: Learn More

Dig deeper into the technological world by attending events such as Digital Book World (January 13th-15th in NYC) or reading up on digital marketing, SEO strategies, and social media tips. If you happen to live in a big enough city, you’re likely to find seminars or courses about digital success that you can use to promote your book or company. Another great place for all things tech is our monthly Tech Desk column.


Step Five: Always Put Your Best Foot Forward

No matter what you plan to do in 2014, always give it your best shot. Don’t waste your time (or that of your readers) by keeping a blog for three weeks and then letting it go by the wayside. Commit to any new digital projects, and follow them to fruition. If you give each venture your all, you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish this year.



Jillian Bergsma Manning is a contributing editor for Independent Publisher. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in English. She welcomes any questions or comments on her articles at jbergsma (at) Follow her at @LillianJaine.