The Goopy Ghost at Cristmas
November 2017 by V. R. Duin

BOOK PROMOTION IN
THE DIGITAL AGE

One elf asked, “Who are you?”
“I'm Goopy Ghost,” was the reply.
“I fell asleep in Santa's sack
And had a sleigh ride through the sky.”
(“The Goopy Ghost at Christmas”)

Writers must design a book writing website with constantly updated content for book promotion in the digital age, then use social media to drive visitors to that site.

For book promotion in the digital age, a book writing website can change the undefined to something defined. People are tired of mass productions. They are looking for something unique among the one billion websites and millions of books floating around in cyberspace. Unfortunately, books are not unique. It seems that everyone has self-published one or more books or is currently writing one for pending release. When everyone is doing something, nobody is impressed by it. To separate the many unknown writers from the few celebrated writers, local news media will tell self-published writers to come back, once they have a traditional publisher.

Celebrities garner quick and easy placement, because they have an established following. For book promotion in the digital age, non-celebrities harbor hope of building celebrity status for one or more book characters through their book writing websites, advertising and social media outreach activities. Writers must connect with mainstream through the uniqueness of their missions, characters, systems and most importantly, their influential connections. Nothing great ever happens in isolation. Connections are critical to success with book promotion in the digital age.

Merely trying to hawk books neither qualifies as nor works as book promotion in the digital age. People are looking for something other than books. Writers must transcend books and become a fashion, trend, culture or voice for the outside world with their book promotion. Adding the contemporary flair of a flashy book writing website to traditional book promotion, book marketing and book selling can make books attractive to technologically sophisticated consumers and search engines of the digital age. Books seem too flat and dull for consumers who are accustomed to the Web.

Regularly updated, informative articles with professional insights can help drive traffic to a book writing website. Authoritative content and appropriate keywords prompt search engines and human readers to visit and return. Eventually, the numbers and rankings earned by a newcomer's content may trigger the promotional interest and business participation of an influential individual or organization. Unknown writers can rise with these stars with carefully planned and executed book promotion in the digital age.

As technology changes, for book promotion in the digital age, writers must replace outdated and outmoded elements, such as unsupported templates and video formats. Websites define brands for the modern world. Literary agents will scrutinize a writer's Web presence, before agreeing to representation. Mainstream publishers also are influenced by the Web platform. A book writing website evolves with each new book, event and change in direction. It must be regularly updated with vibrant, new content to retain the interest of returning visitors.

Over time, writers may add multimedia, games, quizzes and other advanced technologies to draw and maintain website traffic to their book writing websites. Book promotion in the digital age is not an instant or immediate process. Anything new is considered suspect until it evolves, matures and earns respect. Authoritative, qualitative content carried keywords for websites administered by V. R. Duin to the first page of the Google Web Search Engine owned by Google Inc. The rankings of these sites soared above the competition, without paid advertising. These successes came after years of development, not days or months.

As reading falls out of favor, book promotion in the digital age must attract remaining readers and encourage reluctant readers to engage with writers and their content. The genre of a writer's books, the covers, inside illustrations, multimedia programs, videos of readings, video trailers, slide shows, excerpts and reviews should generate a constant stream of ideas for book promotion. The prospective audience to a book writing website and social media content is unlikely to be drawn by mere reflections of the published books of unknown writers.

Members of the digital age are in search of celebrated content and successful ideas that can be used to fulfill a personal purpose or with which to meet a personal goal. Today's writers must provide solid structures upon which visitors can reflect and from which they can build personal strength. Finding, supporting and sharing popular content lends a sense of power that is not present in the unknown. To share in the limelight, the 99% willingly promotes the 1%. For the 99% to rise above this ceiling, a connection with someone from the 1% often is required.

Publishing provides material to present on social media and in a book writing website. An online presence gives the 99% an opportunity to generate a following. The aim of social media posts and other Web writing should be specifically targeted to interest groups. “Shotgun” book promotion in the digital age will miss more than it hits. More hits than misses may pave the path to 1% status. Writers must work very hard and adjust approaches constantly in effort to reach the promising numbers that mainstream expects of book promotion in the digital age. Ten thousand generally is considered a “viral” following on social media.

Developing a social media following through book promotion in the digital age is very difficult. Social media site managers place “pay-to-play” ceilings on growth. These tactics greatly limit the visibility of accounts that do not pay to be seen. Additionally, the number of followers may be limited for accounts that do not pay for advertising. The backlash against data collection and ad tracking is causing followers to scale back social media presence, deactivate or completely close accounts. Social media management companies may facilitate and encourage these departures. Profit focused algorithms restrict growth of non-advertisers. Non-promoted pages may find their audiences and fans shrinking dramatically.

Across social media, paid content is prioritized and unpaid content is filtered out by algorithms and content manipulations. Social media platforms favor paid content for visibility. Active participation may encourage some growth momentum. Writers must be creative and consistent with the development of engaging, new content to win this “game.” Here are 11 Reasons Indie Authors Need Social Media (And How to Get It Right) for book promotion in the digital age. Paid advertising may not rival the development of quality website content as a lure to human and machine traffic.

Social media content should drive visitors to the book writing website for additional information. Writers should not build a book writing website that is creative but hard to navigate, or difficult to view on a mobile device. Mobile devices are increasingly used to navigate the Web. Devices of a shrinking size, with burgeoning content to explore, call for brevity of verbiage and minimization of visuals. book promotion in the digital age that is not paired with images often loses views. Persons who cannot read the source language, or who prefer to read nothing, may be drawn to the images. The numbers of visitors to a book writing website help to determine the rank of that website among the others.

Symbolic, photographic, video or verbal content that is brief, funny, flippant, ridiculous or unusual stands a better chance of being shared than material that is controversial or vulgar in nature. The development of recognizable cultural icons may lead to the establishment of a viral social “meme” for which a writer's brand can become known, followed and shared by fans as they go about their days. Book promotion in the digital age should focus on image as well as content. A 2012 National Endowment for the Arts Survey shows fewer readers are turning pages.

Increasingly, individual interaction and networking is the province of cellular phones. Voice commands are also coming into wide use for searches made om the Web. Business-to-business, intra-company and professional engagement, work and production may continue to require the additional capacity of desktop or laptop computers. Book promotion in the digital age should accommodate all search operations with all types of search devices for optimum reach.

The average social media account has about 300 followers. Agents rarely represent creative individuals with fewer than 3,000 followers on major social media sites, because the participation rate of followers in post activities tends to be low (1-2%). Should a writer's account manage to reach 10,000 followers on social media, traditional publishers may accept this number as a “ticket” into their “stable”.

A social media following offers a gauge of a writer's potential for ongoing visibility and engagement. Unknown writers may have to connect with influencers to expand their reach. Until they become known, writers rarely generate sufficient income from books to pay for book promotion in the digital age. It is expensive to use pay-per-click advertising or to purchase space i a visible location. Moreover, book visibility does not guarantee book purchases will be made.

Purchasing followers for social media accounts rarely works. The “fans” that are available for purchase, and for incorporation into social media accounts, are generally inactive “shell” accounts. The correspondingly low measure of follower interactions gives clue that the high number of followers in a social media account may be bogus. Fake followers are only helpful to those who sell them. Social media management companies are aware of and are actively deleting these fake accounts. Mainstream recognizes and respects the potential in real numbers of followers obtained through quality book promotion in the digital age.

Search Engines actively track interactions between sites and social media. Social media companies have active bots trolling the sites connected with their platforms. Societal and government forces are pushing them to remove bad actors. Old SEO “magic tricks” with metadata no longer work with the advanced learning achieved by machines. Book promotion in the digital age requires quality, authoritative content.

Information culled by machines is understood by those machines. This information is widely and freely available to humans. However, unless the content is regularly updated, of high quality production and contains authoritative links, it is not likely to appear in searches. Writers can earn a real following for creative work, but it must be presented and executed in the right way. In the process, writers will be required to write far more material for book promotion in the digital age than was written in the actual books.

3 comments

  • book promotion admin says:

    Writers—whether unpublished, self-published, or traditionally published—must be informed about, if not steeped in, the technology of book writing websites, blogs, and social media, all of which contribute to successful book promotion in the digital age.

  • book promotion in the digital age admin says:

    Writers in the digital age must understand the basics of website design, including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, graphic formats such as JPEG and PNG, as well as scripting, content management systems, web hosting, and mobile technology.

    • book writing websiteadmin says:

      Website design and social media must reflect the continuous transformations that technology is making on book readers, writers, publishers, sellers and marketers.