Marketing Nonfiction: The Author As Expert

Stephanie Barko, Literary Publicist
Stephanie Barko, Literary Publicist

One of the most effective strategies for establishing yourself as an expert is to write a book that showcases your expertise.  Although becoming an author takes time and effort, being known as a published, how-to authority can set you apart as a thought leader in your field for many years to come.

While the newly diverse paths to publishing today have helped more writers become authors, there are also more books in print and greater competition for readers.  Savvy nonfiction authors accept this reality and look for ways within their marketing efforts to distinguish themselves and their material.

Nonfiction, more than any other genre, lends itself to being discovered and purchased from analytics.  While a novel is more likely to be recommended by word of mouth, a how-to book is more likely discovered through an internet search engine.

The use of search term analytics can be advantageous, but only if the author knows what to do with them.  Nonfiction authors have three analytical cards to play that will help them sell books—keywords, skill sets, and articles.

Three things nonfiction authors can do to help market their books:

1. Refresh keywords. Make it an annual event at the beginning of every year to pull up Google Adwords and retest the keywords and phrases that work with your material.  Pick the terms with the most hits and the lowest competition.  Note new terms that are rising.  Discard old ones that are losing rank.  Make a list of this year’s keywords in descending order of importance.  Use them on your website, in your blog posts, and in your articles.

2. Add skills. As LinkedIn expands and diversifies, more and more of us are finding our experts there.  Did you know that LinkedIn now allows 50 skills per profile?  As much as possible, enter your keywords and phrases into the LinkedIn skills section.

3. Place articles.   Backlinks and content are still king for gaining page rank on Google.   This means that when nonfiction authors upload a keyworded article to a website or blog, they are integrating their analytics strategy.  See if you can get an article with your latest keywords on sites that are top ranked for your best keywords.

Nonfiction authors who know their keywords and phrases, and can articulate their skills are more likely to be found.  When authors place their keywords, phrases and skills in carefully located posts and articles, they magnetize their readers to them.

Stephanie Barko, Literary Publicist promotes adult nonfiction and historical novels.  Follow her on Twitter , Facebook, GoodReads, and view client comments at LinkedIn.


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