Fiction authors need to consider the unlimited options people have when they want to buy books. Years ago people had fewer options. When readers wanted to buy a book, they had to drive to a store to make the purchase. Sometimes, a person could drive to several stores in order to compare items. Along with the internet and skyrocketing gas prices, those days are almost forgotten.
Internet promotion needs to include your credibility in order to attract customers and convert their visit into a sale. In the twenty first century, many people shop online with the click of a mouse. This has changed how people view the places where they shop. So, we need to evaluate our online promotional credibility.
How to Develop Author Credibility
Author credibility is not instantaneous, but it can be built over time. Here are some suggestions to speed up the process.
Borrowing Credibility – Did you raise your eyebrow when you read that? Joint ventures are a wonderful way to “borrow” credibility. Establish a promotional partnership with a business that has established their credibility. This helps people view you in a more positive light. Even though you are working with someone else, continue to build your own credibility. Keep in mind that the opposite is also true. If you work with a questionable company, that can hurt your credibility.
Honest Communication Helps Author Promotion
Open and Honest - Let website visitors know how to find you if there are questions or problems. A woman I know said that she hid her email address to make people work for it. That is not a good way to build your credibility. If you don’t want to circulate your home address or personal email, then rent a post office box and set up a business email. The important thing is to make it possible for people to contact you. When potential readers contact you, answer their concerns and questions in a timely manner.
Policies – Does your publisher accept returns? Do you accept returns? If so, what are the requirements? These details need to be posted clearly on your website. It may be best to include it on your order page. These details can be especially important to bookstores and other retail outlets. But, posting these details is not enough, you must abide by them.
Tell Readers About The Author’s Credentials
Show Off - Do you have a long list of publishing credits? Do you have special skills and experience that make you “the perfect person” to write these stories? Include this information on your website. If you write spy thrillers and you worked in a related field, mention that. Any strong background that would apply to your books should be made known. This information about your background will increase your credibility. Share your insights and experience with your website visitors. You can also share this information on message boards and forums. When you post messages, include your website link in your signature block. Publish articles to share this information and include your name and website link at the bottom. Include links to these articles on your website so that your regular visitors can learn from your knowledge too.
Talk About Your Team - Do you work with someone else who brings special experience to the project? A wonderful example of this is the writing team of Jefferson Bass. I have to mention that I met Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson in the spring of 2006. They are very nice people and a talented writing team. Jon Jefferson has a wonderful way with words and Dr. Bass brings his knowledge as a world renowned forensic anthropology to their fiction and non fiction works. The realism in Jon’s writing and the authentic forensic details certainly add to their credibility. While not everyone has the opportunity to work with such qualified individuals, we can focus on our specific qualifications. It you earned any recognition or awards, share the details. This is your chance to brag.
Testimonials - I mention this to many people. When you have satisfied customers, ask them to write a simple testimonial. It’s always good to have other people telling your potential customers about your wonderful product and service. When these are submitted, be sure to add them to your website.
All of these things help you build credibility with customers and website visitors.
Author of the Book Promo 101 Series