Building digital connections

Your online presence is no longer a case of ‘build it and they will come’. You have to actively seek out important people and give them a reason — and a way — to connect to you. In this section, we’ll look at how — and where — you can find the right people to connect to.

Where do you find them

ConnectionsYou need to start with an understanding of your target market and start building connections within it. Your online connections are the lifeblood of ebook marketing. There are two types:

  • Readers
  • People who influence what readers buy

For books and traditional marketing, the main influencers are professionals: booksellers and the ‘old media’ journalists and book reviewers in newspapers, magazines, TV, and radio.

For ebooks, they’re likely to be part-time and unpaid bloggers or social networkers.

Building your network: Connecting to ebook readers and influencers

Your goal is to build an online network of people who want to connect to you and hear from you.

This means you need:

  • Something worthwhile to offer them
  • Ways for them to connect to you

There are three ways to achieve this that are at the core of most successful author-driven marketing and will be key elements in most publishers’ campaigns:

  • Blogging. Blogs make it easy to write regularly, to share what you’ve written, and for people interested in you to connect.
    • For publishers and authors, it can help establish authority and profile in a niche.
    • For an author, individual book or series, or smaller publishers, it can also serve as their main website. Thanks to great blogging software, it’s also easy and free.
  • Email. Permission-based email marketing (that is, where email subscribers ‘opt in’ to receive emails from you) remains the most effective way to sell directly online — especially for non-fiction and related products and services.
  • Social networks. Social networks, especially Facebook and Twitter, provide a simple yet powerful way for you to make connections with people you value, and for others to connect to you. You should open a free account with at least one of these networks.

Getting started: Influence the influencers

Here’s the best way to get started: Start small. Small in number, but big in influence.

Influence the influencers

While your ultimate goal might be to connect to thousands or even hundreds of thousands of potential readers, the quickest way to reach this goal is to first connect to the people who influence what readers like and buy. This gives you a multiplier effect.

The good news is that finding and connecting to these important people is now very easy, thanks to social media.

So your mission?

  1. Scour the internet and find the most influential people and sites in your target market
  2. Add them to your digital marketing network
  3. Encourage them to promote your ebooks to their networks

In the following sections, we’ll show you some tools and techniques to do this.


Find out more about this topic on our Digital Publishing 101 useful resources site.


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