In today's hyper-competitive bookselling environment, the one-two punch of traditional publicity and online marketing is required for success. Ask any book promotion specialist, and they'll explain how conventional media coverage and online exposure are the ways to reach target readers. If you over-rely on one without the other, you risk losing a substantial share of your potential audience. Marketing plans need to e finalized well before your book release date and require a budget to match the competition. A lucky few authors may go viral and sell thousands of books. But you can't count on it or predict it.
In the online world, it's important to focus initially on the websites where people go who are interested in books. Some are directly connected to reviewers, bloggers, media, educators, librarians, and others who need to be aware of books in their work. Direct-to-consumer outreach online is more about being diligent with your book and author pages on large bookselling websites. Benchmark against competitors, make sure your information matches theirs and explains why your book is better. Everything you post needs to be written originally. Don't borrow content from other pages.
Besides social media, every author today needs a website. Fane, reviewers, and the media expect one, and it's no longer optional. Make sure you post your picture, bio, and a page about your book. When you receive media coverage, links should be included from your site. They confer stature on you and your book and need to be gently promoted. Most authors also have blogs and post at least several times a month and when they do on social media. These places help fans, and the media find out more about you and develop a greater interest in your book. They will work together to promote it.
In the conventional book PR world, you continue to need media outreach and appearances such as book signings. They impact their original form and make excellent content for social media posts and websites. It's a way to show yourself in action and help create a buzz about your book. Since the coronavirus pandemic, there has been much greater acceptance of virtual interviews and book tours which has helped authors with time constraints or working on smaller budgets. But the fact remains that you need conventional media coverage and appear in person to promote your book.