We had the pleasure of meeting Bob Manion when we made a presentation on book marketing at the Spokane Authors & Self-Publishers meeting in April. Both highly interesting and very amusing, Bob has been a joy to work with. Having self-published 5 books already and with another handful nearly completed, Bob is a prolific writer but he needed help building his Web presence. He owned a domain name but had no website, he was uncomfortable navigating Facebook, and his author page on Amazon.com was empty except for two of his books. After our consultation, we determined that we needed to start with the essentials: a professional author photo, new author website, and polished Facebook and Amazon author pages. That would set the baseline for his brand, and any future print promotions could draw inspiration from the look of the Web elements.
Despite his protests preceding the session that he doesn’t photograph well, Bob had fun on the shoot and we captured some great photos, which he narrowed down to his two favorites.
For Bob’s website, we decided to set him up with a WordPress site rather than building one from scratch. We found a great theme to meet Bob’s needs and budget called Author Theme, by OriginalThemes, and implemented all of the site content for him, including his new photos and a custom logo. When discussing “brand” with Bob at his consultation, his inner cowboy revealed himself, and Bob showed me his brand: a quickly scribbled B that when turned also looks like a M with a strike through. He still gets a chuckle from his initials, so we had to include the BM brand in his new branding. It’s also the favicon for his website.
Since most of Bob’s book sales will presumably be through amazon.com, we wanted to make sure that his author page is as strong as it can be. Through Amazon’s Author Central we were able to add Bob’s missing book, add his author photos and bio, as well as sync his website’s blog so that new posts automatically display on his Amazon author page, too.
For Facebook, we discussed the pros and cons of maintaining an author page in addition to his personal profile and he decided to go for it. We updated the graphics for both and added his bio and linked to his website. Most importantly, we spent some time training Bob how to use his new Web tools so that he can post blogs, share them on Facebook, and engage with his readers effectively.