You were taught writing, not marketing, so you may be understandably confused when it’s time for you to promote your prized creation–your book. Here are five ways to get started.
You’ve written, edited, and banged your head against the wall in order to complete your book. Congrats!
Now comes the hard part: promoting and marketing. While this comes more naturally to some authors than others, these five simple strategies will help even the most hesitant author successfully publicize his or her book.
1) Spreading the Word on Facebook and Twitter
Many authors fall into the trap of misusing Facebook and Twitter as ad machines or commercials. The purpose of Facebook is to network, socialize, and build relationships. Approach your Facebook promotions with a more casual, social tone to ensure that they will be shared. Imagine you’re telling a friend about your book rather than taking out a billboard–this will help you develop a more refined approach to self promotion. Build a relationship with readers based on the themes in your book, and your readers will be more likely to share your posts with others.
Many authors find success using a client like Buffer or Hootsuite to share content across various social networking platforms. However, keep in mind content that is subtly tailored to each platform gains more traction. Do your best to avoid publishing the same posts across multiple platforms. Your followers will be able to tell if you are investing time into opening a dialogue with them.
2) Reviews: Pay or Promote?
Whether you chose to pay for reviews or take alternate methods to get your readers to write reviews for you, there’s no denying the necessity of reviews. Approximately 90 percent of online purchases start with research, so you’ll want to make sure reviews are available for curious readers to scan.
Amazon will only include a book in the “You Might Also Like” and “Also Bought” referrals once that book has received 20 reviews. If you want to purchase reviews, check out Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly. If not, check out our guide to getting the most use out of your social networks to get reviews.
3) Get Creative in Attending Events
Book signings are great, but there are actually a variety of events where you can share your book. Check event calendars for festivals, fairs, conventions and conferences that might have some tie to your book, even if the tie is minimal. Think outside the box when it comes to events. A novelist who writes about a figure skater may find success promoting her book at events that take place at ice skating rinks. Remember that events do not necessarily need to have “book” in the title to be useful to you.
4) Find Speaking Opportunities to Spread Your Reach
Locate writers’ conferences and learn more about how they organize calls for speakers at their events. After a few such events, you may find yourself in demand for future speaking commitments. Approach schools, businesses and civic organizations about speaking to their groups. Have you considered joining a speakers’ bureau? You’ll need to do your homework before signing up, but know that many organizations offer training, events, and other resources to help their speakers succeed. Locate the one that best meets your needs and sign up!
5) Make the Most of Goodreads
As an author, you need to go where the readers are. Goodreads is a network of over 30 million readers, spanning virtually all genres imaginable. Carve out your niche on Goodreads by exploring the different groups available, joining discussions and posting about your book.
Regardless of how you choose to promote your book, remember that forming a personal connection with readers is key. There is no stronger form of loyalty from readers than an emotional connection, and loyal readers are both your best form of advertising and your best asset in the long term.