I’m thrilled to include a guest post this week from Angela J. Ford, marketing and book launch specialist. Angela is an author who’s followed these strategies, and she knows her stuff. I’m so glad she offered to share these book marketing tips with us! Her new course, "How to Plan a Book Launch," is worth a look if you’re launching a book soon (like I am!).
Congratulations - you published a book! Now that the excitement is dying away, it’s time to focus on marketing it and keeping the book buzz strong. The question is, what should you be doing to spread the word about your book?
Now, writing may be your strong suit, and it’s likely marketing isn’t. No worries, here are the steps you can take to ensure you’re marketing your book every single day, and still reaching a new audience. Because let’s face it, your family and your best friends have already heard about your book a zillion times, you want to reach people who haven’t heard about your book, well, like, ever!
Go on a Blog Tour
What’s a blog tour? It’s like a virtual book tour where several book bloggers write about and promote your book. While there are some sites that offer blog tours, you can also do all the research and planning yourself. In fact, you could get more quality readers if you do plan it yourself. Here’s what you need to do:
- Make a list of all the sites you’d like to promote your book or do a guest blog post about your work.
- Contact the blogger with your pitch and the date you’d like the blog post to go live.
- Offer to do a giveaway or provide them a free copy of the book if you’d like them to read and review it.
- Offer to do a guest blog about the book or a character interview so they simply have to post it, instead of doing all the work.
After the release of my novel I went on a month-long blog tour. This helped keep the book buzz strong because others were constantly talking about my book, the search engine optimization was fantastic, and my sales rank on Amazon stayed high because people were constantly checking it out.
Make the Ebook Free and Promote it on Freebooksy
“Wait a second, a free book giveaway? Excuse me, I’m trying to make money over here!”
I know. I know. But hear me out.
I did a free book promotion that resulted in 30 sales, plus I made back the $100 I spent on promoting it. Here’s why you should do this -
When you make your book free on Amazon, you immediately get all the people who hunt for sales and deals, downloading your book. Yep, you get all the cheapos. But you also get the people who haven’t heard of your book, are seeing it for the first time and are genuinely interested in it.
When you pay a company like Freebooksy to promote your free ebook for you, they shoot a message out to their massive email list. You should see downloads like crazy, which helps your sales rank and your book’s visibility. Then, when your book isn’t free anymore, since you gave it a boost, people will still buy it.
Set up a Giveaway on Goodreads
As a reader, Goodreads is one of my favorite sites. If there’s a book to be read, it’s on my Goodreads list. There’s a dedicated fan base of readers and authors on Goodreads, and if you haven’t done so already, create your author profile and claim your books. From there, you can take your paperback and create a Goodreads Giveaway.
So far I’ve done two giveaways, and each time over 700 people entered the giveaway. It introduces your book to a new audience and often times they add the book to their reading list as well. Could you stand to reach an additional 700 people?
Join a Facebook Group Dedicated to Readers
The goal of social media is to build relationships with others, which is why you need to be intentional about what you do on social media. It doesn’t have to be a huge time waster. In fact, if you need to, set a timer and dive in for 15 minutes, twice a day. Here are a few things to keep in mind when joining a Facebook group for authors and readers -
- Make sure people in the group are actually engaged. You can tell when a great is essentially dead because there will only be one or two people posting and carrying the conversation.
- The group has weekly or daily themes that encourage support, promos, and sharing each other’s work. Awesome groups have themes. Whether it’s Writing Wednesday or Promo Friday, themes help you know when to promote your book, or just be supportive and keep others accountable.
Don’t Leave the House Without Book Swag
Recently I was at the bar with one of my business besties, taking a break from the hustle to have girl talk. A party came in and sat down next to us, and we ended up chatting about work, life, and what we did for fun. When I told them I write fantasy novels, they asked where they could find it. I whipped out my bookmarks and passed them out. As a result, one guy even bought the paperback version of my novel from Amazon while I was sitting right there!
A book sale is a book sale, so make sure you always carry something you can hand out to others. Bookmarks, like business cards, are easy to carry and easy to hand out. I recommend including the name of the book, website, and maybe even a review or two if you have the space.
Set up an Interactive Quiz or Game on Your Website
Ever found yourself on BuzzFeed for hours, taking quizzes and discovering which Disney character you’re most like? (If you haven’t discovered BuzzFeed yet, I apologize in advance.) Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, you can still put together a quiz to give readers a preview of what they can find in the book.
During the release of my novel, The Five Warriors, I put together a brief quiz: Which of The Five Warriors are you? People took it and shared their answer on social media. It is also a fun way to keep people engaged during virtual book events.
Need a tool to help you create quizzes? Check out Qzzr.
Join Local Author Groups and Get Involved in Their Events
I currently reside in Nashville, Tennessee, and in spring 2016, I was able to read a selection from my novel out loud at Barnes and Noble. As an indie author, that was a fantastic achievement. How did that happen?
Have you heard of Meetup.com? It’s a site to connect locals with each other so they can connect and do what they do best. I joined the writer’s meetup and started attending their bi-weekly and monthly events. This gave me the opportunity to meet other local authors and take advantage of the events the group put on in the Nashville community.
What happens in your local community? If there isn’t a scheduled Meetup, go to your local bookstores or library and take a look at the upcoming events. Go to them, get involved, and meet people who can help share your book with a new audience!
What tips will you use to help your book reach a new audience?
About the Author
Angela J. Ford is the author of the The Four Worlds Series and a digital marketing strategist. She’s passionate about helping authors and bloggers do more work they love by helping them with marketing. You’re most likely to find her with her nose in a book and a cup of coffee in hand.