Each time I’m faced with a new book release (or resurrecting an older release), I ponder the most effective ways of marketing my book. Over the years, I’ve learned by observing other authors and their methods.
For this blog, I’ve given a shout out to a handful of authors, mainly because a) I follow them and b) I find their marketing strategy informative and/or entertaining. There are plenty more authors who’ve proffered wonderful advice I’ve readily accepted and the authors included in this blog are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg!
The easy part is setting up a newsletter (MailChimp). The hardest part is coming up with regularly scheduled, inspiring content. I find monthly newsletters best as they keep the authors (and their books) in my mind, yet the frequency of ‘once a month’ doesn’t flood my inbox. I’ve gained readers by having a newsletter, but I also know I need to put further effort and time into sending out newsletters more often.
What to put in a newsletter? You might want to hop over to Collette Cameron’s website http://www.collettecameron.com and sign up. Her newsletters contain free e-book giveaways, free audible downloads, links to her street team, email communication and sometimes personal anecdotes. Her newsletters are a great framework for marketing and learning from.
- Facebook Launch Party
I have participated in a couple (with another one coming up at the end of the month for my latest release). For my first book, I hosted my own launch and on another occasion, I joined a group of authors promoting our anthology. For both launches, I enjoyed the process, gained readers, and had the chance to spread the word about my story/book. One author I’ve found does a fabulous job of hosting a Facebook launch is Beth Carter (www.bethcarter.com).
How to pull off a Facebook launch party? There are some things to plan ahead for a more successful book launch:
- create your launch (about 2 weeks ahead of time) and tweet and share every day leading up.
- pre-write your content and have it stored in one file so it’s easy to find on your computer (the pace can get hectic quickly).
- include graphics (as many as possible) to gain interest.
- plan your giveaways beforehand and how you plan on selecting your winner (rafflecopter, for example) and include any instructions and links for guests.
- create a timeline – for example, the first 10 minutes can be spent introducing yourself and your book and welcoming guests, followed by an excerpt of your book and the cover, etc.
- Toward the end, thank your guests and remind them of how to claim their prize – if they need to provide an email, time/location winner will be announced, etc.
Feature other authors on your blog. Okay, my hand is raised. I’m guilty of finding my blog going dark these days as I’ve focused more on writing, editing (and my day job)! But again, I think regular communication is better and while I may be in the dog house with my blog, there are several author blogs I do follow and seeing their name regularly land in my inbox means they are on my mind (and so are their books). I know most authors love a free opportunity to have their books featured and would love the chance to be on your blog. Authors, take note: shoot me a message on Facebook or send me an email (email@example.com) if you’d like to be on my blog. Likewise, I’m featuring a Facebook launch party for the release of Concealed Love on March 28, so follow me on Facebook and I’ll follow you back!
What to put in your blog? Aside from the above mentioned author interview, a blog can function similar to a newsletter and contain tips, book excerpts, personal anecdotes, announcements, and so on. I love how authors C.D. Hersh re-blog other blogs which often contain useful tips. Author Joanne Guidoccio, regularly includes cartoons (which brighten my week) and author Amy Deason offers witty movie critiques. My take away is that a blog doesn’t always have to be a brain drain, but can be light, fun and informative at the same time.
Ah, Twitter. My old friend. In the past, I tweeted daily. Then weekly. Then . . . well, it seems I need to re-visit this social media platform. Twitter is fast, easy and short. It doesn’t take a lot of time to send out a tweet. Author Steven Mitchell is a genius with Twitter (either creating a tweet or re-tweeting) and I need to refresh my Twitter feed. Twitter is great because it hits a different target audience than Facebook or your dedicated newsletter readers and the reach can be far.
What to tweet? Your book release, author interview, an image of your book cover or your favorite quote of the day, etc. Don’t forget to include those infamous hashtags #amwriting #newrelease #isn’tthisfun?
- Group Promotion
Aside from a joint Facebook launch, there are several joint promotional opportunities. What are some group promotional ideas/events?
- Market your book with a group of authors for a seasonal promotion (often linked with a specific season or holiday such as Christmas or summer, for example).
- Consider group marketing opportunities through established sites such as Night Owl Romance’s Book Club which provides your readers with digital goodie bags (think bookmarks, coaster, cards); or The Romance Review’s treasure hunts where readers can engage with authors and their books while having fun. Though these are paid promotions and generally require giveaways (such as a free e-book) there are free promotional opportunities that come up each season.
- Ensure your book in enrolled in Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Author Book Promotions
- Consider employing a Thunderclap campaign.
These methods I’ve summarized cover the basics, but if you’ve experienced effective, creative methods that have worked well for your own marketing in the past, please comment below on this blog and we can all learn from what works – and what doesn’t!