by Carole Brown
There are two ways to look at promoting books.
Both are valuable. Both are necessary to progress as a writer. Only you, as a writer, can determine which you’ll need/want at different times in your promotional periods.
Best ideas to gaining readers and buyers:
- Capture readers’ attention with your blog posts. Quirky, Eye-catching titles, opening sentences/paragraphs, follow-through information guarantees interest. Some of my posts has experienced the attention, and I do believe the titles have much to do with it. If I follow through with the rest it cinches the interest.
- Spark interest w/attention-grabbing memes and videos. Nowadays, the attention span of readers wanders if they hit boring information. BUT they love these visual instruments that are well developed and interesting. That draws the eyes.
- Well targeted and planned ads that inform and engage with as wide an audience as possible. Always study what marketers are saying. Study others ads. Are they doing well? Sometimes it’s necessary to experiment. Don’t get discouraged if your first one fails to deliver outstanding sales. There’s a learning curve so keep at it until you’ve hit on the right way, the right place, and the best way to ad for YOU.
I want to say here: some will say they have no money for advertising. That’s okay. I’ve been there. But I’ve also learned that if I can’t catch the fish (so to speak) in one way, then I’m determined to do what I CAN do. Remember YOU and your book needs to be discoverable.
- Join writing groups. No I don’t participate all the time, and sometimes no time. But they can be valuable to keep your name and your books in front of readers’ eyes. Don’t scorn at the thought. Being discoverable is very important to your books sale-ability.
- Participate in Facebook author parties. I’ve been on at least two so far this year and planning one more this month with six other author friends to promote my WWII Spies series book one: With Music in Their Hearts. Remember, you don’t always have to giveaway tons of books. Other items that pertain to your book are fabulous gifts that readers love. For With Music in Their Hearts’ first promotion, I used an older “diamond” studded pin, puzzles, sweetheart chests, etc. as gifts. I had a lot of people attend and lots of interest going around! Also, plan ahead what you’re going to say. I like to have a prepared document w/many items ready to copy and paste. Toward the end share your social and book information too.
- On your blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., share tidbits of your book, your progress in writing it, why you wrote it, a recipe or pattern or something else that will catch attention. Offer small rewards off and on. Don’t throw “buy my book” comments outward too often. Let them get a feel of your book, show them what they’re missing, and they won’t be able to resist!
More on how to make your books discoverable on the next point.
- Invest the time in making your books discoverable on book retailer sites. Play around with keywords, descriptions and price for your books on Amazon and other retail sites. What words are used with other books in your genre? What makes them stand out? Make sure you have a beautiful (and I don’t mean just romantically) and interesting cover. That’s the first thing readers will see. Some check the back covers to read the book blurb. Write the best you can, get help, critics to look over yours before it goes to print. The first chapter needs to draw in your reader, so hone that baby till it’s as perfect as you can make it. Add videos. Encourage people to follow you so they will be notified when you have a new book out.
- Invest money in online promotion. (Again, even inexpensive ones give you some exposure).
- Keep track of what works for you and what doesn’t, and remember, that sometimes you might have to try a certain promotion or ad more than once to see results or realize it’s not working at this time.
- Hopefully, before your book’s published, you will be a member of your chosen social media sites. Start your newsletter, decide how often you’ll put it out, and even though your book may not be out yet, give subscribers a glimpse of your writing life, how the writing is going, tidbits of your book, and when the cover is ready, a preview of it. Ask for opinions, offer rewards for being a subscriber, and encourage them to stay with you by keeping them up-to-date on your progress.
- Find what avenues of advertising that you can afford and use as many as you can. I suggest once a month do something special for your book, or if you have many, alternate between books. It’s ALWAYS profitable! In different ways, but still profitable.
- Study and keep track of what others use as promotional means. Sometimes, many of them will offer promotions at a discount. Even if you can’t use it now, and it’s allowed, sign up and plan on the date when you can use it. Good author stewardship.
Okay, Now I’m going to share a few places I’ve used and maybe a very few I haven’t tried yet, but plan to in the future. Remember, it’s not always easy to get accepted into their promotional services, so follow their rules and be as pliable as you can. Here goes:
- Bookbub. Yes, it’s VERY expensive. Most writers I’ve heard, say they get their investment back and profit from it, lots of downloads, and good results. But do your homework. Realize the costs. Calculate all you need to do to try to get accepted by Bookbub.
- Ryan Zee. I definitely plan to use this soon.
- ENT. That’s E-Reader News Today. They are great and considerably cheaper. But, again, you don’t always get accepted.
- Ask David is a Twitter service that’s fairly cheap, but seems to produce good results. Check it out.
- I’ve heard good things about Book Funnel, but haven’t tried them or even checked them out yet.
- Amazon ads and promotion. Supposedly a good thing. Again, I haven’t used them yet, but plan to in the near future as soon as I have time.
- Keiki Hendrix (Vessel Project), Paige Boggs (google) and Celebrate Lit (Check out Facebook) are good avenues to use for advertising and promotions.
- Free Kindle Books and Tips (Michael Gallagher) is a good one to try. He has some requirements so check them out.
- Books Butterfly, Books Daily (but keep your eye on it to make sure it’s what you want and that you realize additional costs for extra items), Robin Reads. There are tons more, some that give more results.
- Don’t ignore your fellow writers. They can be valuable sources of spreading the word about your book(s). Interviews, blog posts, and simple promotional times help. Endorsements from those YOU’ve helped give an extra touch of sale-ability to them too.
I’ve done a lot of promoting and studying on the different methods of promoting and haven’t touched some avenues yet. I’ve mentioned only a small portion of possibilities. I’ve tried to keep lists of every method I’ve heard of. It’s a good way to pick and choose what you want to try. You’ll soon find what works best for you and your books.
Do Book Promotions work? Yes,
Why? Because once you have these ideas set up, you can count on them to work 24/7 for you, without you doing much else.