There’s no doubt about the fact that the publishing world has changed a lot in the past decade. From the shift to the e-book to the fact that taking the self-publishing route is no longer frowned upon, it seems that nowadays publishing a book is easier than ever. Yet, the most difficult thing seems to be finding readers.
How you go about promoting your book? Do you have to be a social media specialist? A PR expert?
The answer to that question is simple: as long as you are willing to try new things and learn and adapt along the way, you’ll do just fine. As a matter of fact, you can successfully promote your book with a minimum financial effort.
Here are seven ideas on how to promote your book.
1. An author website/blog
This is the most essential part if you want to reach your audience. It only takes a couple minutes to set up a new blog. Buy a domain, for the sake of appearing like a professional and because they come as cheap as possible.
Whether a static website that works like a showcase for your books or a blog on which you actively post, you need to add a page on which potential readers can find out as much as possible about you and your books. A bio, reviews, excerpts, blurbs, and all that stuff. Also, links to all the online retailers where the books can be found.
The idea is that the page you create for your book on your website should contain the most information possible on the web, so it acts as a sort of central hub. The mothership.
2. A Facebook Page
Sorry to break it to you, but if you’re not on Facebook, it’s almost as if you don’t exist. Of course, it’s not necessary to have a page for every single one of your books, but it’s helpful if you have an author page.
You need to post on a constant basis. What? Cover photos, artwork related to your books, reviews, links, videos, quotes from your books. Stuff that can be shared, liked, and commented on. You know, stuff that can engage other people.
What does constantly mean? It’s not as often as you’d think. Updating the page once every day should prove enough, if you do it for a long period of time.
Of course, as everything in this day and age, the more time you invest in your page, the more people you’ll reach.
You can also purchase some ads, which can prove useful especially in the beginning, when you need a bit of support.
Also, a Twitter account. Or an Instagram. Or both.
The idea is that each social media platform acts as a different avenue for potential readers. The more social media accounts, the easier it is for potential readers to find out about you.
3. A Trailer.
Yeah, you read that right. Not only big budget movies use trailers to market books. You can create a trailer for your book with a minimum investment.
Facebook tends to promote videos over other types of media, so a video trailer can help you reach more people.
Try to keep it short and sweet. Under two minutes. Just enough so potential readers can figure out what your book is all about and make them curious to find out more.
4. Send your book to bloggers.
We live in the age when tech youtubers are being invited to the launch events for tech products. They are the press now. Same goes for books.
Book bloggers are the kind of people who can do wonders for your book.
Of course, it’s best to do a bit of research before sending your book out to a blogger. Spend some time on their blog, trying to figure out if your book is their cup of tea, and read the guidelines they have posted. You don’t want to spam people.
How many people should you reach out to? As many as you can. The more reviews, the better.
How do you go about finding book bloggers? Google is your friend. And after you find a few, you can find more in their respective blogrolls.
5. A book launch
Try to be as creative as possible. The classic book launch hosted in a bookstore is boring. Do something different. Invite more people to speak about your book, or try a debate on a certain subject related to your book. Pick an interesting venue.
Oh, and you should hire a photographer. You can get great promo photos from such an event.
This is like heaven for book readers. You need an author profile there, you need to edit the info of your books to make them as complete as possible.
Remember the book bloggers we talked about earlier? Well, it’s a good idea to politely ask them to also post their reviews on Goodreads. Having a decent number of ratings and reviews will help you find more readers.
7. Host giveaways.
Who doesn’t like free stuff? Anyone? Hello?
Yeah. Host giveaways in which you offer signed copies of your book.
Bonus: the story behind the book.
This is the trickiest part of all. The thing goes like this: people are fascinated by the story behind the book maybe even more than the book itself.
There’s no such thing as bad publicity.
Why did you write that book? What happened?
Make it spicy. Try not to overdue it though.
Why did you write your book? Did it save you from doing something bad? Did you find some controversial documents in an attic? What happened?
Trust me, people like to read about stuff like that.