Hi all, due to the success of '18 steps to a successful book marketing campaign' and authors/writers asking for me to write a part 2, I have decided to do just that. I hope you enjoy! Feel free to comment with any subject matters in the publishing/writing industry you'd like me to blog. I always strive to help fellow authors/writers in any way I can.
Okay, so to start off, we have:
1) Merchandise! This has multiple benefits, and I will be writing a blog on those benefits within the next couple of weeks, so keep checking in on my blog. But essentially, you can give merchandise out to promote your books, run a competition and have these as the prices, and so on.
2) Make your book available for pre-order. Before it's release, try and get as many pre-orders as possible. This will put your book ahead of others being released around the same time, as it already has sales so is more likely to receive reviews, and a domino effect in sales. Just trust me on this!
3) Business cards. WAIT! I hear you cringing, believe me, I've been there. But if you are a social person (like me) hand out business cards to anyone who is interested. Ask to put them in book stores, libraries, comic book stores, or anywhere you think they would be suitable. Tip: on one side have an author headshot with contact details (social media icons), on the other have several of your book covers.
4) Create your own word of mouth! Just talk. Seriously, don't feel like you're bragging. Everyone has a job, and most talk about their jobs. Being an author is something to be proud of. So when asked what you do for a living, say it with pride. This often leads to interest, and more than likely they'll ask what you write, and if they like your genre they'll ask for more details (this is where a business card or even merchandise comes on handy). Tip: keep business cards on hand, and cheaper promotional material. Obviously don't go giving out tonnes of expensive merchandise. Things like key rings or stationery aren't too expensive, and most people use pens and pencils. Everytime they use it they'll be reminded of your books. And a friend of theirs may be intrigued by the pen/pencil and lead to a conversation. This is essentially creating your own word of mouth!
5) Create chapter booklets. Basically, create a short booklet of your first chapter with instructions on how to purchase it at the back, as well as your other releases. If they liked the chapter then more than likely, if the book is reasonably priced, they'll buy it!
6) Create a page sample. If you don't have time to do number 5, then just print out an enticing sample. It only needs to be one page, with the book cover and details of how to purchase on the back.
7) Character posts. I recently incorporated this into my campaigns, and it works very well. Don't just flood social media with self-promo posts about your books, think outside the box! For example, for a horror/mystery I wrote, I used this as a less obvious way of promotion:
'Meet Veronica, she likes walks on the beach, kisses, and killing. (Link to book, and book cover)'
8) Behind the scenes. Again, a subtler way to promote is to give readers/followers insider scoops. How do you come up with your ideas? Characters? Do you have a strict method? (These are the questions I always get asked when strangers find out I am a writer - If you always get asked a question, use that, and answer it in a post on social media. Even better, comment with something you always get asked to help other authors/writers who are reading this blog). Also, use images with every post! Image posts have a much higher engagement rate through all the thousands of blogs I have read.
9) Hashtags. Honestly, don't underestimate hashtags. Use them wherever possible. You'd be so surprised how many people and readers search for things on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc. Make it easily findable for your core audience. Example, I am a horror author, so for a book promo I will use the following hashtags (as well as individualize for each separate book promo):
#horror #book #author #toread #reader #bookworm #horrorbook #horrorreader #novel #ebook #99cents #offer #amazon #scarybooks
(Think of yourself as a reader - and if you are a good writer you should be an avid reader! - and imagine what you would search for. I think of before I became a writer and how I would go about finding my next read)
10) Why not poll? Whenever you are talking to a friend, family member, stranger, acquaintance, and you know they love reading, ask how they go about finding their next book, what does it take for them to leave reviews, why would they sign up to a newsletter? etc.
11) Freebies. I know this kills authors, but giving away freebies is a fantastic marketing technique for so many reasons. Print copies especially. This is even better when you know that the reader in question loves your genre. If you have given them a free copy they'll most likely really appreciate it and leave a review and mention it to other readers.
12) Speaking of free copies, give them to libraries! Again, an excellent marketing technique.
13) Back book promotion. I cannot stress this enough. Make it so that when a reader finishes your book they go straight to 'Also by (author)' to see your other releases. This considerably heightens your chances of having them check out your other books. Because, chances are, if they made it to the end, they enjoyed it. Take advantage of this by persuading them to check out other books by you!
14) Continued advertising. Does your book cover designer have a website? More than likely they will feature your cover on it, but double check. If for some reason it isn't, ask to have your cover put on their website. Don't feel rude, you pay them, and if you use them all the time, you have even more right to ask this. The same goes for your editor, see if they can feature a book promo on their website.
15) Post at the right times! http://blogpostsforwriters.blogspot.com/2016/02/when-what-and-where-should-authors.html
16) Make your blogs of sample chapters or teasers, easily shareable with social sharing icons.
17) Make an infographic for Pinterest, perhaps cartoons of your characters or something relative to your book. Infographics get insane pins and shares!
18) Ask friends and family to share for you. And I mean friends and family. Don't go asking strangers to promote for you. This is annoying and unprofessional, and will give them a negative impression of you. So only close friends or family. You could even ask them to think of anyone who they know enjoys the genre in which you write, or reading in general.
There you have it folks, I hope you found that blog helpful. If you have something you would like me to blog about email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Feel free to check out my other blogs: http://blogpostsforwriters.blogspot.com/