Promoting your book is a form of marketing called “content marketing.” In other words, you really aren’t selling a product, you are selling a feeling, an experience, you are creating content, not potato chips nor adult diapers.
The key here is to think … “Where else can I put my content?”
Here are a few tips and tricks to help you promote your book(s) and build your brand.
MORE is often Better.
Facebook is a fantastic marketing tool. You probably already have a personal page. As an author, usually your personal page IS your promotion page for your writing. I urge you to stop.
Create a “Public Figure” page for you as an author. Keep this page active with your professional posts, articles, and related groups. If you have a series, create an open group for the series and keep this group active and solely about your series. Discuss characters, motivations, civilization, inspirations … and always, always ask questions of your audience … get them involved.
TIP: Keep your personal social profiles separate from your professional profiles.
Go ahead. Tease me!
Don’t be ashamed to be called a “big tease.” One of the greatest marketing efforts I have encountered was WAY back in 1987. In all the trendy areas of Los Angeles … Sunset Strip, Melrose Avenue, LaBrea, Santa Monica’s Promenade … stencils of stylized bats began appearing on the sidewalks, sides of building, mailboxes, etc. This went on for more than a year. Then the Batman logo with only a date appeared and suddenly it all connected.
As writing your book didn’t occur in a single afternoon, neither should your marketing efforts. Your marketing and promotions should begin soon after you start writing. Hint about the characters, hint about the title, post images or memes that are related.
TIP: Don’t blow your cover! Do not “get input from your fans” on your cover. You and your professional graphic designer should make those decisions. Then take the cover and divide it into 6 images and release one each week or every other week … and HINT.
Take dialog snippets or really exciting plot points and post them. Not entire chapters, just tiny snippets.
Building your audience is EVERYTHING.
As soon as you have your prologue or first chapter written (and edited), make it available as a pdf in exchange for an email address. Utilize a popup on your book site. Include it as a download on Facebook. Everywhere you can trade the sample for an email.
TIP: The sample chapter is very important in establishing you and your brand. Make it as much of a production as you can: cover (not the final), about you, sample, and links to all of your profiles. If you’ve written more than one book, then include a page with cover, summary, and link for each one.
It’s who you know.
On your path to writing your book, seek out and develop relationships with authors in the same genre. Co-promote. There are enough readers for everyone. Most importantly, develop relationships with established writers and personalities … influencers.
You may think James Patterson or Stephen King are unreachable, but they are not. Participate on their blogs, Facebook groups, and anywhere else you can find them. If you’ve spent time developing those relationships, you may have the opportunity to ask for a cover blurb/review!
I know an author who is a big fan of Guy Kawasaki. Guy is a HUGE influencer. He’s been following Guy for a few years, wrote comments on Facebook posts, blogs, articles, you name it. When he was nearly finished with his book, this author sent a simple ask, “May I send you a few chapters of my new book?” and then added a very strong blurb about the book. A week or two goes by and Guy responds, “Sure. Send it. I could use something to read on the plane.”
Long story short, Guy responded with some comments about the writing and the author pulled a sentence from those comments to use on the cover!
TIP: A cover review is an essential element to your book’s success.
Do not undersell your work.
Yes. It’s great to use the free or 99¢ option of the first few days of your release to try to get the “Number 1 on Amazon” blessing. After that, though, price your work at its value, not what you think people will pay for it.
For example, why do a lot of people desire Rolls Royce’s, Mercedes, or Porsches? Are they $99.00? Nope. You poured your heart and soul into your work, price it accordingly.
TIP: Sell your book from your site, don’t link it elsewhere. You make the most money when you sell your book directly – print, .epub, .mobi, pdf. Invest in a proper shopping cart (WooCommerce) and SquareUp or Stripe.