Many authors are looking for ways to promote their books but don’t know where to start. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed in the sea of social media and marketing options. Whilst the world’s top business leaders have profound lessons to give, we may need something more bespoke to help us.
The good news is that there are plenty of opportunities out there – you just need to know what they are and how to use them. In this article, we’ll cover six critical tips for getting publicity for your book.
Get The Cover Right
It’s true that people literally do judge a book by its cover. A poor book cover can turn off potential readers and make them less likely to purchase. Professional, well-designed covers are more important than ever in today’s online world. They should look good as thumbnails since this is how they often appear on web pages. You want something that is simple (not cluttered), eye-catching (to draw their attention), and that conveys what genre/type of story this is without people having to read the description on Amazon or Goodreads.
The image should be high quality with no pixelation or blurry areas, especially if it features on your marketing package (e.g., posters, flyers). If you can’t design the cover yourself, you can always hire a professional designer online. In terms of book cover design, there are websites that provide downloadable cover design checklists and blogs about templates, fonts, and royalty-free stock images. You can learn how to find inspiration and ideas as well as an experienced cover designer.
Use Social Media
Twitter and Facebook are two example sites that can be used to get publicity for your book. Make sure you have a page for your book on both and post updates regularly. In addition, make use of the following tips:
- Use relevant hashtags on Twitter.
- People love seeing pictures of authors with their books, so post a few on social media.
- Host a giveaway contest. The prizes can include signed copies of your book, gift cards, or other items related to your book.
- Run social media ads. Do this if you have the budget because it will help increase awareness about your book and drive traffic to your website or Amazon page.
- Give away free chapters or excerpts of your book. Many people are reluctant to buy without knowing what they’re getting beforehand.
Get Your Book Reviewed
This can be friends, family and colleagues, but you might want a wider scope for this audience. There are many websites that review books, including GoodReads and Amazon. The more reviews there are, the more likely people will be to buy (if the reviews are good!).
It’s also valuable if you connect with bloggers and journalists who review books. You can find bloggers by doing a Google search or going to the website for The Indie View. For journalists, you might want to check out Who’s Who in the Media. Be sure to reach out to these people well in advance of your book release date and send them a copy (or at least an electronic version). Make it easy for them by providing a synopsis, author bio, photos and any other information they might need. If online influencers discuss your book, you’ll be able to reach their audience instantly.
Offer Free Copies
If you want publicity for your new book, you should offer free copies to media outlets. This shows that you’re serious about getting your book out there, and it gives them a chance to read your book and potentially write a review. Be sure to follow up with these outlets once you’ve sent them your books, saying you would be happy to answer any questions that they have. You can even provide them with a copy of your press release or pitch letter, so they have all the information that they need.
You could offer to give some people your eBook for free by email. In return, you can use their address for your future marketing campaigns. Also, why not donate some copies to waiting rooms (e.g., doctors, dentists, hairdressers, etc.), nursing homes or libraries? This could increase awareness of your book and promote sales.
Discover Your Target Audience and Then Advertise
It’s a big mistake for authors to try and reach too wide an audience with their marketing attempts. You should identify who exactly is going to want this particular book. For a start, it will be the people who are currently buying similar (and successful) books to yours.
Once you’ve discovered your target audience, use analytical tools to track down their online behaviour and website visits. Then start advertising in the right places – those that your target readers are known to frequent (and at the right times!). Your advertising can be done through various social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, where ads promoting your work can be targeted better (e.g., by sex, age, location, interests).
Be On as Many Platforms as Possible
It’s important to make yourself accessible online by having an active social media presence and using your website. Social media is where you can get the word out there about what you are doing, and it’s a great way of connecting with other people who may be interested in reading your book. Your website should include all pertinent information for readers looking to learn more about you or your work. This should include links to the pages of books you’ve already published, as well as contact details for anyone wanting further information.
Goodreads is another platform that provides authors additional exposure when they participate in promotional events hosted by Goodreads themselves. You may also wish to have a presence on sites like Medium, Quora, and LinkedIn.
If you put these six strategies in place, they will all work towards a common goal: publicizing your book and encouraging buyers. If the book is a success and you write another, be sure to cross-reference them so that even more people become your avid readers.