So what’s working in book promotion now? Surprisingly, it’s not at all what you would expect.
The book promotion services that work these days are less about what you’re marketing in the moment, and more about the foundation you’re creating. Let’s have a look:
1.Email Newsletters: I know, it seems odd to start with something so basic, right? But here’s the thing about newsletters. They are a direct connection to your reader unlike social media, which, technically, is not as direct a link as we’d like it to be. An email newsletter may seem like a lot of work, but it’s really not as bad as say, managing a bunch of social media platforms (we’ll get to that one in a minute).
2.Your Reader Fan Bases: With book publishing growing, our window for using blogs for their book promotion services keeps shrinking. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t promote your book to the blogger market, but consider this: as the window for book promotion continues to change, one thing always remains steadfast, your readers. Building excited and engaged reader fan bases is a fantastic way to build momentum for your book and letting readers help you with your book promotion by posting reviews and sharing your book release on their social stream. The longer down this road of endless books being published (so far, around 4,500 a day) the more it becomes crucial to build supportive reader fan bases.
3.Going Local: A lot of authors want to hit the big time with big media and national exposure. And while all of that is great, local media and events are often overlooked. First off, local media loves their local authors. So whether it’s a story about you publishing your first (or fifth!) book, or promoting your local event, local book promotion is a great launching pad for long-term success. Part of the reason for this isn’t because you aren’t national media-worthy, but because national media is harder than ever to get (I’ll talk more about this in later blogs). Also, many bigger shows have scouts that research local stories that are gaining momentum. Back when Oprah had her show, her producers often worked with many scouts all across the country to find their stories. So including local promotion in your list of book marketing activities is a great way to add some momentum to your book promotion campaign. And in terms of local, you may also consider doing events, whether they are library, bookstore, or gift fairs. You could also consider doing events in other non-bookstore markets like gift stores, coffee shops, and other area stores that might be interested in your topic.
4.Add a Goodreads Presence: Goodreads has been around for a long time and with each month that passes, the site grows more robust. Now, more than ever, it’s important to get yourself set up on that site and start networking with genre-specific groups. This site, more than any other social networking site, is really geared to readers and caters to readers in a way that no other platform does. Start by being a reader, first and foremost. Yes, you have books that you want people to read, but being heavy on the networking/socializing and less on the pushy marketer, will garner you much more attention and, in the long run, sell you more books.
5.Amazon Book Page: This is another area that authors spend a shockingly small amount of time on. I think in general, we get really outwardly focused on our book promotion and forget the all-important landing page we are sending our readers to. Your book page on Amazon should have a clear description with white space and no paragraphs crammed on top of each other. I’d also recommend enhancing your book page using your Author Central Page. From there, you can access all kinds of stuff, like adding reviews to your page, including an author interview, or book experts. Your book page should be a sampling of your personality and information helpful to the reader – helping them make a decision to decide to buy your book is a terrific way to help drive more reader engagement on your page. I have a blog post linked in the resources if you’re ready to tackle this! Or, you should write us and ask about our Amazon-specific book promotion services and campaigns, designed to ensure you’re not leaving any opportunities on the table when it comes to converting Amazon shoppers into book buyers.
6.Keeping Your Social Footprint Small: While this may sound counter-intuitive, it’s my firm belief (and based on mountains of research) that we’ve become digital-weary. Users are leaving Facebook in large numbers, or not posting regularly, Twitter has become a bigger political platform than it ever was, and Instagram is staying delightfully middle of the road, the meaning of all of the social platforms, it has the most universal appeal.
The problem with trying to be *everywhere* meaning on all social media platforms is that it’s hard to be engaged on all the sites, all the time. And engagement does matter, in an age of fake followers and fake accounts, the user with the most engagement, even if their numbers are small, far outperforms accounts with millions of followers. But keep in mind that a smaller social media footprint doesn’t mean less work necessarily. You’ll be less scattered, for sure, but you will still need to put the effort into that site, whichever one you decide to be on. Engaging readers on one social media platform in a consistent and fun/informative/helpful way is a far better book promotion strategy than trying to be everywhere. As I always say: it’s not about being everywhere, but everywhere that matters.
To Your Success,