Simple Online Book Marketing Tips
Spreading the Word:
Many writers want to know the best way to spread the word about their latest or upcoming release. Below I have some tips I have tried or will try. I will let you know how successful or unsuccessful they were for me. Nevertheless, every writer is different and his or her results will be different.
Spreading the word about a new or upcoming book release is as successful as stating that a new movie has been released. If you fail to entice potential readers into wanting to read your book (or watching that new movie) your efforts are useless. You must entice readers into wanting to read your book.
Entice readers into wanting to read your book by doing the following:
1. Write a good book - This is what I like to call a “Well, duh.” This information is obvious but is worth stating as a reminder. It only requires one reader to recommend a good book to others before the recommendations start flowing. Word of mouth is the most powerful form of marketing to date. We as consumers know that advertisers lie in their ads, there is always a fine print, but when your best friend tells you that Twilight is a good book, you tend to believe her. Unfortunately, if the book turns out to be horrid, pointless and a waste of time, you will be disappointed in your friend because you trusted her. (I’m not naming any names.)
2. Author website - Every author should have an author website. You need a place on the web to call home and to display your craft. If you lack website developing skills, a free website with the tools you need to design your website will work fine. More authors are turning to Wordpress and Blogger for their rent-free home on the web.
3. Book Cover - Unfortunately, for some, (fortunately, for others) most readers do judge books by their covers. Because of this, you want to place your book cover in as many places on the Internet as you can for maximum exposure. If it is a great cover sometimes it can sale itself. If it is a not-so-great cover, you will need to push it by providing a great blurb and excerpt.
4. Blurb - Along with the book cover, add a blurb. The blurb is a short description of the book, otherwise known as the back cover copy. Most likely in publishing, mainly self-publishing and e-publishing, the author is responsible for writing the book blurb. Write the blurb in present tense and answer the vital questions in 250 words or less. Who are the main characters? What is the setting and plot? What is the main conflict? (Details on Blurb writing)
5. Excerpt - Along with the blurb, an excerpt is also one of the most important marketing elements for your book. Every bookstore customer walks the aisles plucking book after book from the shelves. The first thing they do is look at the cover, they flip the book over and look at the back cover blurb, and then they open the book up to a random page and read. If they like the author’s writing style, voice and the content, they are instantly sold. An excerpt is a reader’s way of testing out your book online before buying.
Once you have set up your author website with the addition of your book cover, blurb and excerpt, you must find ways to bring readers to your site and further encourage them to buy.
Website Links - Another “Well, duh.” Post the URL of your website in as many places as you can on the web. Do link exchanges with other similar authors, post it on your networking sites, and use it as your signature in forums and in your emails. This is obviously the quickest and easiest way to connect readers to your site.
Banners - Create banners for your author website and post them on your other sites as well. Make them bright and colorful and/or make sure they share the theme of your website. Add a picture or symbol to your banner. Add your tagline and/or logo. Add your name and/or website URL, and then allow it to click through to your website. Banners are like billboard advertising on the web but the advantage is you can make them in many shapes and sizes and add them everywhere. Just like the huge billboards on the side of the busy streets attract attention, put your banner where the most traffic is on your site to attract attention.
Book website - Create a website just for your book and its characters. Here is where you can discuss new developments with the book, especially if it is a serial. Alternatively, post character bios, pictures, or short stories. You can go a step further, like me, and continue the story online for free. It is a great way to build a readership, increase traffic and sale your book.
Book Trailer - Use Microsoft’s Windows Movie Maker to get started. Download free public images and put together a book trailer. It acts like a movie trailer for your book! This way of advertising is growing in popularity and it is quite effective. If you want better movie quality and better effects and options, purchase moviemaker software. It is fun and a bit of work, but it helps spread the word. After, post it on You Tube, My Space and other networking sites.
Interviews - Conduct and participate in interviews with fellow writers and authors. That way you get exposure on their website when they post the interview and visa versa. It is a win-win opportunity. Talk about your books, your characters, your writing process, etc., but always remember to sale your book.
Blogs and Guest Blogging - Start up a blog where you can discuss your book, characters, writing process, and where you can post your interviews and book reviews. The two most popular free blogs are Wordpress.com and Blogger.com. The trick here is too provide more useful content for your guests than self-promoting content because, let’s face it, we all want to skip the commercials. Have a guest blogger come and share useful information on your blog. This will bring their guests to your blog. Also, it will add to your useful content, in turn, bringing in more traffic.
Book reviews - Sometimes a review of your book from readers is the deciding factor in book buying. Submit your book for review, ask readers to post their reviews on Amazon.com, post any reviews on your website or blog. Remember word of mouth is the most successful form of marketing to date.
Example Book Trailer
Social Network Marketing:
Social networking is another way to gather friends who have similar interests. Make friends with your readers for they are the ones who are buying your books. Make friends with your fellow authors because they are the ones who endorse you and your books. Make friends and connect with anyone who wants to connect with you because the more people who finds you interesting, the more likely they would spread the word and remember your name when looking for their next read.
Social Networking Sites - Set up a profile on MySpace.com, Facebook.com, Twitter.com and other large networking sites and build your presence. This may take time but this is part of marketing. Gather friends and followers, participate in their activities and blogs, and leave comments and feedback but be sincere. People know when you are just commenting to show your face or add your signature. It is false and they will see right through it.
Writers Groups - Join writer’s groups such as Authornation.com and Authorsden.com. These sites allow you to display your writing and gather feedback. These are great places to make friends, fans and followers of your work.
Other Marketing Mediums:
Wikipedia - Although this a great place to define who you are as an author and your books. It is difficult to add yourself as an author. First, you are not allowed to add yourself, you must have someone do it for you. Second, you must be a noteworthy author; bestseller, award winner, traditional published by a reputable publisher, etc. Third, if your credentials are not established online through references and Google hits and placement, (Yes, they actually use your Google rating as a determining factor of your significance) the community of volunteers will delete your information from Wikipedia until you become someone worth mentioning. That is one harsh blow to your ego.
Nanowrimo - I signed up for National Novel Writing Month just this year because I recently found out about this site. I will participate this November and am determined to write a 50k novel in 30 days. I am guessing this can be a good marketing ploy because you can gather Nano buddies and post your progress and final achievement online.
Make your online friends interested in the book you wrote in 30 days by announcing the challenge weeks or months ahead of time and updating your progress online. Many should be interested to see if you win or fail and the process itself. If you win, those interested may show interest in reading the book to see how well you did. Keep excitement in the book going until you finish editing the book. If you must, post a blurb, excerpt or the first couple of chapters online until you find a publisher.
Marketing your book online is essential for your book’s success. Many people are going online to purchase books and e-publishing is becoming more reputable and popular each day. You must consider online marketing when promoting yourself and your books. I hope this helps.
Leslie Lee Sanders