Promoting Books — the Bane of Every Author's Existence
Congratulations! You have a book in the pipeline ready to be published, now what do you do? Most authors believe that their audience will find their books "somehow" and then share their love of it with the world. This couldn't be further from the truth.
Promoting books takes a lot of hard work. You have to build hype and sustain it, and you need to do this without paying a fortune. The key is to become creative and willing to spend some of your precious time in order to save money. Here are just a things that work for promoting books and building a fan base.
Build a Social Media Presence
You've probably heard of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and other social media platforms and how they're great for promoting books. Since they're around (and free!), you should definitely take advantage of this free marketing tool. It won't be easy and there will be a learning curve because it takes practice to learn what posts work. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Keep posts short — a few sentences at most.
- Add pictures, videos, and .gifs to add interest to your posts.
- Posting consistently helps to build a following.
- Post excerpts of your book to build interest.
Start a Blog
Blog are all the rage now for promoting books. Even an inexperienced person can get a blog up and running within a day. Again, consistency is important. Be sure you can contribute to your blog regularly so readers will want to return. If you aren't sure what a book blog should look like, Google popular book blogs or try this link to and see if you can get some inspiration. Here are few tips that might help you:
- Try and keep blogs to around 400-500 words.
- Pictures are important!
- Try to share insights to your book and other inside knowledge most people may not know.
- Have an "About the Author" page. People want to get to know you!
Try Using a Newsletter
You can give your readers the option to subscribe to an email newsletter through social media or through a blog (or even both.) A newsletter is a simple document that lets your subscribers know about any new happenings, such as a new blog post, the release date of your book, any potential pre-order options, and other things your readers will be interested in. This option may not be for everyone, but when utilized correctly, can pay off.
Spend Some Money on Advertising
Sites like Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, and others have options for people to advertise whatever they want...for a fee. However, the fee guarantees that people you might not have been able to reach before will see the cover of your book on the advertisement and it might pique their interest. This option depends on your personal budget, but this option would likely work best if you have a website, blog, or social media for people to go to and see what it's all about.
The options listed above are run-of-the-mill ways to make people excited for your book (though they do work). Some book promoters go above and beyond average promotion tactics and do things such as make a YouTube video, advertise on a billboard, start a word of mouth campaign, and other unique ways to get the word out. Keep in mind that whatever you choose to get people hyped for your book, you're already ten steps ahead of the curve; you are taking your book and running with it.