As part of the blog tour for their book on writing, The Emotion Thesaurus, co-author Angela Ackerman is here with some great tips on book marketing:
5 Ways to Market Your Book
By Angela Ackerman
Without a background in sales or a natural affinity for marketing, selling a book can be daunting. Traditionally or self published, there is a lot of product out there to compete with. Today, let’s look at how writers can ensure their books get into the hands of readers.
Discoverability: Have a website, blog, Facebook page, etc. for people to find out more about you and your book. Make sure these spaces contain information that is of interest to your particular market. Cross link when possible, and continually update and refresh your content, giving readers a reason to return.
Join Forces: A very successful marketing move is to find a group of authors and combine marketing efforts. The Indelibles blog is an excellent example of this. Group blogs, cross promotion and sharing leads is a smart way to increase your voice and expand your reach. Putting energy into helping others succeed shows you aren’t just ‘all about you’.
Offer Something of Value FREE: I’m not quite meaning KDP Select here, but that can be an option for some. Rather, I’m suggesting a tie-in to your book — something your fans can download for free. It could be a short story or an ‘extras’ collection centering on a subject (if your story is about dragons, use Pinterest and Google searches to find art, dragon-centric sites and unusual products that will appeal to dragon lovers.) Or maybe your freebie could offer research regarding a location or event in your book. In any case, package your content and links as a useful, fun and informative download that shows you’re in tune with your audience’s interests. Include a page dedicated to your book — cover image, blurb & links to buy — so that your free document becomes a marketing tool for those who download it out of interest but have not yet purchased your book.
Be Visible: Organize guest posts, interviews, blog tours and get involved in social networking. Research Twitter #hashtags targeting your readership (genre readers, teachers, librarians, or special interest groups). Join forums that cater to people who will likely enjoy your book’s subject matter and participate in conversation rather than market yourself. Once you’ve established that you’re a giver, not a taker, then offer your services as a guest poster or speaker so that you can help other members bring useful content to their readers. If you’ve done your homework, you’ll find that their audiences are your audiences.
Pay Attention: Recently I wrote a guest post for Janice Hardy’s blog, The Other Side Of The Story on Making Your Own Luck. A big part of marketing success is watching, listening and being ready for when opportunity shows itself. Keep an eye on what’s being done, and what isn’t. Don’t be content to follow in other people’s marketing footsteps. Think creatively! Find your secondary or niche markets. Brainstorm new approaches that will break the ennui of social media book promotion. Look beyond our industry too, and study how others market products in a fun or unusual way.
I know this article states 5 marketing tips, but I’d like to leave you with one more: Be Genuine and Give Back. It is my experience that by focusing on the needs of others, authors get the most valuable currency in return: word of mouth. Giving back turns readers into fans, and writing companions into avid supporters.
So that’s my 5 *cough* 6 tips! I’d love to hear your experiences. Have you noticed someone marketing their book in a unique way? Was it a success, or not?
About the Author:
Angela Ackerman is one half of The Bookshelf Muse blogging duo, and co-author of The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression. Listing the body language, visceral reactions and thoughts associated with seventy-five different emotions, this brainstorming guide is a valuable tool for showing, not telling, emotion. The Emotion Thesaurus is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Smashwords and other retailers, and the PDF can be purchased directly from her blog.