All of us want our books to be read and be appreciated by everyone. It is any writer’s dream to be widely read and ensure that his/her books are made easily accessible. There is no doubt about the fact that quality content and suitable narration is the real hero of any book. However, the knack and knowledge to market and promote your book are also equally important to fetch the results for all your efforts and talent. Most of the writers have a tendency to shy away from executing this part of their ‘book life cycle’. With the internet being the largest and the most influential tool in the world, it would be the easiest platform to promote your books. Underestimating internet would be the most heinous crime. This is not just applicable to books. Even established movie stars and political parties promote their movies and policies respectively with much aggression and panache. For example, when the popular Bollywood movie “Happy New Year” was about to release in 2014, lead actor and co-producer Shah Rukh Khan released the trailer of the same through WhatsApp and across multiple official YouTube channels to increase the reach of the movie trailer. Gone are the days where trailers were released only in theaters.‘Little drops of water make the mighty ocean’. Videos, texts, live chats, info-graphics, engagement through social media, blogs etc. are all those droplets which make the mighty ocean. These elements complete the bigger picture of the idea of promoting a book. Promoting a book at the right time through the right channels and media will enable you to reap the fruits of your hard work.So here are some tips on how to market your new book online!
BUILD A WEBSITE
Create your own website and add interesting content to it to attract more people online. You can also explore getting SEO (Search Engine Optimization) done for your website. The home page should ideally speak about your next book. Even though keeping the website updated with relevant content is a huge task, it is an extremely important element. The website can showcase your previous work, your profile, your journey as an author and any other information that your readers would find interesting. This acts as your in-house resume.
Creating a website today is a very easy task. There are lots of domain providers like GoDaddy, Big Rock etc., from where you can buy your domain by paying a nominal fee, usually an annual one. By using a platform like WordPress, you can choose the template of your preference and then work on the same. These templates are very easy to customize and can be used by a non-programmer. Make sure that the readability and responsiveness are taken care of since they are of prime importance to a website.
Blogging is also extremely important for authors. Quality content is appreciated everywhere. It can bring in more traction to your website. Creating your blog on your own website is the best method to sky-rocket the traction for your book. Frequent blogging on relevant content is the best thing you can do for your book. If the content is in line with the theme of your upcoming book, the job is perfect! Check out the website of India’s most widely read author http://www.chetanbhagat.com/
You can also use this social network for blogs called Indiblogger to promote your blog as a whole and to promote individual articles. You can also find like-minded bloggers and share snippets of your book for reviews. The one question that is on every author’s mind is ‘What to promote- Book or the Author? Read it here.
Identifying your primary target audience is extremely significant. For example, if your book revolves around college students, it would be ideal to increase the reach to the youth between 18 and 25 to give your book the initial push. Try interacting with your target audience on forums where you have maximum people belonging to this category. Make yourself accessible to answer questions, clear doubts and also promote your book content to generate curiosity as well as interest in them.
WITH FELLOW WRITERS
Building a good relationship with fellow authors is really useful. It will help you reach new territories like international markets. Networking with your peers will give you that extra mileage, where you can learn from peers, exchange ideas . You will also be kept updated about the current and evolving trends in your field. There are lots of forums available online to do the same. Some of them are given below
Social media is arguably the best place online to reach to a wide range of potential readers. The very presence of people in large numbers makes it the place which should not be avoided. So, it is wise to promote your book on social media actively. Here’s a list of some top social media channels you can use to market you book online.
Twitter is a place where as an author you can connect with the right crowd and promote your own work. Some of the useful hashtags to connect with fellow authors are #AmWriting #WordCount #WriterWednesday. You can directly tag and mention famous publishing houses or authors in your tweets. The probability of your tweet being ‘heard’ is more. You can use this platform as a mouthpiece for your book promotion. Also, you can create an info-graphic or multiple visuals of your book to promote it on Facebook and Twitter. Since a visual content catches people’s attention easily and communicates better, circulating this will be a smart thing to do.
Creating a Facebook page is a simple process. Promoting your page and creating interesting campaigns around your books are some of the steps which you can undertake regularly. Facebook also gives you the option to boost your ad campaigns and target it to reach people who are your potential readers. For example, if you have a horror fiction, you can choose people with horror fiction as interests on their profile while designing the campaign. If the sale of your book is the main agenda, you can drive the target audience to your Facebook page and work on engaging them and which in turn will lead to sales. Read our blog on How to self publish a book in India here
As we know, LinkedIn is the largest platform for professionals to network. This is also the perfect platform to promote your books. Unlike the other social media channels, where the target audience is diverse, Linkedin offers a much effective targeting option. Now that LinkedIn application is also being used widely, the reach and its frequency of usage has increased manifold. Also, since the platform is for professionals to network, marketing your book on this platform gives it a greater edge over the other players.
If you have set aside a small ad budget for your book, the least expensive, yet the most effective way, to use that budget is through online ads. The first thing to do for this is to prepare a pitch for your book. If someone asks you what your book is about, you should be able to explain it in 20 seconds. That is your book’s pitch. Similarly, prepare a 30 seconds pitch as well as a 60 seconds pitch for avenues where you have more time. No matter which platform you speak on, no matter which audience you talk to, you can wisely switch between the pitches to deliver the message effectively based on the time period allocated to you. There are various sites through which you can give advertisements on various platforms with wide reach. For example, http://online.releasemyad.com/ is one such site which gets your ad posted online on the website you want to reach out to. YouTube is a great platform to promote video ads of your book.
REVIEWS FROM ONLINE INFLUENCERS
Amazon is one of the most popular places online to buy books. Therefore, it is really important and effective to get your book reviewed on a platform like Amazon. Ideally, you should target to get at least 20 reviews on Amazon. This can be done by sending a free sample copy or promotional copy or pdf of your book to your friends, family, famous authors, book reviewers etc., before you intend to release the book and asking the reviewers to give honest reviews. This can act as a great launchpad for your book.
You can also request famous magazines or authors to review your book. Requests can be made through tweets or e-mails or your personal network. However, this needs to be kick-started 1-2 months before you actually plan to get this done since this can be a lengthy process and the reviewers may be busy. Hence, a bit of planning in advance comes in handy. The reach you get through their reviews is always worth the wait.
Public relations is an evergreen concept which should always be pursued persistently. If you are an established author, it will be easy to continue the activities, since you already would have a certain set of fan following or at least few loyal readers who would have already read your work.
One of such methods would be to conduct a live chat or responding to the queries of people via mobile messaging platforms like Viber, WhatsApp etc. Twitter is a great platform that can be used as a PR tool. Each person would act like an influencer or a brand ambassador for your book before the release of your book. In short, you need to try and promote your book at each and every opportunity which comes in your way and become the talk of the town.
Contributing on a regular basis to online web-forums and presenting snippets of your chapters to the audience is a popular strategy. Adding your ‘Author’ at “Name of the book” to your e-mail signature can also increase the reach when you draft e-mailers to well-wishers, random people, celebrities or the concerned communities. It gives you the authenticity in a subtle yet effective method.Marketing is a science and an art which can be thoroughly explored by authors online. We sincerely hope and wish that you would find this list useful while actually looking for methods to promote your book. At the end of the day, the world should never miss your quality work. Your book deserves to be read. Happy marketing!