Authors: What does book promotion look like in the digital age?
You’ve written your Great American Novel, and you’re ready to top the Best Sellers List. How do you begin? Where do you promote your book in the digital age? Book promotion in the digital age isn’t a new concept. You’ll find a lot of information on what to do; some book promotion advice is good, but not all information is great for you.
How does an author set up book promotion today? One thing you should consider is that today’s world is vastly online. From Facebook to Google, from Siri to Alexa… much of what we do as consumers happens through the internet. Digital book promotion can be great – think of the reach you have now compared to 20 years ago. Where the power to become a bestseller once resided in Oprah and her book club, you now have the world at your disposal through Twitter, Stitcher and websites.
Of course, many hopeful authors may assume the book publisher will love the book and want to put its power behind it, promoting and advertising their next star … but can you bank on that? And can you afford to hire a publicist, a PR firm, an agent and a manager? Let’s face it (together): book promotion today is left up to the author and to building a broad audience base. The question remains: Where does an author start?
Social media promotion
Building buzz, promoting appearances (physical and virtual), releasing tidbits like free chapters or sneak peeks… social media like Facebook and Twitter make sense for most authors promoting their work. Building a Facebook page for the book that you and your network share will help build awareness. Tweeting lines from your book or sharing tidbits of knowledge can help draw readers in. Taking part in social chats like #amwriting or #WriterWednesday (find more writer hashtags here) can broaden your reach through conversations.
Social media book promotion can include newer channels like Instagram and Snapchat. Writers can create mini stories through visuals (photos) and engage with other writers and possible readers. Social media isn’t necessarily about making the next dollar. It’s about planting the seeds of interest, driving that interest to your website and developing a relationship that may result in book sales and others raving about your work.
Podcast interview marketing
Your potential readers most likely partake in multiple media channels. From Netflix to iTunes, today’s consumers have no shortage of places to find information and entertainment. You know this – you’re a consumer, too. One of those channels happens to be a growing medium with terrific opportunities to reach an engaged, hungry audience: podcasts.
Did you know there are more than 400,000 podcasts that range from news to niche? If your book is about an urban chicken farmer going through a divorce, you just might find the perfect podcast with listeners interested in hearing your story. You can find podcasts about almost anything. Plus, your listeners have multiple interests. Maybe you’re writing about faith and women. You’ll definitely find podcasts that focus on female audiences and faith – some that touch on both!
The key to podcast interview marketing for book promotion is to understand your target audience, some of their interests and how they connect. Once you know that, you can begin to explore podcasts, develop relationships with hosts and plan your digital book tour.
Website and blogging
Many authors start off as bloggers, turning their online articles into a book. Conversely, many authors purposefully focus on a blog to launch their writing, planning out the book through multiple postings across many articles. Jeff Goins is a great example of blogging into a published author.
If your book needs promoting, consider turning chapters (or parts of chapters) into blog articles and sharing it all on social media.
Build that email list and keep in touch with them for book promotion in this crazy online age. Use your website, blog or social media to build your email list and offer readers helpful or entertaining content to engage them. Keep in mind: We don’t sign up for email content to simply be sold at every turn. Yes, we all know that there’s a sale in there – but offering content is a better way to sell.
Maybe your book is about clowns and the history of the circus. You can offer content not directly connected to your book like the history of clown make-up, famous clowns and an introspective “Why are we so afraid of clowns?” piece. The sky is the limit on what kind of content you can offer. People love a look behind the curtain – take them behind the scenes and help them develop a desire to not only buy your book, but to share you with their friends.
Reviews help… be proactive! Asking your readers to leave a review on Amazon, GoodReads and other platforms is not only okay, but flattering for many readers. The fact that you care about what your readers think, not just the critics, can develop deeper relationships with readers and turn them into evangelists for you.
Learn more about podcast interview marketing with these helpful articles:
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