BRANDING YOUR BOOK UNTIL IT SMOKES!
by Gina Marie Long
Let me be clear and up front with this topic, as I’m sure that is what you would want. Honest answers and ideas. For the average author, a publisher and/or an agent can only dedicate a small amount of their time towards promoting your individual book – blasting it into the spotlights for possible purchase. The truth is marketing your own book can be extremely time-consuming and frustrating and yet you must be an active participant. In this day and age, marketing is another of the many “hats” the author is expected to wear. On the other hand, pouring your own blood, sweat and tears into promoting that wondrous creation that blossomed from your brain will give you a sense of accomplishment. Some writers actually enjoy it!
Conducting an internet search on book marketing will provide an endless stream of suggestions. What works for one person, may not work for another. Perhaps the subject of your book is not a hugely sought out topic. Or perhaps you may have massive competition from other writers within that certain genre. If you don’t have many contacts or don’t network with different people, this may influence the number of books sold. So, TALK ABOUT IT! Spread the word!
A person cannot possibly do everything recommended because of time constraints, cost or realizing some marketing methods will simply be fruitless. After a certain dedicated period of time, you’ll need and want to return to your main focus – writing.
Here is a list of basic book branding/marketing ideas:
- Plaster the book’s cover art/image and your contact information with anything you post, respond to, review, email, etc. The cover to your book is probably more important than a picture of yourself.
- A website for your book and/or yourself as an author. Have your name or the book’s name in the website address. It is probably best to use your author’s name, as we hope you’ll write more than one book! Keep it updated and interactive.
- Sign up with social networking sites: Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, a blog, a bulletin board. Build your base of contacts. Constantly post short messages to keep your name/book in the forefront of everyone’s mind. It’s not necessary to talk about your book in each post. Let your contacts know you are a real person by chatting off the topic of your book. And letting people know you are a REAL person.
- Do NOT advertise constantly. People will despise you. Pertaining to social networking: 80% should be normal but interesting conversation. 20% promoting your book – pleasantly.
- Make sure your publisher has your book available on Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, Booksamillion.com, Borders.com, etc. If you self-publish, be sure your book is with Amazon, Barnesandnoble.com and Smashwords.com.
- Create a YouTube video of yourself reading an excerpt from your book or discussing your book and updates. People love this.
- Create a book trailer (if it’s not too financially draining).
- Be sure to personally have several copies of your book available for sale, as people you know may want to buy directly from you.
- Contact local newspapers and have them write an article about you and your new book. Try to coordinate the article to publish a week or so before a book signing.
- Arrange book signings at bookstores, libraries, eating establishments, anywhere you feel comfortable. Be sure to have a number of books available for direct sale.
- Set up an online book tour with book blogging sites.
- Set up at book fairs with other authors. Network as much as possible. Who knows who that other author knows who might know someone in the know. You know?
- Contact radio and television stations with a press release about your book. Your publisher should provide you with a press release that you may have to tweak a bit to suit whoever you’re sending it to.
- Press releases can be sent to any newspapers, magazines, etc. nationwide through email. No postage necessary.
- Sign up with a website that makes personalized items (shirts, mugs, hats, etc.) with your book cover design printed on these for people to purchase. Let the website handle all the work and you receive a commission from sales.
- Have bookmarks printed with your book cover design, website and other contact information on them. Pass them out for free. Leave them sitting on tables.
- Post reviews on Amazon.com after reading any books. Your name and your book title can be part of the review. This gets your name out there.
- Encourage your readers/fans to post reviews about your book on Amazon.com and other book sites. Having positive reviews is important.
- Arrange to do book readings. Perhaps read a chapter or two and discuss your book for fun. Perhaps join a local book club.
- Consider requesting book reviews from book reviewers or book bloggers. They tend to be a popular way to let readers and other authors learn about you and your books.
- Keep spare books in your car. Always tell everyone you can about your book and be excited – your story is in print!
I’m available to help you with book creation in a variety of ways, including marketing and ghostwriting. Check out Book Creation.