Book Hitch offers a free option to add your books to the site. This includes a 60-word description, 5 search keywords and a link to the site where readers can purchase your book. If you don’t mind paying a yearly fee you have the option of a more detailed listing. To see what other authors are doing visit Book Hitch and then open your free account!
Here’s a nifty website: Nothing Binding. Authors can register for a free account and upload information about their books. Another important feature is that you can meet and network with other writers. That’s always a good thing. Already using the site? Let us know how it’s going for you!
John Kremer has created a collection of Twitter tips that can help both newcomers and old timer authors who want to leverage the power of Twitter to market their book. You can download the e-book version or read the online version here!
Vincent van Leeuwen shares the lessons he learned at Startup Weekend in September 2010. Our favorite lesson? “Treat The Media As Your Friend.” Apply these lessons to writing a book or marketing your company. Read the entire article here.
If you have an excerpt of your book you can offer it on sites that publish free offers to readers. Make sure that you include more than just your introduction. Most freebie sites require the excerpt to include one chapter from within the book. You can find these types of sites by searching Google.
Another marketing idea for your book is to find blogs on the topic of your book and offer to write a guest post. You might be asked to provide an original piece that won’t be published anywhere else. Only offer that kind of exclusivity to a blog with a large readership that may be interested in your book and include a link back to the book in your biography. Many authors have done well using this method.
We love GoodReads. It is a great resource for both authors and for readers. We regularly run giveaways for our new books and we always get a good response so we are happy to see that Goodreads doubled in size in 2012. To learn all the good news from Goodreads click here and let us know how you use the site to promote your books.
Marcia Yudkin has written another good article about book promotion. Although she is talking about promoting Kindle books her advice can work for print books as well. You can read the entire article on the Warrior Forum.
Toni (The Geek) got sidelined by illness in November and took some time away from computer. This is great news for authors because it gave her some time to think about offline book marketing and she came up with nine ideas every author should consider. Read “9 Offline Book Promotion Ideas (That Don’t Suck)” and tell us if you have an offline promotion ideas to share with our readers!
Selling a lot of books requires some creativity and hard work. We have talked before about the benefits of a virtual book tour and today we have another article that can help you decide if a tour is right for you and your book. Read “The Benefits of the Virtual Book Tour”
by Celeste Ng and let us know what you think.
Last month’s blog carnival on Author Marketing Experts, Inc. includes at least a dozen blog posts with excellent advice from a variety of experts. You’ll find tips like “How to find your own writing style” and “Writing Fiction The Walter Mitty Way”. Take a look and let us know what you think.
Catherine, Caffeinated is a blog written by Catherine Ryan Howard and she has a very good article about “Why Flashy Book Trailers Don’t Work.” We’ve seen a lot of book trailers… flashy and not so flashy. We liked most of them so it is interested to hear why Catherine thinks they don’t work. You can read the article yourself.
The Creative Pen blog has a good article titled “Help! My Book Isn’t Selling. 10 Questions You Need To Answer Honestly If You Want To Sell More Books.” Some of the advice is common sense but most of it is real meat that you can use to figure out why your book isn’t selling.
John Kremer is the author of the book “1001 Ways to Market Your Books” and he has a very robust website. He offers a free e-zine and some paid services but you can learn a great deal about book marketing just by reading through his website. Take a look around and let us know what you think! John is also a consultant in the areas of book marketing, book sales, book promotion, publicity, direct marketing, pricing, book titles, book covers, book marketing plans, book proposals, rights sales, and more. If you like what you learn from his website check out his consulting services!
Read a short but fabulous guest blog by Angela Ackerman on J.C. Martin’s blog. The reason we like this post so much is it is focused on collaboration and generosity. After you read it please leave us a comment and tell us your thoughts about the post.
Just like any social network, Facebook has to be used wisely while you are building a community of potential readers. Do the wrong thing and you can undo all of the credibility you’ve worked hard to build.
Here are some things that you definitely want to avoid doing on FaceBook:
1. Do not spam people’s inboxes, walls or Facebook Fan Pages. This will cost you your credibility and it can also get you banned from FaceBook entirely. Facebook is an important tool that needs to remain spam free in order to be a place where people want to gather.
2. Don’t post the link to your website on people’s walls or Fan Pages. This just makes you look desperate and greedy. Don’t drop links anywhere at all. Instead, post interesting comments and people will click your name to learn more about you from your profile.
3. While you want to give yourself and your business a human face don’t get overly personal especially with photos and videos. You aren’t searching for a hot date – you are trying to build an audience of readers.
Use good sense and avoid behavior used by other spammers. In the long run it may take longer to build your audience but the price of your credibility is not something you want to lose.
A popular phrase in marketing is “Return On Investment” or ROI. Everyone wants to know the ROI of their marketing tactics and sometimes this is easy to determine. Social media is where it gets murky. There isn’t a way to monitor social media impact at present because social media is not meant to be a marketing or sales channel. The true value in social media is building relationships with present and future readers, build your brand and create a positive reputation. This can’t be quantified.
In my opinion the best practices in social media include:
1. Building relationships. Posting a tweet or Facebook Fan Page status update a couple of times a week isn’t going to build relationships. You need to monitor your accounts for visitor response at least twice a week if you’re just starting out and more often when you become more experienced. Ask and answer questions, “like” responses and thank people for commenting.
2. Stay out of flame wars. Build your reputation by responding positively and constructively to criticism. Show enthusiasm for suggestions even if they aren’t perfect. Move potentially destructive conversations off social media and on to e-mail or telephone. Remove comments that are spammy or inappropriate and report people who continuously spam you. Building your reputation doesn’t mean you have to be a doormat.
3. Monitor conversations about you or your company. People may be talking about you or your book in a positive or negative manner on their own social media accounts. Setup Google Alerts to monitor this but you can also manually search social media sites on your own. You’ll be surprised at what you learn and much of it will be positive.
4. Use social media to promote but not sell. No one wants to follow someone on Twitter just to hear over and over again “Buy my book. Buy my book. Buy my book.” You can provide discreet links to your book excerpts or sample chapters but do it infrequently.
Social media is a great place to meet potential and current readers but be sure to use it wisely.
The Book Deal blog has a great interview with Jackie Morse Kessler, the author of a four-book Young Adulst series with Houghton/Graphia: Hunger, Rage, Loss and the upcoming Breath. Ms. Kessler just finished a blog book tour and explains how it works and what the benefits are for authors. To read this insightful post at the Book Deal blog and let us know if you’ve ever participated in a book blog tour.
Your book readers are critical to your success as an author. So you better know them inside out or you are not going to be successful. I know this is a bold statement but it’s true!
As a publisher I always ask my potential authors if they know who will buy and read their book. Almost all of them say “I believe that everyone could enjoy reading my book.” Wrong! It would be lovely if everyone would buy and love your book but that doesn’t happen even for a bestselling author. People have very definitive tastes in book topics and writing styles. You can’t possibly appeal to all of them and it would be a waste of your time to try target the entire world.
Defining your target reader is the most important thing you can do before creating your marketing plan. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about social media , PR or advertising – if you don’t know who your target reader is none of this stuff will be effective.
Do some research by looking at books similar to your own and check out the reviews. Start by identifying who your readers are by using standard demographics like:
- Marital Status
- Family Size
- Language Spoken
Once you come up with a profile of a target reader you will be able to use that information to find out where these people hang out and then take the steps to communicate with them. Without this information you’re really shooting in the dark!
A feature on LinkedIn that can help authors build their network and establish credibility is LinkedIn Answers. Answers is where you share your expertise and establish yourself as an expert. It’s a great way to make your book stand out – by answers that are the topic of your book. This is not a lead generation tool and using it like one will hurt your credibility. Provide useful, relevant answers and you will do just fine.
You can ASK and ANSWER questions here. When asking questions, keep them short and specific. You are more likely to get response if your questions are clear and on point. This is a great way to do research for your marketing campaigns. When answering questions, remember that these folks are honestly looking for information – they don’t want to hear your sales pitch. So if you have something to share hop on over to LinkedIn and get started!