Today’s guest post is from the author of Reunion, Jeff Bennington! I forget how I ran across Jeff, though it could have been a lot of places since Jeff is a powerful experimenter in the realm of book promotion. His site is The Writing Bomb. He’s also blogged here before on CreateSpace versus Lightning Source–a very popular post, and for good reason: Jeff’s generous with what he learns. Here’s what he picked up from his book campaigns:
In the world of publishing, authors have found many ways to promote their work ranging from book signings with a 3-piece orchestra to dressing up like their characters. After publishing two novels, I’ve tried some of those crazy stunts, but from my experience, there are a few affordable and effective ways to promote your book online that won’t leave you looking like Barney the dinosaur. In fact, online marketing has been touted, and likely is, the best way for an author to promote his or her work.
However, authors have to approach marketing differently based on their genre and subject matter. And let’s be clear, when you promote your book, you can’t always expect immediate gratification and you’re not guaranteed sales. Your premise will drive readers to read a sample and the excerpt will determine your sales. And so, the quality of your writing is ultimately the best sales pitch.
The best promotion for me has come from the following:
#1 Goodreads.com: Goodreads “giveaways” are an incredible tool to publicize your book. I recently posted Reunion in a giveaway and had 787 bites in 5 days, beating out bestsellers that have been on the list for months.
HINT: Don’t post more than one book to give away and do it in one-week spurts. You’ll have to trust me on this.
I also like what my ad on Goodreads is doing. The thing with Goodreads is not how many clicks or sales you get, but how many folks “add” your book to their “to be read” list. When they do that, they are more or less planning on buying your book when they get to it, and they will, because most readers on Goodreads are avid readers and love talking about what they read, so they will also rate and review your book, which is another benefit of that site.
Another secret here is that if you spend X amount of dollars on an ad, you will likely get a lot more “adds” than clicks, which is good because it is a pay-per-click system. But if folks add your book without clicking on the ad then you have effectively extended the life of your ad immeasurably.
#2 Blog: If you don’t have a blog or you’re afraid of starting one or you think it’s too much
work, then plan on writing your book solely for your mother to enjoy because blogging is only the beginning of what it takes to market your book…and it’s the easiest. It’ll only get harder and more expensive from there.
#3 Kindlenation.com: This is a very good site but you’ll have to plan months in advance to run an ad. It will definitely make your money back and more because they have a lot of readers who buy what they advertise. Programs run from $119 to $349. Kindle Nation reaches from 7,500 to 15,000+ opt-in readers. I paid $99 for an ad that ran in mid May and sold over 200 copies that day. So if you make $2 or $3 a book and spend $119…do the math.
#4 Twitter, Facebook, email lists: These are the most obvious and basic starting points. I’ll put it this way, I got all four of my book blurbs through Twitter connections, two of which are bestselling authors. If you can get that elsewhere, go for it. Basically, you have to tell your social marketing pals about your book.
And, this is important, you have to share their work too.
If you blast your friends and followers with your personal spam, they will retweet and share less and less the more you do it. Share what they are doing and chat with them and you’ll notice a marked difference in how receptive they are to spreading the word about your book. I’ve experimented with this and I can tell you without a shadow of doubt that cross promotion helps.
Strict self-promotion hurts.
However, I have found that tweeting short blurbs, such as “A Riveting and Incredibly Powerful Story of Pain and Triumph!” grabs reader’s attention more than, “Check out my new book, REUNION”. Try both methods and see which works better. Be sure to include a “tiny url” to allow room for your #tags.
HINT: Use the twitter share button on the right side of your Amazon sales page. It has the shortest “tiny url” I’ve seen yet.
#5 Ereadernewstoday.com: I’m on the schedule, so I don’t know for sure, but I’ve heard that Ereadernewstoday.com is a good site to advertise on. This program is $25 a day. Emails will reach about 10,000 book readers through opted-in email blasts.
#6 Blog Tour: Plan for a lot of work. It can be nearly free, but will be the most time consuming. However, if your book sucks, I think a blog tour can backfire. I’m just sayin’.
If you go this route, you better get your book professionally edited and proofed and have a great cover and good formatting because that’s what book bloggers and reviewers expect.
Basically, when it comes to promoting your book. You better make sure it is a damn good book or you’ll have a 7-digit Amazon ranking within a month. I know. I’ve seen it. But don’t get overwhelmed. I’m a newer author and I’m not breaking any records, but I believe these six methods of promotion will help you tremendously, especially if you are in the process of building your platform as I am.
Thanks for reading. What methods have you used to promote your book? How did it turn out? Let me know.
Jeff Bennington, author of REUNION & other thrillers
CLICK THE COVER TO BUY REUNION NOW:
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- What’s goodreads good for? (debsanswers.wordpress.com)
- How To Get the Most Out of GoodReads (blogher.com)
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- Find Your Next Book To Read With Goodreads [Android] (makeuseof.com)
- Writers Need a Web Presence. Here’s What That Means (writeanything.wordpress.com)
- Goodreads Makes Great Readers (freetech4teachers.com)