Gone are the days when writers used to take time off after finishing a book, and left the worries of promoting & selling to publishers. Trend has changed today – and changed widely. Millions of books (offline+online) get written and published each year. As a result, most publishers have shrunk their services to only proofreading, printing and distributing books.
Amidst this torrent of books, relying only upon your book’s quality and publisher’s authority is simply not wise. You need a marketing strategy to ensure your book’s success. Strategies however will vary depending on whether you already have a fan base or want to create one, and other such factors. And this is where you need to be creative.
Internet has increased the marketing options exponentially – both free and paid. Why not use them? So, here are a few tips on how to market your book online.
Before thinking about online marketing, you need to be clear about your target audience (people who will be interested in your book). It’s not hard to decide. For instance, if it is a children book, then, target school kids and kindergarten teachers; if it’s a romance or young adult fiction, then target teenagers and young adults.You can get some good insights from this detailed survey from Goodreads.
Always remember your target is to increase your book’s discoverability, and sales will take care of itself. Start off by creating author profiles on book portals such as LibraryThing, Goodreads, Shelfari, etc. In virtual world, these are the places where most book readers are found, especially Goodreads, which has about 50 million users worldwide.
Write a profile that is short but reflects your writing style and personality. Through such websites, you can also manage a blog to keep your fans engaged.
Internet users mostly rely on Wikipedia for basic information on just about anything. Even if you have a dedicated website for your book (or book series), people will still choose Wikipedia to get the info, simply because of its familiarity.
While you are creating your book page, also take time to create your own profile on Wikipedia. This will further add to your authority.
An online marketing campaign simply cannot run without social media. Create Facebook fan page, Twitter account and profiles on other social media networks to start the buzz around your book. Also check where on social media you will find most of your target audience and market accordingly. For instance, 80% users on Pinterest are women, so if you are writing a book about women health or a subject that concerns women in particular, target Pinterest.
People don’t readily pick or purchase a new book. They firstly like to get an idea of writing style and see whether it fits their taste or not. Google Books’ ‘Preview This Book’, Amazon’s ‘Look Inside’, and iBooks’ ‘Preview’ has made this possible. These features let people read few initial pages to help people decide whether it is something they really want.
Featuring a preview of your book online is a good way to let your audience know about your book, as well as generate curiosity about it.
For self-publishers and short story writers, Wattpad is a good platform to start with. Wattpad is yet another dedicated social media platform for readers as well as writers. Following a different approach than Goodreads and LibraryThing,it allows users to not only log their reading history online but also makes story recommendations as per interest.
Currently, Wattpad has around 35 million users making it a great option for aspiring and new writers.
Typical book readers like to read books while physically holding them. But you can’t overlook the fact that popularity of digital book formats is increasing very fast – especially since Amazon’s Kindle. So, to increase your book reach you need to make it available in different digital formats as well. Additionally, it can also help you in marketing your book further, since some websites allow free promotion of e-books.
So far, so good. But if you want see your online book promotion campaign really making an impact, then you need to go a little further, and invest a little capital too.
Here are a few marketing tips that will cost you little money but will make miles of difference in your book promotion campaign.
Goodreads is the social network of book lovers. It is where most book readers come to check book ratings, reviews and ideas about what to read next based on their taste. Goodreads has a powerful book-promotion program, which targets readers on the basis of preferred genre & reading taste.
On Goodreads, advertisements are simply seen as book recommendations. Therefore, getting readers to actually buy your book is easier with Goodreads.
Amazon is considered the first place where most people turn to buy books,enquire about price, and check reviews. So, making your book available on Amazon is a must. But simply listing your book on Amazon is not enough since millions are already there.
Figure out how to promote your book on amazon effectively. Some essential steps in this direction include creating your Amazon author profile, adding genre specific keywords, and encouraging readers to review your book.
Additionally, you can follow the same promotion approach with your local online book selling portals.
Social media is a powerful way to create buzz about your book online. But there is more to social media than just creating profiles and sharing images. To make most out of it, it is necessary to optimize your social media profiles. Running promotional campaigns, offering free giveaways, using hashtags, and sharing relevant images are some ways to make the most out of your social media campaign. Results can be maximized by running your campaigns after consulting online marketing experts.
Book or no book, people do judge things by their cover. Whether it is Amazon, Goodreads or any other online book hub, there are millions of books on them. And to get an identity in this endless grid of books, you need a real good book cover that attracts users and bounds them to click on it. Hire a designing firm that specializes in logo, book cover, business cards, brochure designs etc. or approach designers of book covers you like.Usually it takes a little investment, so going for it is a mindful decision.
A book takes thousands of exhausting hours in making. Hence, launching it without creating hype will be plain silly. Ebooks benefit greatly from online marketing push as their readers are tech savvy and can be targeted with ease with effective marketing strategy.
If you have the time, know how and patience to market your book on your own, then, above points will get you started in the right direction. However, make sure you have an online marketing specialist by your side to help you with technicalities and avoid blunders.
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