Welcome to another set of posts that we’ll be sharing with you over the next year. In this set, I’m looking at the various ways that authors can market their works. I’ve reached out to authors, publishers, and content marketers to get a wide range of ideas as to original ideas of getting the word out about your work.
You know, ideas that don’t involve spamming your Twitter and Facebook feeds that you want someone to buy your book.
Take advantage of Amazon’s promotional pricing structure which helps with sales — both giving the book away for free or using a graduated pricing structure where for example it starts at .99 and builds each day until it’s full price again.
Use hashtags and trending topics on social media — anything that is relevant to your book — to bring attention to the book.
Jerry Mooney Books
Jerry Mooney is the author of three books, including his latest novel, History, Yoghurt and the Moon.
Mooney has also written a screenplay based on History Yoghurt and the Moon as a way for cross promotion.
Conni Ponturo is a leading authority in the field of pain-free living, which includes the harmonious connection of movement, meditation, and mindset. As an acclaimed and enthusiastic speaker, her greatest joy is sharing her knowledge and actionable practices to keep you living pain-free.
You can follow Conni’s work at http://www.conniponturo.com/
Surround yourself with fellow writers who share your genre and skill level. Promote each other’s work and build a community!
When I’m not working as a writing coach or editor, I write fiction. I’ve won a handful of awards, including one in which Neil Gaiman read my short story on stage.
You can follow Kate’s work at https://www.katebitters.com/.
Lynn Maria Thompson
The author of An Author’s Guide to Online Marketing, Lynn Maria Thompson has been helping others tell their stories since 2003 and speaks about author marketing at conferences. Soon she will release The Feline CEO to offer a fresh perspective on leadership through the lens of cat behavior.
I saved what I felt was the most original advice in this round for last!
One thing authors could try doing when promoting their book is using Reddit and joining appropriate subreddits where their target audience ‘hangs out’. With Reddit being one of the most visited websites in the world, it can potentially be a great way to build awareness for their book as well as drive targeted traffic back to your website.
The key with Reddit though is that a writer needs to be willing to spend some time within the various subreddits and provide value before they try to ‘market’ or ‘sell’ to the community. While it’s a good idea to provide value on any social network, it’s even more important on Reddit as their users are good at spotting marketers. If an author is just blatantly looking to sell their product, at worst they’ll end up getting banned from the particular subreddit they’re trying to sell in… at best, their post will just be ignored.
So how can you use Reddit effectively? Figure out who the appropriate target audience is for the book that’s tried to be sold and then finding appropriate subreddits to join (this can be done via a search on Reddit or using a site like Snoop Snoo (https://snoopsnoo.com/subreddits/).
As an example, if an author wrote a horror book, a few subreddits that might be of interest:
- /r/StephenKing (https://www.reddit.com/r/stephenking/comments/31x7y1/what_else_to_read/)
Once an author has compiled a list of subreddits, they should take a few minutes to familiarize themselves with the rules.. For example, /r/suggestmeabook is for people looking for book suggestions, so if an author were to just create a post about their book it would go nowhere. However, it could be a worthwhile subreddit to become a valued community member of as there are probably people in the subreddit who are looking for books and would be interested in their book.
After getting familiar with a subreddit, it’s time to start the process of becoming a valued member of the community by providing insightful commentary on posts, upvoting other people’s posts, and providing valuable content that isn’t directly related to their book.
After becoming a part of the community, the next step is to try and identify the top time to post as well as how to style a post to match tone/voice that resonates best within the particular subreddit. This can be done by looking at each subreddit’s Top section and filtering by the past month.
Finally, when it comes time to post about the author’s book, to get the most engagement, it all starts with creating a great headline that relates to their particular audience and pulls them in. Then use the body of the post to discuss a bit about the book and why the people in the community would potentially be interested in reading it. Finally, the author should drop a link back to their website or place where the book can be purchased.
Josh Brown is part of the marketing team at Sales & Orders which manages and optimizes Google Shopping campaigns for ecommerce businesses.
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