14 Easy Ways Authors Can Promote Their Books
In the book marketing world what works today can be considered old news tomorrow and won’t work because ‘everybody’ is doing it. Some tactics continue to be effective over time. As a book publicist I keep an eye out for the latest tips and techniques. Here’s a list of ‘easy’ ways authors can promote their books.
- TV news. Few mediums reach as many people as TV news. I’ve spent the better portion of my life placing clients on TV news programs and interview shows. It’s extremely effective in letting people know about your book. The easiest way to land a TV interview is to send your book with a personally addressed cover letter/pitch and press release about the book to the news director of the station. Provide your photo and send it in. Do that for every TV station you want to appear on. Start local first then go after the big shows.
- Talk radio. Listeners turn to talk radio to be fully informed on topics that are not covered completely in newspapers or on TV and to have an actual conversation with the host and you, the guest. Talk radio show hosts will in most cases ask you to share your website, e-mail address or toll-free phone number or they’ll mention it themselves. Use the same methods discussed to solicit TV News above.
- Kickstarter. Need money to promote your book? Many authors have successfully turned to Kickstarter to fund their book marketing.
- Goodreads. 50 Million readers find books to read on Goodreads so it makes sense for authors to find out as much as possible about how it can help sell books. One way is to make sure reviewers post their reviews on Goodreads. Also ask readers to add your book to Listopia lists where books are grouped together by genre and subject. Get active on Goodreads. Write reviews of books you’ve read and add books you’d like to read to your ‘Want to Read’ list. Buy an ad on Goodreads. Target your ad by book genre, location, gender or age.
- Amazon Author page. Make sure you are utilizing your Amazon Author page. Are all your books listed? Have you added your author photo and bio? What about including your book trailer, blog and tour schedule? Take advantage of all the tools you can that cost nothing!
- Amazon KDP Select. This is where you give away your ebook on Amazon for up to five days. When this first started it was amazing how effective it was in getting exposure for authors. While not as effective today, it’s still worth doing.
- Book awards. You have to enter to win. It’s well worth your time and money giving you media opportunities as it distinguishes you when you become ‘an award-winning author.’
- Book Fairs. Meet fellow authors and readers who love books. It’s where the rubber meets the road in the book business. You’ll find out what readers like and what’s on the mind of authors. You may find out some good info about effective marketing methods. Make it a point to hit a few during your next vacation.
- Writer’s Conferences. Where serious authors go to hone their craft, meet fellow authors and listen to experts in the field. Well worth your time to find out how others are progressing in the writing field. Writers are quite nice people so you’re bound to make long term friends who collectively can change your life for the better. When you look back after a few years you’ll remember bits of advice that made all the difference in your success.
- Social Media. Become active on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Create specific content for each of the mediums using blurbs, your book trailer, memes and book reviews. It’s a major project no doubt, but it’s one of the best low cost ways to reach readers. Plus, Facebook offers advertising directly to fans of authors in your genre or specific authors themselves. Get busy and just do it!
- Book trailer. Just as a movie trailer is used to get consumers interested in a movie, a book trailer does the same for a book. If a picture is worth 1000 words then a book trailer must be worth 100,000 words! Get one for your book and post it to social media and include the URL in all pitches.
- Read a book. You want people to buy your book then go out and buy and read books about book marketing. You can’t know everything on book promotion so read books to find out what you need to learn.
- ProfNet. A reporter, freelance writer or television producer is assigned a story and places a query on ProfNet requesting an expert who could speak to the topic. Queries come from the NY Times, Good Morning America, Women’s World Magazine, NPR etc. Authors are perfect for ProfNet because of their built-in credibility since they wrote about the subject matter covered in their book. The media likes people who have credentials and are authorities and experts.
- Book signing event. Often we’ll land a media interview because we have an event such as a book signing. The event gives the media a ‘reason’ to talk about your book right now. Since book stores are solicited by authors and publishers incessantly, try another retail outlet. One client of mine set up a book signing in a bake shop. We got TV and newspaper coverage for that one!
The Bottom Line: Authors, recheck your marketing mix and take advantage of all the ‘easy’ ways to promote your book. Do it today!