The Right Way and the Wrong Way to Promote Your Book Online
Okay, I’m going to say this right up front at the beginning. Pay attention, because if there is only one thing you take away from a discussion on the right way and the wrong way to promote your book online, it’s this: DO NOT send anyone an unsolicited email announcing, promoting, showcasing, or otherwise pimping your book, EVER! This includes Twitter spam and Goodreads announcements too.
Whew! Got that out of the way. I feel better.
But why not, you ask? Emails get your books noticed, don’t they?
Well, yes, but for all the wrong reasons. Sending someone an email asking them to buy or review your book is pretty much akin to those people who hand out fliers for causes on street corners or in airports. They’re annoying and three seconds after you walk past them, you throw that flier in the trash. The trick of online promoting is that you want to be noticed for the right reasons by the right people.
I’m sure you’ve heard that old adage, “Work smarter, not harder”. That certainly applies to online book marketing. The most important thing you can do to get your book into the hands of readers who will appreciate it is to know your book and to know who those appreciative readers are. Have you written a romance? Seek out the romance readers. Is your book futuristic science fiction? Look for the trekkies. Have you written a brilliant YA zombie novel? Find out where young people get their books from. The only way you’re going to hit the target with your marketing is to know what the target is.
Fortunately, there are a lot of tools out there for you to accomplish this seemingly impossible mission. Book tours are a great place to get a lot of exposure and a few reviews from people who are specifically interested in the kind of book you’ve written. Most reputable book tour companies have a diverse pool of book bloggers interested in different genres to pull from. And since the bloggers in question are generally familiar with the reputation of the blog tour company, neither side has to look very far to connect with each other. Where do you find a reputable book tour company? Well, you’re in luck, because if you’re reading this post, chances are there’s a link to the company hosting this blog tour nearby. Look for the book blogs, look for links on their pages.
Book club groups and other specialized groups—like reading mom groups, of which there are a lot—are another good way to go. These are people who love to read and talk about the books they read, and in my experience they are hungry for new authors. Search for them. If you have to ask other authors who are achieving success, then by all means do it! Authors want to help authors, believe me!
Okay, but what if you want to kick your book marketing strategy up to the highest level? Ah, now you’re talking! Now it’s time to hire a publicist. Do they cost money? Yes, although maybe not as much as you’d think. Do they get results? Oh mommy, yes! Publicists make it their job to get your name and your book’s name out there. They work with you on a much more personal basis to craft a marketing strategy and to go out there and put it into action. Like book tour companies, a lot of the time they have a whole list of resources who already know and trust them with whom they can work. Publicists do the marketing work so that you can get back to doing what’s really important, writing the next book. There are a wealth of publicists out there who will gladly work with indie authors too (Bad Ass Marketing and Novel Publicity come to mind).
Of course, either way you look at it, you get out of marketing what you put into it. Whether that’s time or whether that’s money, you’re going to have to commit to a long-term strategy with a specific focus. But whatever you do, please don’t contribute to the internet’s spam problem with a scatter-shot approach. You’ll catch more readers if you know exactly where to fish and what kind of bait to use.
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Genre - Western Historical Romance
Rating – R
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