Electronic books are projected to skyrocket over the next decade, both in authorship and purchasing. Amazon’s Kindle is one of the biggest platforms when it comes to publishing, reviewing, and selling e-books, and now that Amazon has acquired the well-known bibliophile site Goodreads, there is no better place for marketing your book.
All About Goodreads
Every author on Goodreads has the same goal in mind: promoting their book to get sales.
If you’re new to Goodreads and wondering what all the fuss is about, think of this site as an educated social media platform where writers and readers can share their love of books. You can discover new authors as easily as bestselling ones, follow their publishing, and ask them questions. It’s a book lover’s paradise, all for free.
So, how can you harness this nerd-powered social media platform to promote your book? Here are five ways:
1) Build a Following
First, you have to realize you aren’t just marketing a book; you’re selling yourself as an author. People want to buy books from interesting writers who have something say, who’ve built a following, and who appear knowledgeable about whatever it is they’re selling. Goodreads is the single best place for an author to build the following necessary to create buzz and interest.
Start by setting up an author page for yourself on Goodreads. You’ll notice there’s an option for people to “follow” you. Add an intriguing bio, a professional-looking photo, and answer a few standard questions about why you write and what you write. That gives people something to know about you; it pulls them in and leaves them wanting to know more. That’s when you can start adding blog posts and status updates, keeping your followers engaged.
It will take some time to build a following, but once you do, you will have a built-in audience for everything you publish.
2) Get Reviews
The most valuable feature on Goodreads is its ability to get your book reviewed. Your book will not sell if you do not have reviews. It’s honestly that simple. Most people who review your book on Goodreads will also post a review on Amazon, and this directly translates to book sales.
There are three primary ways to get reviews on Goodreads: 1) join a critique group; 2) search out book bloggers and request a review, or 3) make friends and ask for a review.
Honest reviews are the best way to market your book–it’s like digital word of mouth. Each one is valuable, but aiming for a minimum of 50 reviews is essential. Books with at least 50 reviews begin to receive attention from Amazon, resulting in more exposure to customers and more sales.
3) Discover Opportunities
Join some Goodreads groups geared toward authors or your genre to discover some unique ways in which to market your book. Some examples include opportunities to add your book to swag bags, donate your book to libraries, participate in author interviews, and enter your work into book catalogs for sales. There’s also groups of reviewers looking for books to review. You can join, comment, and offer revie copies of your book to the group members. These opportunities are plentiful on Goodreads but challenging to find elsewhere, so take advantage. The more you interact, the more traction your Author page will get.
Goodreads giveaways are one of the prime reasons readers flock to the site. Everyone enjoys the chance to win a free book, many of which are signed by the author. But giveaways are also an invaluable marketing tool for authors.
Goodreads giveaways are free to set up and only cost the author printing and shipping costs for the number of books they choose to give away. You can opt to give away a single copy if you wish. The exposure is the same as if you choose to give away 100 copies, and the cost-to-benefit ratio is low (which is a good thing).
There is no other site with a larger audience of book fanatics eager to hear about your giveaway than on Goodreads. Many of the people who enter your giveaway will add your book to their “to-read” shelf, and some will instantly purchase your book upon seeing your giveaway listing.
5) Build a Network
Apart from building an audience (readers who adore your writing), Goodreads provides a platform for building a network (connecting with other authors). There is no better place than Goodreads for building a network. As your connections increase, so will your opportunities. The greater your following, the bigger your voice is for marketing your books.
Overall, Goodreads can provide you with everything you need to promote your book successfully. It’s the single most valuable resource for authors, with a global reach. Invest your time wisely on the site, and you will be guaranteed an uptick in book sales.
The world of publishing has changed significantly in just the past few years, and the Internet has played a major role. With the rise of self-publishing, both new and established authors are wondering just how they fit into this brave new world.
On the marketing front, there are a number of excellent outlets to help self-published authors and new writers get the exposure they need, but none is as interesting, or as potentially powerful, as BookTube. The beauty of BookTube is that it allows authors to connect with real readers. Instead of being filtered through armies of professional reviewers, authors can communicate directly with their target audience.
Dedicated readers watch enthusiastic BookTubers talk about their favorite new finds, share what they liked, and did not like, about the latest books they read and share books they think their fellow readers would like. They’ll post book haul videos, their TBR, reviews of works by new and established indie authors and more. BookTubers tend to have a large following of ‘subscribers’ who regularly watch their videos, so having your book mentioned can be great exposure.
By connecting with readers on YouTube, self-published authors are able to garner real, genuine, honest reviews. Since there is no puffery or hidden agenda, these types of reviews are more credible, especially to potential buyers.
If you want to join the BookTube world, it is easy to get started. With hundreds of thousands of BookTubers currently on YouTube, there is no shortage of reviewers to choose from. Search for readers you think would enjoy your work. Reach out and offer them a complimentary copy of your book, then eagerly await your review. Keep in mind that most BookTubers prefer paperbacks, since they are easier to feature in their videos.
If the BookTubers you reach out to like your book, they will create a video review and share it on their YouTube channel, sharing your work with not only fellow authors but hundreds of thousands of potential readers as well. This kind of guerilla marketing is a vital part of writing today, and it can pay off big in the long run. For quality works, the viral nature of the Internet in general, and the BookTube site in particular, can help you take it from there. Whether you write historical fiction, romance, science fiction, biographies or something else, BookTube is a great way to gain exposure, market your work and get your name out there. Plus the videos are so fun to watch!
Bookstagram is becoming super popular and can be a great way to get exposure for your work, particularly as a self-published author. Self-publishing can be highly rewarding, but it does have its difficulties. As any self-published author knows, it can be tricky to get reviews for your book, especially when you’re just starting out. Luckily, the world of Bookstagram is the perfect place to connect with a huge community of book lovers. So, what exactly is Bookstagram?
The Bookstagram community is a large group of literature fans posting about their favorite reads on Instagram. Bookstagram accounts (run by “Bookstagrammers”) use the image-sharing app to post photographs of books they’re loving and discuss the details in photo descriptions and comments. In this hyper-visual and social media obsessed age, many readers choose to buy a book book based on its cover or social media shares, and this is how they’re doing it.
Exposure for your book in the Bookstagram world can help boost your sales. Clearly, you can reach a huge number of people if your book is featured on a popular Instagram account. Instagram posts are more personal than a magazine or blog review, so followers trust their book recommendations. If you can get a shot of your book featured on a popular Instagram account, you’ll find a whole new community of real readers eager to learn about your book. Bookstagrammers often also run blogs, Goodreads accounts, and YouTube (or so-called “BookTube”) channels, so once they notice you, your book can be promoted – for free! – on multiple platforms.
The best way to get featured on a Bookstagram account is to simply reach out. If they have a website, check it to see if they have a review policy listing what types of books they enjoy reading. If your book falls under one of their favorite genres, contact them and ask if they would be interested in reading it. If they are, send them a complimentary copy and cross your fingers. If they like it, your book could potentially be promoted to thousands of book lovers and eager readers. It’s best to send a paperback copy, as these are more photographable (and it’s all about getting that cool shot for the Instagram feed!). If you can, try to get in touch with Bookstagrammers who are a good fit for your book. It’s probably a waste of time contacting a sci-fi Bookstagrammer if your novel is a historical romance. Of course, there are most certainly some specializing in whichever niche you write in. There’s a Bookstagrammer out there for everyone and plenty of all-genre accounts, so keep an eye out and get in touch with Bookstagrammers at all levels of popularity. An account with a few hundred followers is relatively small, but it could still help grow your fanbase.
Bookstagram is a great way to get your writing out there, particularly if you’re an Indie Author. Use it to connect with real readers, gain exposure and reviews for your book, and build a fanbase that will continue to follow your writing in the future.
You’ve put the finishing touches on your book and are ready to show it to the world. You hope to get readers and add a few extra dollars in your pocket at the same time. Ebooks in particular are extremely profitable. People love the ease of being able to instantly download a book to their phone or iPad. But it can be a challenge to sell your book if you aren’t a well-known author. And to become a successful author, you have to sell some books. The good news is that there are low cost ways to get the word out about your book and establish your credibility as an author.
Here are 4 ways to help you bring in the sales:
Offer a Free Chapter
People hesitate to buy when they’re not sure about the quality of your writing or the information you offer, especially if you’re a new author. One way to motivate them is to offer a free chapter from your book. To do this, make a chapter available for instant download right from your website. Even better, give away a free chapter in exchange for an email address. You can use their email address to send information about future ebooks you’re authoring. Giving away a free chapter is a good way to get your prospective reader “hooked” on what you have to offer.
Get Your Book Reviewed
If you’re listing your book on sites like Amazon, it’s important to have good reviews. Since customers can’t flip through the book, they often base their decision to buy on book reviews left on the site. Reviews are especially important if you’re a new author. To get your book reviewed, visit sites relevant to your topic, and offer a free copy of your book in exchange for a review.
Another way to get your book reviewed is to send a copy to relevant blogs and book reviewers, and ask them to read it. If they like it, they’ll mention it on their blog where it could reach thousands of eyes. Not only do you get a review, you get free publicity. Not every blog will review your book, but be persistent. Some will.
Don’t Be Afraid to Give Away Copies
Offer a copy of your book to people who have a large following on social media sites. If they enjoy your book, encourage them to share it with their friends and followers. This is a quick and easy way to get the word out about your book. The more copies you giveaway, the more reviews you’ll see. Make sure you are giving away copies to the right people though (if you have a mystery book, search for people who enjoy reading mysteries). You can also giveaway free copies of your book directly through Amazon and Goodreads, they each have their own giveaway platform.
Submit Articles to Relevant Websites to Market Your Book
Do a search for popular websites and magazines relevant to your topic. Websites are always looking for quality content. Submit a unique article or an excerpt from your book that their readers would enjoy. Make sure the article is a good fit for their site and something that their readers would find interesting. At the bottom of the article, include your bio, mentioning your book with a link to your website.
The Bottom Line?
There are lots of books out there, and how you market it can make or break it. Give these tips a try and see if they don’t make a difference. Promoting your book can be a full time job, so if you don’t have the time or energy, hiring a publicist to handle your book promotion may be your best bet.
NetGalley is a platform where you can upload your ebook (PDF, ePub, or Kindle) and make it available to thousands of users (librarians, booksellers, educators, reviewers, bloggers, and media), so that they can download, read, and review it.
Sounds great, right? Well, in theory NetGalley is a one-stop shop for all your book review needs, putting it out there for readers to find and saving you hours of work in pitching your book out to potential reviewers. However, something that sounds this good must have a catch. We have several points that may help you decide whether using NetGalley is the right decision for you.
The cost of using NetGalley is probably the biggest consideration. Last we checked, it was $450 to list your book on NetGalley for six months, or you could purchase a Marketing-Plus-Title listing bundle for $699 for the same service, plus one spot in a NetGalley newsletter. Keep in mind that these prices are only for listing your book; NetGalley does not take care of any leg work for you. You are still responsible for uploading your book, managing your account and handling inquiries.
When you first publish your book on NetGalley, it is listed under ‘Recently Added’ and featured on the NetGalley homepage. For this short period (only a day or two), you will be flooded with review requests from those who see your cover when they first log on to the site. Depending on your book, you can expect to receive anywhere from 1-200 review requests within the first few days of adding your book to the site. Even though, say 200 people download your ebook, that doesn’t mean all 200 are going to review it, so don’t get your hopes up! Typically, only a handful may actually decide to publish a review of your book.
Once your book is no longer on the homepage, review requests will be far and few between. Reviewers will only come across your book while they are searching under specific categories, where your book will be lumped with hundreds of other similar titles. Your requests will drop drastically and NetGalley may no longer be of any use to you.
Here is our bottom line: if you have the money to spend, NetGalley can be a good resource. However, paying $450 for six months of service when the bulk of responses only come in the first few days may not be worth it. Another important note to keep in mind: the reviews gained from NetGalley are not enough to ensure your book’s success. You may get a handful of good reviews for your book, but that doesn’t necessarily lead to any book sales. We’ve used NetGalley for 3 years now, from 2014 to 2017, and looking back, it was a complete waste of time and money. Yes, we got a few reviews for our books, but nothing worthwhile. It’s a lot of money to spend, for very little in return.
At the end of the day, gaining exposure for your book takes much more than just a NetGalley subscription. You may be better off hiring a publicist, especially when the rates are reasonable in comparison, or you could consider doing the more tedious PR work yourself.
Twitter is a wonderful place to promote your book, but there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it. To avoid making mistakes that might cause you to lose readers and fans, check out the following list of do’s and dont’s:
Do: Reply to messages
Remember that you’re not a celebrity. It’s unlikely that you’re contacted by so many people in a day that you just can’t keep up. While there may be some authors who just can’t respond to everyone, they are few and far between. Interacting with your fans is important. When they write you they’re most likely telling you how much they enjoyed your work or have a question to ask you. Thanking them is the least that you can do.
Don’t: Market every 5 minutes
Chances are you’ve followed an author who promotes their book every few minutes. It’s annoying, right? The most obvious problems with promoting your book every couple of minutes it that it fills up people’s timelines and may cause them to unfollow you or they simply don’t even pay attention to your tweets anymore. Don’t schedule tweets to post every 3 or 5 minutes. If you need to schedule your tweets because you won’t be around for a while, make sure that you space them appropriately.
Do: Respond to other people’s tweets
Twitter is all about interaction. It’s important that you respond to tweets. If someone tweets about your book, you should respond to it, favorite it, and/or retweet it. You don’t have to respond to every tweet, but anything you find interesting you should reply to (whether it’s about your book, or someone else’s). Everyone likes to know that people are not only reading their tweets, but getting something out of them as well.
Don’t: Follow thousands to get followers
If you are going to follow a large number of people, make sure that they’re in some way related to your interests. If you’ve written a mystery book, you probably want to follow other mystery writers. Of course, you don’t only need to follow people in your particular genre, but make sure you have interest in their work. Following random people will more likely bring you random followers instead of people who are interested in your work. It’s better to have 500 followers who are interested in you and your work than 5,000 who aren’t interested at all.
Twitter is a great place for authors to promote their work, but it’s important to realize that more goes into promoting your work than bombarding people with links to your work. Doing that might actually harm your sales, rather than help.
Press releases can be an effective way to get the word out about your book. However, journalists receive many press releases every day and reject most of them at first glance.
A press release is much like a news story. The difference is that it is written with the intention of selling the worthiness of coverage for any topic that someone in the media might want to write about. Using proper press release format will help your chances of being published.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE should be at the top right corner, followed by the headline centered below it.
Start with an attention grabbing title. Use words that are memorable and describe the content of the story. Try to include something unique or highly unusual in the title to attract a journalist’s attention and encourage them to read further. It’s best to write the title after you have written the rest of your press release. Brainstorm to come up with a few different ideas and ask at least one other person for their opinion and feedback.
Include essential information in the first paragraph. Journalists are inundated with press releases and pitches every day and don’t have time to read them all in entirety. If the first paragraph does not grab their attention, they will most likely not continue reading it. A journalist will want to find out all the relevant information in the first paragraph. To ensure that you have included everything, ask yourself – does the first paragraph answer the following questions about the story: Who? What? Where? When? How? and Why?
Use objective and impartial language. Try to distance yourself from the story and write about it as if you were a journalist. It should not look like an advertising company wrote it. Leave out any hyperbole that a marketer would want to use. Objective and impartial language will appeal to a journalist who may even re-use your words when reporting your story.
Include at least one quote in the press release. This could be a quote from a book reviewer or the author themselves.
Keep it short and straightforward. Journalists are busy people and do not have time to read through pages of dense text. Re-write your press release several times until you are happy that each sentence and paragraph is as short and concise as possible. One-page press releases have much more impact than longer ones. Delete all irrelevant details and reduce sentences by re-wording them in a more concise style. If you communicate your story clearly and straightforward, you will maximize your chances of gaining publicity.
At the end of your press release, make sure to include your website and contact information so that any further questions can be answered for the person receiving the release.
Do you need help promoting your book? At Book Publicity Services, we provide the results you need to get the word out about your book and increase sales, without spending a fortune. We specialize in generating book reviews and media exposure to create awareness and build credibility. We have successfully promoted a wide variety of genres, both fiction and nonfiction, traditionally and self-published. Get your PR campaign started today to make your book stand out from the rest!
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