Publishers are increasingly relying on their authors to promote their own books and generate book publicity. As marketing budgets shrink, it’s important for authors to get the word out — and to do it on the cheap. For most authors, the people most excited about their work are friends and family in the beginning, so why not recruit them to help you out? Remember, however, that they are unlikely to know what they can do to help, so you need to give them specific suggestions and ideas. Here are four free ways to get your crew involved in helping you sell your book:
1. Give them the talking points
You’ve lived inside your book for months or even years. You know every line of it forwards and backwards, and can summarize it in a few sentences. Your friends may not know how to talk about your book with others, so give them the words. Give them links to your book’s website (What? Your book doesn’t have one? Get one!) and to any excerpts posted on the Internet.
2. Enlist their social media accounts
Ask your friends to share links to your book sales site (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc) on their social media outlets, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Your friends likely have a broad reach to get your book in front of thousands of eyeballs, and this is a powerful book publicity tool. Provide your friends with links that go directly to the sales page, and provide them with any introductory blurb you would like them to use.
3. Ask them to review the book on sites like Amazon
Solid book reviews are one of the most important components in a reader’s decision to buy your book. If your friends have read your book (hopefully, they will have all purchased a copy), ask them to post honest reviews on sites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Good Reads. Their reviews should not be over-the-top ads for the book, but a clear list of what they liked about it, and things they would have liked to see.
4. Bump up helpful reviews and bump down not-so-helpful ones
Book sites like Amazon display their reviews in the order of how many customers found the review helpful or not helpful. Reviews (both good and bad) that are marked consistently helpful in the book purchasing decision appear higher in the list. Your friends can read all of the reviews and mark both helpful and not helpful ones. This keeps positive detailed reviews high up on the list and more likely to be seen by potential readers.
Having friends help you in your book publicity efforts is a valuable tool in your public relations campaign. Don’t forget to someday return the favor.
Self-publishing has become a phenomenon, with thousands of first-time authors producing books in the digital age. But what do these authors need to do to get their work noticed?
The world of publishing has changed radically over the last few years. Self-publishing is now widely accepted, and the number of first-time authors has increased significantly. This means that authors, both traditionally and self-published, have to work strategically to make their book stand out from the competition. There’s a lot that an author can do to promote their book themselves to reach more potential readers. This article outlines a few public relations tips for self-published authors aiming to maximize their exposure.
#1 – Create an effective social media presence
Social media is not just a passing fad; if it were, advertising companies would not be spending millions of dollars on it. But being “present” on social media does not mean merely creating a web page as soon as your book is published, or tweeting the same information every day. Self-published authors should make themselves seen and heard on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook well before their book’s publication date so that they are noticed and respected within the online community. This will involve regularly updating content, engaging in discussions with other aspiring writers and responding directly to potential readers. It is a time consuming PR effort, but if done correctly the results can be significant.
#2 – Use your local community to generate word-of-mouth buzz
While the digital age requires self-published authors to be creative and innovative, we should not forget the benefits of real-world publicity. Once your book is published, you should encourage family and friends to spread the word. This can be through an email forwarding campaign, or, if your book is in print format, leaving sample copies in places likely to attract your target audience, such as bookstores and museums. Contacting the local newspaper, library or radio station and asking if they would like to interview you is an effective public relations strategy, as is volunteering for speaking engagements within your community. If your book has a clear theme, it might also be an idea to contact a charity or organization that promotes awareness of a similar cause. Actively selling your book at one of their events might not be an option, but you could offer to help out in exchange for a little publicity.
#3 – “Think outside the box”
There are many creative ways self-published authors can generate publicity for their work. You can do contests or book giveaways. You could offer a special discount for people who like your Facebook Fan Page or mention your book in a post on their social networking account. You could get t-shirts or mugs made that feature the cover of your book, or one of the best quotes from it. Handing these out for free at busy places will arouse the curiosity of passers-by, and could lead to increased sales. You could mail review copies to book reviewers. The list goes on.. Think outside the box.
Self-published authors have the power to ensure their book gets the recognition it deserves, but the public relations process takes skill, time and energy. If you promote your book too aggressively, potential readers may recoil from what they see as “spam;” if your approach is understated, then your book is unlikely to generate much attention. As a self-published author, you should explore every publicity option and choose the means that work best for you and your book.
You have finally finished your first book and are anxious to see a return on all of your hard work. But how are you going to get people to buy your book? After pulling many late-nighters to get your thoughts into digital form, you’re hoping to be rewarded with a flood of sales and good reviews. Unfortunately, even well-written books don’t sell themselves unless you’re already a best-selling author. Suppose you don’t have a ton of money to work with a book publicist, and you want to get the word out as inexpensively as possible. In this post, you’ll learn how to promote your book online on a budget.
Start a Free Blog
If you are on a budget, starting a blog is one of the best ways to promote your writing, because a blog usually gets good search engine rankings, it draws significant traffic, and it’s free! Set-up a free blog using WordPress or Google Blogger, and you can be publishing within ten minutes. Use your blog to write keyword-rich tips that relate to the topic of your book. At the end of each post, leave a link to your book. Do this consistently, and you’ll develop a loyal group of followers eager to get your next tip – and buy your book. The comments your readers leave will give you ideas for future books or blog posts, so read them carefully and respond.
Send Out a Press Release Online
Write a keyword-rich press release and submit it to free press release sites like PRLog. They’ll distribute your press release to major search engines like Google and Bing. This a great way to build your online presence, but if you have the money, using a paid press release distribution service like PRWeb will get you much better results. Paid press release distribution sites usually cost $100-$300 per press release, but for the extra money they’ll send your press release to local and national media including major news sites such as CNN. Using their detailed analytics, you’ll be able to track who reads your press release and what sites posted it. Either way, whether you distribute the press release through free PR sites or paid services, sending out press releases online is a great way to promote your book and build your online presence.
Promote Your Writing By Participating in Relevant Forums
Look for forums that focus on your book topic and participate in the discussions. Set aside an hour each day to answer questions and offer helpful tips. Don’t try to directly sell your book. It’ll only annoy people and get you kicked off the forum. Simply leave a link to your book in your signature file. Be sure to follow the rules of the forum you’re posting to.
Promote Your Book by Giving Away Copies
After becoming comfortable with forum and blog promotion, offer to give away a copy of your book to the first ten people in exchange for posting a review. Books that have favorable reviews on sites like Amazon sell more quickly, especially when you’re a new author. Another strategy is to offer a free book chapter to your blog readers. This will let them see the quality of your writing, and create the desire to read more of your work.
Other Ways to Promote Your Book Online On A Budget
Write articles on your book topic, and submit them to online article databases. Include a link to your book in the resource box at the end of article. Be a guest writer for other blogs and websites in exchange for a link. Make a short video with tips and publish it to YouTube with a link to your book. Start accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social networking sites. Be sure to include detailed information about your book on your profiles. Answer questions, make friends and develop followers. Be helpful but not overly promotional. This will help establish you as an expert.
Promote Your Book: The Bottom Line?
Promoting your book doesn’t have to be expensive. There are a multitude of online resources to help. All you have to do is take advantage of them. It can be or time-consuming though, which is why a publicist makes sense for most authors. What are you waiting for? Start promoting your book online today without spending a fortune.
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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