I can't wait to market my book. It sounds fun, like a game where each book sale is a point and you get money for each point. I've been working on my Marketing Plan for years in hopes that I will use it when I finally get published, and since I just shared it with a friend of mine, I thought I should send it to my virtual friends, too.
Most of this is catered to self-published authors simply because I don't know enough about publishing companies to offer advice on how they should help you. These are all things that any author can do. Keep in mind that I haven't actually done any of these things; I just hope to. Someday.
If you have any tips to share, or if you've tried any of these tips and would like to tell us how it went, leave a comment!
Launch Party – When your book is available to purchase, you can host a party at a bookstore where people buy your book for the first time. You invite all your friends and family, put up posters in the community, and get the bookstore to promote it. It’s like doing a reading, except it’s a big deal because it’s the first one. You read from your book, discuss your inspiration for writing it, sign copies, maybe make cupcakes.Reviews - Reviews are extremely important to people buying books online, so encourage your friends to review them on as many sites as they can: Amazon, Goodreads, Powell’s, Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million, etc. Be sure to thank them afterwards.
Facebook Launch Party – I’ve been to several of these and they’re a lot of fun. You invite everyone to come to a Facebook page at a set time and for two to four hours, you post stuff, like fun facts about your book or your time period. You also host giveaways. Every twenty minutes or so, you introduce an author who agreed to participate, then the author says hello and asks the participants a question. One of the people who answers the question gets the book (you announce winners the next day). You can also offer swag as a prize, like a poster or a mug with your book cover on it, or a gift that’s relevant to your book.
Giveaways – Goodreads, LibraryThing, and Booklikes give away free copies of books, and people read through the books and enter for the ones they like. You might get a hundred people to enter the drawing, so it’s a great way to promote the book to the 99 who don’t get a free copy.
Join Historical Novel Society – If you write historical fiction like me, being a member of this society will help you get to know other historical novelists, and you can get them to review your book on their website. (I don’t know how, but you can ask.) It’s $50 a year. Also, you can get on their Facebook page for free and network there.
Newsletter – With an email newsletter, you send people information about when your book is coming out, when you’re doing readings, etc. I think there’s a way to get people to sign up for newsletters on your blog (are they called apps on blogs?), but you can also do it manually. MailChimp is a great program for mass emails.
Author pages – You can have your own professional profiles on Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, LibraryThing, and Booklikes. People go there to read about you and see what other books you’ve written and where to buy them.
Book clubs – You can get a group of people together and have your own book group to read and talk about your novel, and you can encourage your friends to host book clubs. Perhaps everyone who buys the book for a group could get a discount. A lot of authors also do Skype or phone calls to book clubs so people can interview the author at their meeting. You can also host virtual book clubs via Facebook or Goodreads.
Use book cover as your profile picture and cover photo on Facebook. That way, everyone who interacts with you online will know you have a book to buy.
Offer signed books online - A friend of mine did this and I thought it was brilliant; for only one month, people could buy her book from a certain bookstore and get it signed and personalized. How often do we find books we like but then wait years to buy them? Signed copies make people whip out their checkbook and get the book right away.
Blog Tour – Get your friends to interview you and/or review your book on their blogs. If you don’t know many bloggers, you can hire someone to host a blog tour (see below).
Book Signings and Readings – You’d be surprised how many opportunities there are to promote your book at fairs, library events, book stores, art events, writer’s groups, etc. Keep your eyes open and read your book publically everywhere you can. Then record it and post about it on Facebook.
Ads on Goodreads, LibraryThing, Booklikes, and Facebook
Blog Tours – For a fee, certain companies will set up blog tours where you get reviewed or interviewed by popular blogs. They also post about you on their website, Facebook, Twitter, etc. I HIGHLY recommend spending some money on Amy Bruno’s site.
Historical Fiction Virtual Tours (Amy Bruno)
Blog Tours: $95-$495
Book Blast: $74-$140
Facebook Launch Party: $150-$800 (like what I mentioned earlier, only she does all the work, including finding people for the giveaways.)
Pump Up Your Book Promotion (Cheryl Malandrinos) $49-$1,049
Conferences – These can be ridiculously expensive, but I highly recommend them. You make so many friends who will help you promote your book, not to mention you learn so much and they’re loads of fun. You can also sell signed copies of your book and buy ads for the conference program.
Book Trailer – I have no idea how to go about making one of these.
Swag – You can get bookmarks, t-shirts, mugs, posters, bags, etc. with your book cover on them. At the very least, it’s good to carry bookmarks with you everywhere you go so when you tell people about your book, you can give them one so they remember it.
Book Tour - You can go to book stores in other towns for readings and signings, too. This gets expensive because you have to pay travel expenses. Still sounds like fun, though.