Guest post by Alex Clifford
Writing a book is tricky, but promoting your book is even harder. How can you get people to read it, buy it and spread the word? In pre-internet days the power was in the hands of book reviewers and publishers. But now you connect with so many extra people, it’s easier to get your book out there and noticed. So here’s a few tips.
1. Tap into all of your personal and professional network
After writing a book, it’s worth talking about to the people around you. Writing a book is quite a feat! Tweet about it and ask the people you know to retweet it. That means everyone from your clients, to your family, to your colleagues and business associates. Contact them individually and ask them on their thoughts about your book.
2. Outreach to influencers in your niche. Send them a copy to review
Whilst it would be great to get a review from the New York Times or Seth Godin, it’s unlikely to happen. Realistically, you’ll have more luck if you outreach to smaller, more tightly-connected influencers. People like bloggers in your niche. Send them a free copy to review. That way, you give them something valuable and you build goodwill with them.
3. Offer an electronic version
Last year eBooks outsold hardcover books in the US. If you can offer an electronic version of your book, you’ll be able to reach another enormous chunk of the book market. There are specialist book conversion companies like convertabook.com who will turn your book into an ebook.
4. Offer valuable content outside of your book
Simon Pont, author of Remember to Breathe created a really valuable content outside of his novel. His book’s website profiled the life of his main character, ad-man Samuel Grant. On this website, there’s the whole persona behind this man. From his Spotify playlists to his Facebook page and a video of his character.
This approach offers so much depth. So much richness. That it’s more than just another book. It stands on it’s own two feet. Here’s an interview with author Simon, where he talks about his approach.
5. Give away a free chapter
Shaa Wasmund, author of Stop talking, start selling: A kick in the pants in six parts, is one of many authors who give a free chapter away to encourage people to buy her book. By teasing people with a tasty morsel, you can tempt them into buying your book.
6. Don’t forget traditional media
Although people talk about the death of print, radio and traditional media, it’s still fairly big. Look at talking to local journalists. Send them press releases and many of them will reprint them because they’re very short on time. Similarly, once you build relationships with journalists, they’ll be happy to come back to you, if you end up writing future books.
7. Enlist a team of “interns” to promote your book
Bookbaby, a book publishing service suggests that you could host a pizza party with the people you know. They suggest you could use it as a strategy to enlist a small team of informal interns to do a few ‘odd jobs’ promoting your book. Perhaps you know people in your family who are out of work. Or maybe you know students who are looking to get experience in publishing, or marketing. Have an event where you invite friends, family and everyone else who can attend.
Alex Clifford is Marketing Executive at Virally. Virally is a platform which will help you capture leads from valuable content such as a free chapter of your book.