Monday, September 5, 2016

7 Book Marketing Secrets You May Not Know

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson


This year I will launch three books. Two have been with a big publisher and the third will set sail in November with a smaller, traditional press. Of course there are differences between what support a big and small publisher provides. But—and we all need to wrap our brains around this one truth—our responsibility as the author is fairly consistent. Today I’m going to share 7 book marketing secrets I’ve learned from experience, and some I’ve learned by watching other authors.

Book Marketing Secrets
1. Your audience of readers is interested in connecting with YOU, not your publisher. Readers don’t care if you’ve landed a big deal with a big publisher or a small deal with a small one. What they want is good content and a place to connect with you. Part two of this is the fact that your readers want genuine and authentic interaction. If your readers follow you on social media and then discover that it’s not really you—only an assistant or lackey—interacting with them, they’ll feel betrayed. For newer writers who aren’t starting with huge audiences, this means you’re going to have to be on social media consistently four to five days a week. For those who are already big names, you may have to cut back on the amount of interaction so you have time to keep it genuine.

Don't use the wrong URL for your book on Amazon!
2. Don’t use the wrong URL for your book on Amazon. Most of you have probably read about the fact that Amazon sometimes deletes legitimate reviews. Part of that problem is the long URL many authors include in their promo and social media information.

This is the WRONG link:

This is the RIGHT link:

You see, everything from ref on is a special code that allows Amazon to track when this link was shared. If I post the wrong link, it looks like all my reviews came from the same source and could have been paid for. There are other things coded into the longer part of the link, but trust me when I say it will cut way back on number of reviews Amazon lets you keep.

3. A small group of readers dedicated to helping you is an author’s secret weapon. For the first time, I assembled a launch team. (Here are the links to two posts I shared – Street Teams for a Book Launch and How a Launch Team Helped Promote MyBook) In seven weeks, this team of twenty-eight helped my book visibility by giving me over 200,000 social media impressions. I did my best to make the launch not about me, but about what God was doing. I stayed in weekly contact with them, and provided a mini-study on praying for our children. The keys to a group like this are:
  • Regular—genuine—contact
  • Value for them
  • Easily shareable content (my publisher generated memes and tweetables to take the work out of sharing for them)

4. Your readers don’t know the publishing biz so you have to let them know how to help you. Readers aren’t writers. They aren’t aware of how important reviews are. As a matter of fact, most of them think only professionals write reviews. If you want your readers to write reviews, you’re going to have to ask for them and then provide instruction on how to do it. NOTE: keep it simple. Don’t haunt them with requests that make it seem like they’re back in school and being asked to write a book report.

Giveaways make a difference.
5. Giveaways make a difference. A gift basket with swag that you can share on social media, a drawing at a book signing, and extra downloads when they share or order your book will provide extra incentive. These don’t have to break the bank. I made a bunch of hand-beaded bookmarks for my book launch at our local Barnes & Noble and they were a huge hit—and helped sell a lot of extra books.

6. For better numbers, keep your interviews relevant to what’s going on. For instance, at the end of July my book, While My Child is Away, released. I had great response when I sent out interview requests when I tied it to the time of year. I used this hook: When I was growing up, back-to-school was a time of excitement. In today’s climate, it can be a time of anxiety—for parents and children. I have a book that addresses how prayer can bring peace in times of stress.

7. Don’t forget the pictures. We’ve all heard the saying, A picture is worth a thousand words. There’s a reason—it’s true. Take pictures of yourself signing the contract, celebrating when you turn in your manuscript, getting a copy of your ARC, and especially that box of author copies. These things build momentum and enthusiasm. Your readers begin to anticipate what’s coming and cheer you on as a heroine. After the book arrives, keep the pics coming. Take shots of book signings, book tables at conference, where ever you happen to be. Always share these on social media.

And especially take pictures when your book is in stores and libraries. Then go one step further—TAG THE STORE IN THE PICTURE AND SOCIAL MEDIA POST. This is free advertising for them and they remember the authors who do this.

These are the things that I’ve learned about promoting and launching a book. I’d love to know what you’ve learned. We’re always better together!

Don’t forget to join the conversation,
Blessings,
Edie

TWEETABLES



17 comments:

  1. Edie, first off, congrats on launching your three books this year. WOO HOO! Second, thanks for all the helpful marketing tips. As always, they are extremely helpful.

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    1. Sandy, thank you! I'm glad this post was helpful, Blessings, E

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  2. This is fantastic! One of the best go-to blogs about what to do once the writing is finished.

    Thanks, Edie!

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    1. Robin, thanks so much for your support! Blessings, E

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  3. Thanks Edie! Great post. As a new writer with a goal to publish a book within the next couple of years, this is very helpful and manageable on my end.

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    1. Sheryl, blessings on following your dream!

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  4. Edie, I just went into my website and edited all my Amazon links. Since I write novels set in the Roman Empire, I did massive amounts of research (more than 65 books qualifies for massive) to get every detail right. That inspired me to create a Roman history site for teachers, students, and history buffs as my author website. I’ll have many links to recommend the best nonfiction resources as well as to Roman-era novels I’ve loved. All my links were the long version. No more, thanks to your advice here! I hope that helps all the authors whose work I’m recommending, too.
    I find a treasure or two at this blog every time I visit. Thanks for all you do to help us writers!

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    1. Carol, that site sounds AWESOME! Stop back by and share it here, Blessings, E

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    2. Thanks so much for asking, Edie! As you requested:
      Life in the Roman Empire: Fact and Fiction by Carol Ashby at carolashby.com.
      You can find out which future emperor won the 4-horse chariot race at the Olympics, how the charioteer stayed in the chariot when it bounced off the ground or tipped wildly, and what could get you sewn into a leather sack with a viper, a dog, a monkey and a rooster and tossed into a river.
      I have so many wonderful books, mostly by academic authors, on such a wide range of topics that I'll be adding new topics regularly. I have a standing offer there for anyone to ask for a topic, and I'll probably write something on it.
      Peace, Carol

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    3. I should have put the hyperlink: http://carolashby.com/

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  5. fanTAStic post Edie! I've heard horror stories about posting reviews on Amazon, that it looks like favors from friends, and they shut you down for writing five star reviews in exchange for reviews on your own books, or payment, or cookies even. Methinks maybe they track via the extended URL.

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    1. ps, I'm not going to stop writing reviews, because I write honest reviews with integrity. And I trust Father God to cover me if there ever is a question!!!

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    2. Robin, I'm glad you're not going to stop writing reviews! Blessings, E

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  6. Good post! I need all the help I can get. Thanks, Edie!

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    1. Lora, I'm so happy I was able to help! Blessings, E

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  7. Thanks for sharing all of these tips. Valuable goodies here...as always!

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  8. Amazing post Edie, I haven't published a book, but in the future I am planning on publishing one. I will remember these tips. Thanks.

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