Book marketing has become more of a conversation. Readers can now easily contact their favourite authors, ask them burning questions and even help them promote their book to other readers.
At CompletelyNovel, we’ve noticed that self-published authors who engage with their target audience are more likely to receive larger sales than those who don’t. So how can you join in the conversation? Here are just 10 ways you can engage readers in your book marketing.
1. Book giveaways – A great way to engage new readers and promote your book. Goodreads giveaways are especially good for this, as they allow you to reach a wide audience, and they promote the benefits of reviewing the book to the winners. You can also hold giveaways through social media, your blog, and with partners.
2. Book Cover Polls – Unsure about what cover works best for your book? Design two and ask your readers to decide! Great for building a strong Facebook following, as your readers will feel like they have directly influenced the outcome of your book and are more likely to help spread the word.
3. Interviews – There are lots of guest blogs out there that offer author interviews. This is a good way for your readers to find out more about you, and even a good way to pick up new readers. Contact both large and small blogs, and consider hosting interviews with other similar writers on your own blog – all traffic is good traffic.
4. Q&A sessions – Similar to interviews, but this allows your readers to be the ones asking the questions. Announce the session in advance and hold it over twitter using a unique hashtag, or even in a Google+ hangout. Try to hold it in conjunction with an event, large partner or publisher where possible, to capitalise on your reach.
5. Promote your Twitter Account – Twitter is the ultimate communication tool. Reply to questions, retweet, follow and share links with your existing and potential readers. As this is such a great tool, be sure to promote your twitter handle as much as possible. (We’re @CompletelyNovel!)
6. Visit Writing Groups – Writers are readers too, and will be able to identify with a big passion of yours – writing. Look into visiting writing groups and libraries to give your advice on writing/publishing, or help those struggling to get their thoughts on paper.
7. ‘Name a Character After a Reader’ competition – Thinking of writing a sequel? Run a competition on your blog and social media networks where the prize is that a character will be named after the winner. This will encourage people to engage with the book and the winner to spread the word to family and friends – it’s not often you appear in a book, after all!
8. Extra material – If you’re writing for children, consider making colouring sheets associated with your book that can be downloaded from your website. If you have a thriller, why not write a short ‘prequel’ story and offer it free to readers? Writing extra content is another way to engage readers in a new way, and is also a great way to keep being creative.
9. Talk about other things – Think about what else interests you, perhaps related to the book, and share articles and information about this, too. This is a good way to engage new readers and not spam your old ones too much, especially on Twitter!
10. Use the back of your book – The last few pages of your book are a great way to promote ways that readers can engage with you. Place in a photo of yourself with a short ‘about’ section, including your website address, twitter handle and any other books you have written. You can also include the first few pages of the sequel to leave readers wanting more, or questions to help reading groups think about your book in review.
CompletelyNovel is a publishing platform with a difference. Read books, connect with other writers, create and publish your book online and in print. Join in the conversation at CompletelyNovel.com – we’d love to hear from you!