This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
by Anna Bell
I can’t believe it has been eight months since my last book launch. This week, the third and final instalment of my Don’t Tell series, Don’t Tell the Brides-to-Be hits the shelves. It’s not all sitting back and sipping the champers in celebration on publication day, however, as it’s usually the day when authors go into a social media frenzy. In the run up to publication, authors have to don their marketing hats and try to get people to buy their books. It’s one thing to have them on the shelves, but it’s another to get them through the tills. So today I’m asking: how do you get people to buy your book?
The major difference for me on this book series – as opposed to my self-publishing days – is that now my publisher takes the lead when it comes to book promotion. They have a marketing and PR department whose job it is to sell books, and I follow their lead. It means they decide which reviewers and bloggers the book goes out to and hopefully get magazines and newspapers to feature my book, too. I think this is one of the biggest areas that I struggle to relinquish control of. Having spent a few years building and cultivating relationships with bloggers and reviewers, it can be difficult not being in control of who my book is sent to for review.
Whilst most of your Twitter followers will indulge you on publication day and expect you to tweet links and wax lyrical about your book, ‘buy my book’ tweets are a major turn-off to many on social media. It’s all about finding other ways to draw attention to your book. One of the great ways to do this is by interacting with reviewers and bloggers. It’s good etiquette to thank bloggers for taking the time to review your book, but any conversations about your novel on social media helps to generate buzz. The more people talk about your book, the more people will discover it and go and buy it (hopefully).It’s also good to think outside the box and try to devise possible PR opportunities other than traditional book reviewers. Funnily enough, weddings feature heavily in Don’t Tell the Brides-to-Be, as my main character is a wedding planner. So, for this book, my publishers pitched the book to wedding blogs and magazines, which has lead to me writing articles based on budget wedding tips. I’ve also been writing about my big day, as my husband and I cut as many corners as possible to have a beautiful wedding on a shoestring. It’s worth thinking about the content of your book and whether there would be specialist bloggers/magazines based on your topic, as many of their readers might be interested in reading your novel.
For my last book, Don’t Tell the Boss, I took part in a Twitter takeover. It was a totally nerve-wracking experience. I had one hour manning @thebookbar (the women’s fiction Twitter feed for Quercus) to answer any questions readers and followers might have. I was nervous at first, thinking that no one would ask me anything and I’d sit there behind my PC like a Billy-no-mates. But people asked me lots of questions about my book series, about books generally and about writing. It was a fun way of gaining new Twitter followers and interacting with readers and reviewers.
Have you done anything that worked really well to promote your books? Are you an author that tries to avoid marketing like the plague? How do you, as a reader, discover new books online?