There a a million ways to market a book. You can do blog tours, book events, magazine articles. If you’re lucky you’ll get reviews by the large trade publications like Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Booklist and more. You can spend your advance on book marks, buttons, and fun pens. And like Colleen said yesterday, it might work, it might not.
In no particular order, here are my five tips:
1. Think outside the box. You never know what will hit, so why not try something fun. My book is one of several (including Colleen’s) in Hampton Gift Bag’s August giveaway. Who knows, maybe our books will become the toast of the Hamptons (which I’m 100% okay with).
2. Do what makes sense to you. You can kill yourself trying to do everything, so don’t. If you’re uncomfortable in front of people, don’t do many in-person events. If you don’t need or want a lot of swag to giveaway, don’t buy any. I only bought bookmarks and book plates. In my opinion, you can never have enough bookmarks, and the bookplates are nice for people who buy ebooks or if an event runs out of books. Or right now I’m doing a pre-order promotion where I’m sending out signed bookplates and bookmarks.
3. Don’t spam — EVER! The most effective social media marketers provide 90% content and 10% marketing (okay, I’m making those numbers up, but you get the idea — do a lot more content and a lot less marketing). No one likes a hard sell, and I will unfollow you faster than a bloodthirsty mosquito on a hot summer night if you do it.
4. Be kind and genuine. This is just a good rule for everything in life, but it bears repeating here. Bringing a book into the world takes a lot of work by a lot of people — even if you’re self-pubbing. At it’s heart, publishing is a word of mouth business and no one wants to support a jerk. Be yourself, be respectful, and be grateful to those that help you.
5. Share the love! Building on number 4 — support other writers. Read their books, leave reviews, tell people when you love a book. People may return the favor, or they may not. That’s not the point. The point is to spread the love and excitement for books. Everyone wins when there are more readers!
So, dear reader, what types of marking do you respond to?
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