Writing a book is a lot like having a baby. You need to prepare for the big event; a process often described as painful, yet one that yields beautiful results.
Pre-planning for your book’s publication is something you should start months before your publication date to ensure your book gets the notice that it deserves. Let’s help readers discover your book by promoting it everywhere online.
Here are 8 ways to bring your book some much-needed publicity
1. Issue Press Releases
I love press releases. They are great for bringing attention to just about anything; they can do so much more than just increase your visibility. Press releases can bring your book media coverage you may not have had otherwise; they can also help build your brand and raise you to expert status. Who doesn’t want that?
Press releases aren’t just great for announcing a book launch. You can issue a press release before you write a word, by issuing a release about the signing of a book deal. There are many other occasions along the publishing path when you should create and distribute a press release. For example, alert the media when your book is published, announce a new book in your series, share the dates for your book tour or promote your book signing. Issuing a press release for any of these events will help bring your book extra attention, may get you media coverage, and attract more potential readers.
You can distribute your press release for free at PRLog.com. There are many paid PR services to choose from ranging from the affordable Webwire.com [from $29] to premium services like PRNewswire.com [from $129]
2. Build a Website
Whether you add a dedicated page to your existing website, or create a unique site for your book, a website is a must. It will form the central hub for all your promotional activities, where your new readers, loyal readers and the media will come to find out more about you and to keep up with your current activities.
It should include important information about your book, where to purchase it, your bio, appearance dates and social media links.
A book website has the added benefit of being able to delve even deeper into the world of your book. If your book is a work of fiction, you can style the site to fit the book. Is it a mystery? Perhaps choose colors that are dark and menacing. Is the book romantic? Pick a theme that is more light and whimsical. You can also add biographies for each of your characters so readers can get to know them better.
If you want to really entice readers you can offer excerpts from your book or other short stories involving your characters. J.K Rowling’s Potter site does this beautifully. She has created a world for Harry Potter fans to learn, read and interact.
An email newsletter works well for book promotions, and can be started before you publish. A signup form on your website can invite visitors to sign up to be notified when your book is available for sale. Offering a coupon code or a free chapter is often enough to get readers to sign up.
Use your list to keep your email subscribers up-to-date on your latest book, appearance, signing, etc. Readers will enjoy hearing personal anecdotes from you. They will be excited to find out that you are in their local area, and appreciate the opportunity to come meet you in person and get their book signed.
As you release more and more books, you will find that your email list will be invaluable. The people on your list will get excited to get news, updates and personal anecdotes from you. With each new book you launch, you will have a ready list of potential buyers.
Email service provider Mailchimp.com is both easy to use and free for up to 2000 subscribers. Aweber.com offers reliable email service starting at $19 a month- a great company that actually answers the phone and provides prompt support.
4. Get Social
You already know social media is great for business. It’s also an excellent vehicle for promoting your book. Even before your book is launched, you can start promoting it on social media. Build out social pages for your book and add information about you as an author. This is a great way to build some pre-publication buzz as well as a list of potential readers.
Update your social profiles to add your new title of author. Consider joining groups around writing and publishing, so you can network and support other authors when they publish their book. They will gladly return the favor when it’s your turn.
Share news about other books in your niche, information related to your own book or anything that is interesting to keep your audience engaged.
Social media scheduling tools make it easier to manage your time and get a better return on your investment. You can use Hootsuite, which offers plans starting at $9.99 month, or Meet Edgar [$49-99/mo]
5. Create a Media Kit
An author’s media kit, also called a press kit, is a must have tool. The media will expect you to have one, as will event planners and conference planners who book speakers.
Your media kit can be created as an author one sheet, which as the name suggests is a concise version of a media kit. In an age of information overload, a one sheet is like the cliff notes version of your media kit. It is appreciated by the media, as its brief yet still informative.
Just like a movie trailer is designed to get you excited about a movie, a book trailer can help create the hype that your upcoming book needs. It doesn’t matter what your book is about, a book trailer works well for both fiction and nonfiction pieces.
Your trailer should tell a story and entice readers. It should tell a little about the book without giving anything away. And don’t forget to include a call-to-action to make viewers want to go out and buy your book. Share your book trailer on your social media profiles and your website for the most exposure.
All your social profiles have the ability to add a bio; this is a great place to put a link to find out more about you. You have quite a few options here, and depending on your goals, you can direct people to your website, book purchase link or even other social media pages find out more about you and your book. No matter where you want them to go, the key is to share your link wherever you can.
The easiest way to share your link is to include it in your email signature. Think about it … you probably send hundreds of emails weekly; why not use them to effortlessly promote your book? Using a service like Wisestamp, you can easily add a link, image and description to really help promote your book with each email you send.
A blog tour is like a book tour, except it is done completely online. Rather than going from bookstore to bookstore, you hop from blog to blog. The first thing to do is to find your target audience. Reach out to bloggers in your niche to see if they are interested in participating and create a tour schedule.
What you do on each blog doesn’t really matter. You could do interviews, Q&A sessions, guest posts, live chat or even a podcast. The main point is that you bring your book as much exposure as you can.
There are many great books out there. And yours is no exception. In order to help your book stand out above the rest, you really have to promote your book online. These tips are a great starting point to bring your fiction or nonfiction book the most online exposure you can.
Written by Jane Tabachnick
Jane Tabachnick is the author of Publicity For Introverts. She has been named one of the top 100 people online by Fast Company for her work as a digital PR strategist who teaches savvy authors and heart centered entrepreneurs as well as introverts, how to gain visibility and instant expert status. You can find out more about her at JaneTabachnick.com