A lot of people think that once a book is written, the work is done. Often times, especially if you are a self-published author, the work is just beginning. After the brainstorming and drafting, writing and revising, editing and publishing comes…
There are only so many times you can say, buy my book! Even if you say it while batting your eyelashes, “pretty please buy my book!?” gets old. But the fact of the matter is, you need to continue to get your book in front of your audience if you have any prayer of selling copies.
Don’t stress. I’m here to help.
I’ve come up with a list of 10 ways you can blog about your book. 10 ways you can talk about your book without appearing desperate to push your merchandise. Not only that, but 10 ways you can genuinely share solid content about your story, your process and your product that will engage, educate and entice your readers to care about you, your book and ultimately do what you were hoping they would do all along. BUY THE BOOK.
Attached to each possible post I have linked an example. Some of the posts you may recognize from my site, while others come from a few of my author friends. If you see something you like, reach out the author and let them know! Offer a compliment, share a connection and maybe, if the spirit moves you, buy their book. Let’s start at the beginning of the process.
The story has to start somewhere. If you write about the inspiration behind the story, you don’t even have to wait until it is published to engage your audience. Readers will feel like they are getting a behind the scenes sneak peek at your work in progress and endear them to the project right from the start. It will also give you a topic of conversation when people (inevitably) ask you “how that book is coming”. In this post, I shared all about how I turned my friend’s reality into inspiration for a fiction story.
** Bonus tip, every time you share something on your blog about another person, especially about another person with a platform, you are doubling your audience, because likely, they will share the content as well.
Another topic you can talk about before you publish, are the techniques you are using to write the story. For example, for my most recent book, I wrote about outlining, writing sprints, and using You Tube for research.
First Chapter and Cover Reveal
A few weeks before you publish, give your readers a little teaser by revealing the cover and also the first chapter. This will create a big buzz of excitement for your forthcoming title and also let people know in a non-aggressive, non-annoying way that THAT THING YOU HAVE BEEN WORKING ON will soon be ready. You can check out how this might look right here.
** Bonus Tip: After you have published your book, go back to this post and put in the Amazon links so that people who find this post (or better yet, when you re-share it on social media) people can immediately go from chapter one to chapter two, from a free-browsing consumer to a paying customer.
Music Play Lists
Mark Parsons wrote Road Rash, a “band-on-the-road” story about growing up—and growing into yourself. There probably isn’t a better scenario on the planet for a novel playlist. Being both a writer and a musician, Mark wrote this article for Huffington Post: 10 Best Road Trip Songs.
Your book doesn’t have to be about music though to pull this off. Madison based author Valerie Biel created playlists for her YA historical fantasy novels. Playlists are a great content addition to her website and also an excellent way for readers to create the atmosphere of the book to enhance their reading experience.
** Bonus Tip: Even if you don’t end up sharing your music playlists, they can be a helpful tool for you as the author in the way of setting the mood and helping you to keep a consistent vibe throughout your piece, whatever you are writing.
Another way you can engage readers is by creating and sharing a Book Trailer. This is a technique used by many authors, among them, my friend Teri Case.
Once the trailer is finished, you can write a post about the creation process, including how you chose the images and music, how you scripted the video and any tips and tricks you’d recommend for other’s looking to give a book trailer a try.
** Bonus Tip: If your book is available for pre-order, all pre-order sales count as first day/first week sales, increasing your sales rank and the book’s official “splash” onto the publishing scene. Book trailers are a great way to grab the attention of new readers and convince them to take a chance on your book. You can pre-order In the Doghouse right HERE!
Book Launch Party
One of my favorite parts about promoting my books is planning and executing the book launch party. Making my fictional piece of art an experience for others to encounter feels like literally bringing my story to life. After the party I often writing a post sharing the details and a plethora of pictures. Readers who weren’t able to attend due to conflicting schedules or distance can catch up on all the action and of course buy a book through a clearly provided link.
** Bonus Tip: When you post a book launch party article on social media, call out and tag a few friends, fans, or family members who helped you set up the event, made the effort to attend, or are featured in pictures. Mentioning their name may prompt them to share the post with others who were not able to attend.
Behind the Scenes Facts
Once your readers have had a chance to experience your story world and come to know your characters, give them some bonus material. Creating a list of behind the scenes facts will make your readers feel like they are getting the inside scoop, and therefore special. When others bring up your book in conversation (in the grocery store, at church, in the break room) they will be able to say, “Did you know…” Word of mouth continues to be the greatest form of advertisement and this type of blog post will keep the conversation going about your book.
My friend Silvia Acevedo has a book coming out next week. It’s the third installment in her YA Mythology triology and if you are the kind of person who judges a book by it’s cover (or it’s predecessor’s success) this book is going to be a hit! One way that Silvia gets the word out about her books is through interviews. You can see three great examples of this type of blog post in action here, here, and here.
** Bonus Tip: Be like Silvia and get to know the state and regional landscape in which you are publishing. Silvia’s posts above appear on a writing coach’s blog, a national children’s writing organization website and a fellow author friend’s blog. Search for guest blog post or interview opportunities that will give you and your book lots of (hopefully new!) eyes.
If you have created extra materials to go with your books, like discussion guides for book clubs or educational materials for children’s books, let the world know about them through a blog post. Rochelle Groskreutz, author of Easter Elf, and her publisher KWiL, created this adorable activity kit to go with her debut picture book. Not only is this free product value added to her story, but it is also a valuable addition to her website and will likely drive traffic in her direction.
** Bonus Tip: This is also a great time to let readers know you are available to visit schools and book clubs. Even if your fans are located half way across the world, you can still Skype or Facetime with them. This added excitement might encourage bulk sales so that each book club member and/or student can have their very own copy of your book.
Share Some Wisdom
Often you learn a thing or two in the process of writing a book. Write a blog post sharing that hard earned knowledge with others and win yourself some fans and admirers in the process. These types of posts will also assert you as an expert and therefore a credible and reliable source in the field. My friend Blaine did this recently when he learned a few successful tricks in the persnickety process of scanning, resizing and publishing original art when creating a picture book. He explains his process in this blog post about his book, The Leprechaun Who Lost His Luck.
And last, but not least, you can write a post like this one, full of links to previously written content, in an effort to both illustrate a point and further spread the word about your work.
If you have written a post in one of these styles, link it in the comments below! I’d love to see it and learn from you as well as help introduce my audience to your work. Happy writing and best of luck with your publishing and promoting!!
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