10 Ways To Market Your Book: Bound’s Book Marketing Services
“when promoting your book on social media try and re-create an experience for your reader, make it an extension of your book”
So you’ve written a book and your book baby is almost out. Today, authors, whether they are self-published or are signed by a publishing house, must take on the role of marketing their own book because there is no one who can sell your book better than you. When you are selling a book you are not selling just a product, you are selling an experience. A reader will most often spend hours in the world you have created. Thus when promoting your book on social media try and re-create an experience for your reader, make it an extension of your book, build suspense, mystery, hype and curiosity. Let your social media start conversations. Here are a few tips to give you a structure to build on when promoting a new book.
1. Send Out Advance Review Copies
Book reviews are very important when a reader is making a purchase online. Ensure you create Amazon and Goodreads author profiles. Send out a few Advanced Review Copies (ARC) to bookstagrammers and reviewers (some charge a fee) and this will ensure that there is already talk around your book when it releases and that readers have reviews on Amazon, Flipkart and Goodreads. When reviewers post their reviews on social media you can also repost those on your personal social media handles. Getting featured on book listicles and recommended lists of bloggers is also more likely when you send out ARCs to them.
2. A Cover Reveal
You have just about 6 months to create a buzz around your book so make the most of it. The need is to build hype around your book and pique a reader’s curiosity. There’s nothing like a cover reveal because we secretly do judge a book by it’s cover. Have a pre-launch strategy where this is one of your activities. You can also send out your book cover to several influencers and request them to all reveal the book cover at the same time. They could share it on their Instagram, Facebook stories and tweet it out with your customised book hashtag.
3. Pre-Order Campaign/Countdown
The higher your pre-orders the more likely Amazon and Flipkart are to put you on trending lists. Ensure you put all the pre-order links in your bio. 5 days before your book is out for pre-order you can start to create anticipation. Reveal a snippet about the book each day of the countdown. Or reveal the first line of the book or the first line from every chapter. If you have illustrations you can reveal a few of them as sneak peeks. If you have a quote on your book cover, tweet it out. You can also do a character reveal, say you are writing a romance novel you can put out a short biodata for your character with an illustration of him/her.
4. Behind The Scenes
Readers want to get to know the author, they often have questions about your writing process, what made you write a character in a certain way. Share snippets like these with your readers. Several magazines publish author interviews, write to them and then when the interview is published share it across your social media. Do a behind the scenes video, show readers your writing corner, talk about your writing routine. Another popular trend is to do an unboxing video when you receive your book copies from your publisher or printer.
5. Customised Book Box
The latest trend is to create curated themed book boxes. These are often sent to book influencers and people who helped with the production of the book. For example, an author Richa Mukherjee for her crime fiction novel, Kanpur Khoofiya Pvt. Ltd created a box which had a copy of the book, a magnifying glass, a Kanpur crossword, paan flavoured sweets (as her protagonist ate paan), gloves, bookmarks and a letter from the author. Simple themed bags can include bookmarks, a customised diary, a cotton tote bag with a quotable line from the book or something unique to the book.
6. Go Live On Instagram and Facebook For Your Book Launch
During the pandemic, we saw several virtual book launches. Besides the fact that they are very low cost to organise they are also great ways to reach readers across cities, countries and time zones. If you are doing a physical launch have someone from your team Live stream it to your or your publisher’s Facebook/ Instagram/ Twitter page.
If your book launch is on zoom you can use third-party streaming services to Live stream it to your social media handles. You can also record it simultaneously and later post it on Youtube. If you are not comfortable going live you can record it and later host a watch party on Facebook. Don’t just stop at your book launch you can go live on Instagram with several bookstagrammers and other authors as well. Several literature festivals are doing virtual editions you can also reach out to them to be listed on panels.
7. Do A Giveaway Of Signed Copies
Signed copies of books are little treasures that occupy a special space on many of our shelves. It also raises the stakes for a giveaway. Set out and entry criteria for the giveaway that encourages people to share the book and that will in turn increase your book’s visibility. You can run the giveaway on your publisher’s social media handle, a bookstagrammer’s handle or even your own if you have a big enough following. You can also approach brands that have a significant following. For example, if you have written a winter romance you can reach out to an artisanal candle maker on Instagram that has a large enough following and do a signed book and candle giveaway.
8. Collaborate With Other Authors, Bookstagrammers And Book Clubs
The big book clubs are slowly picking up in India and Sonali Bendre’s Book Club was one of the first successful online book clubs. There are several smaller book clubs that function as Facebook groups, some are genre-specific, locale-specific. Most often they clubs welcome author interactions to engage their readers. Host a read-along with a virtual book club. Ask readers to send you book selfies of them reading the book and later attend the book meetup to discuss your book. If it takes place on zoom, ask for permission to record the session and share it later on other social media platforms.
9. Read Out An Excerpt Of Your Book
We are in the age of video content and while a written excerpt or a sample chapter are traditional ways to give readers a sense of the book, there is nothing like hearing an author read a section out in the tone it was written with. A dramatic reading of an excerpt of your book can be shared as an IGTV video, Facebook watch video and twitter video. Choose the most interesting section, something that ends on a cliffhanger and leaves the reader wanting more.
10. Facebook Ads
While using relevant hashtags, collaborations and posting interesting content will slowly get you noticed, Facebook and Instagram algorithms do make it hard to reach new audiences. With a new book there is a lot going on and limited time, you can consider using paid advertising on social media platforms to reach new audiences. Since Facebook owns Instagram, it is easy to reach new audiences on both the platforms through Facebook ads. You can also do Google search and Google display ads. Make sure your ad and the caption really pops. The visual appeal should be different from other sponsored content to ensure that people do not just glaze over it.
We know this seems like a lot, but don’t let it overwhelm you. Once you put a plan in place, pick small blocks for execution, be creative and take inspiration from other authors on Instagram. You can also get external help for graphics and paid ads. If you would like to reach new audiences do check out Bound’s exclusive Book Marketing Services.