I’ve written before about my process of writing a book from idea conception to the final word and publication. For me, it takes approximately nine months to a year. But what takes place next is crucial to the book’s success. Just because you’ve written a book, and a publisher releases your book, doesn’t mean that anyone will read it. The reader has to hear about it and become interested in it in order to purchase the book and give it a read.
For me and probably many others, the promotion of the book is as difficult as it is time consuming. I am relatively a rookie in this business. I don’t know all the ins and outs of publishing and marketing. I have to rely on others, mainly my publisher and other successful authors for their guidance, direction, and tips for book promotion.
Here are some ideas I’ve played with in the eight years of my author journey.
Just as a movie trailer gives the viewer a preview of upcoming attractions and elicits interest and excitement in a movie, a book trailer does the same thing for a book. Typically, I wait until I get closer to the publication date before I request a book trailer, because I want to generate as much excitement as I can for the upcoming release of my book.
There are several companies who produce book trailers, but I’ve worked with Literary Titans and Thomas Anderson for my last four books. He will seek my ideas, sometimes write the script, and do the narration if I want a voice over. I’ve not been disappointed with the result yet. He releases them on the Literary Titan website and YouTube, so they get large exposure. I follow up with promotion on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Here are the book trailers for my last four books:
Blaze In, Blaze Out
Spiral Into Darkness
Caught in a Web
Each is similar with respect to the delivery, but unique to each book. The first two contain voice over, while the last two did not. I think each has its special character, and each does what was intended- make the reader interested in the book.
Facebook and Instagram
Honestly, for all the negative press Facebook has garnered recently, it has helped me tremendously with book promotion. I belong to almost 100 Facebook groups. I will create a pitch and post it once or twice a week for one of my books. Sometimes, I purchase a Facebook ad and they post it. It gets my books out to approximately one million Facebook users or more. Exposure gets the word out and that is the goal if you want to sell more books.
I use Instagram the same way as Facebook, though Instagram is limited to the number of followers you have. Also, I’ve not found a way to make a link “live” so the viewer can click on it and find the book to purchase. If there is someone reading this who has mastered it, please post your fix in the comments to help me and others.
I’m not sure how I managed it, but I am followed on Twitter @jrlewisauthor by over 12,000. Limited to 150 characters, I have to be choosy about how I promote my books. Sometimes I create a graphic (using Book Brush) and use that picture. Other times, the link to the book will give the book cover as the graphic and the clickable link. Either work just fine, though I prefer the created graphic. It is more eye-catching.
Sometimes, I pay for others to promote my books. While the costs are minimal, the exposure is good. Some marketers seem to be better equipped than others, more creative than others, and it was a matter of trial and error to find which ones work the best.
Belonging to Goodreads is another essential marketing tool, but I have to admit that I am not on it as much as others. Perhaps I’m losing out. I have my books listed. Some of my books have more recommendations than others, but I am pleased with the results. Nothing beats word-of-mouth advertising, and people read the recommendations and look at the ratings to select what they want to read.
This is a nice marketing tool because for a fee, you get your book in the hands of readers, who then, hopefully, review the book and post the review on Amazon, Goodreads, and Barnes & Noble. Again, word-of-mouth advertising is essential to a book’s success.
I’m sure there are other means and methods for book promotion, but these are the ones I typically use. I’ve been pleased with the results so far, and I’m always exploring other methods and means of promoting my books. I hope this helps, and I’m always willing to listen to others and experiment with other creative means and methods for book promotion.