Marketing your book on a budget
Most authors do not have a fortune to invest in book publicity, but you’ll still want to ensure that your book launch is given the specialist attention it deserves. Book Publicist Helen McCusker, founder of the award-winning book publicity agency Booked PR, shares her top ten tips on how to achieve maximum results with a minimum budget.
1. Author Website; Launch your website before your book is published to start generating interest and make sure that the homepage is linked to Amazon (or your preferred book store) to ensure that traffic leads to sales. Essential pages include; book page, author page, media page, contact page. On your media page allow journalists to download a Press Pack which will include your press release, cover image of the book and author images.
2. Social Media; I’m a massive fan of social media, because it’s powerful and FREE! Set up an author page on Facebook and get connected to Twitter so that you can start building a fan base before your book hits the shelves. However, only set up accounts if you intend to use them as there’s nothing worse than seeing a ‘Coming Soon’ holding page, or Twitter feeds which lay dormant for months. Produce content which is interesting and followers will want to comment on and share.
3. Guest Blog; If you’ve written a book then writing should be something you enjoy and are are good at. So make the most of that talent and offer your services to online blogs who are often hungry for fresh editorial from guest authors. Guess what – I’m blogging right now and you’re reading it!
4. Free Chapters; Providing complimentary content from your books is a great way to get readers ‘hooked’ on reading the rest of the book. Or you may choose to sell your entire eBook at launch for 99p to ignite interest. The idea is to entice your audience and have them eagerly awaiting the next installment.
5. Book Signings; Give up some of your time for book signing events in your local area which are often organised, managed and advertised by the book store. Use these opportunities to invite local journalists along who can interview you for TV, Radio, Newspapers or Magazines. Also submit news of the book signing to industry publications such as The Bookseller and Book Brunch who are happy to report on recent author events if they have space.
6. Speaking Events; Be a proactive author and get listed as a speaker in your area of your expertise. You may get the chance to speak at writers’ conventions, where you could gain valuable insights from seasoned authors who will give you effective marketing advice that may not be found elsewhere. Authors often have a media *wish list* full of TV programmes and national broadsheets, but quite often their most captive audience could be right on their doorstep at specialist clubs and organisations who may have editorial space available in their niche magazines and newsletters.
7. Amazon Presence; Make sure you take full advantage of author tools on Amazon, including having an author blog feed into your AmazonConnect feature on your book’s page. Also ensure reviewers of your book post their comments on your Amazon page too which will give your star rating a beneficial boost.
8. Get Reviewed; Ask book bloggers to review your book and perhaps run a competition or reader offer. Book giveaways on book blogs are major attention-grabbers for people who read, plus if the blogger enjoys your book then they’re often willing to post the review from their blog on Amazon, Goodreads, etc. My motto is; if you don’t ask, you don’t get!
9. Virtual Book Tour; You can tour the world from the comfort of your own living room and see your book featured on book blogs with either a review, an author interview or both. As is the case with approaching any media, ensure that you only target those bloggers who have an interest in your genre and writing style (do your research first!)
10. Publicity Tips; There are lots of book publicists who share good advice online (including me!) Connect with them and take advantage of their complimentary support. You can find me on Twitter @helenmccusker and @BookedPR and Booked PR’s Facebook page is at www.facebook.com/bookedpr
Want to join The A List? Booked PR will be launching The Author List soon! For just £49 you will have a brief description of your book e-mailed to a targeted media list, spanning print, broadcast and online with all leads being passed on for no extra charge. For more details e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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