Book Marketing 101: Three Tips to Promote Your Book(s) Without Driving Away Readers
You’ve just published a book. Congratulations! You’ve done something that many have tried and few have succeeded. Give yourself a pat on the back… then put on your thinking cap. It’s time for the next step: promoting your book.
Book promotion is something most authors dread. I get that and I’m here to help. Being an author myself, I know how overwhelming it is to sell and market your book. In today’s publishing market, both traditional and indie authors are expected to promote and be active on social media.
Ruth asked me to share some book promotion tips with you today. Who am I? My name is Mrs. N and my pen name is N. N. Light. I am a social media marketer by trade and I have the social media reach of over twenty-six million. I’ve been in the book industry for over twenty-five years and I specialize in matching books to readers. In addition, I’m the author of three books (with more on the way) and I firmly believe in authors helping authors succeed.
Below are my three tried-and-true tips to promoting your book(s) without alienating readers. The key to effective book promotion is to balance your selling of your wares and connecting with your followers/readers.
Tip #1: Be a real live person. In the digital age, robots and automation are everywhere. Don’t be a talking billboard on social media. Don’t scream at the top of your lungs, “BUY MY BOOK! BUY MY BOOK! BUY MY BOOK!” Instead, connect with your followers and take an actual interest in their lives. Say hello and talk about things that interest you.
When I first joined Twitter, I had no followers. I started following people who shared similar interests. I soon had a following and made connections. I built a trust with my followers and laid a foundation that’s more valuable than money. Sure, it was a slow process but these same followers are still with me today.
Love to bake, shop, hunt, travel or another hobby? Talk about it online. Intersperse news about your writing and books with what you like to do in your free time. Your following will soon grow and readers will connect with you, the person.
Tip #2: Pick three social media outlets and be consistent. Every day, a new social media outlet pops up. It’s hard to keep up. I mean, who has time to tweet, pin, facebook, tsu, post pics on Instagram, etc? I surely don’t. Readers want consistency so here’s my advice: pick three social media outlets that work for you. For me, it’s my blog, Twitter and Pinterest. I post to my blog every day (Monday through Friday), tweet 24/7 and add pins to my Pinterest boards at least once a week.
My followers know that if they want to connect with me, the first place they do it is Twitter. It’s my go-to platform and I’m always on there. I’m a social butterfly and I love how Twitter is like a global social club. I meet people from all over the world, get news I can’t get elsewhere and connect with people I’m interested in. I can share my thoughts on a topic without having to explain myself. If I have news to share (whether personal or professionally), it goes out to my followers and even strangers (when I use the right hashtags).
My blog is my secret weapon. Secret weapon? Yes! Every day, I create new content online and Google grabs it, sorts it and ranks it. Through SEO (Search Engine Optimization), I’m able to help Google get my writing into the hands of readers. Since I started blogging, my followers have sky-rocketed.
Authors underestimate how powerful a tool a blog is. Not only can you have one place where you can promote your book(s), the more you write, the higher your blog gets ranked by Google. Think about it for a second. Every time you post something on your blog, your writing goes out into the world. If you post twice a week for a whole year, that’s 104 sales pitches for you as a writer and author.
Yes, sales pitches. Each time you write a blog post, it’s a sales pitch for someone to read, secretly disguised as an inspirational thought, writing tip, recipe, book review, vacation memories, holiday remembrance, etc. Someone who’s never heard of you will run across your blog post and read your writing.
What happens next will be up to your writing. If your writing inspires/moves the reader, they’ll comment, follow your blog or even check out your book(s).
The best thing about using your blog to showcase your writing is that it’s absolutely free. It doesn’t cost you a thing and the results will astound you.
Remember one important thing about social media: be consistent. No matter what social media platform you use, be consistent. You don’t have to post every day like me. Find what works for you and do it. If it’s only once a week or once every two weeks, that’s fine. Just let your followers know what the schedule is so they’re in the loop. If they think you’ve abandoned them, they’ll leave and won’t come back.
Tip #3: Use graphics in your promotion. Studies show that 76% more readers will click-through to check out your book(s) if a graphic/photo accompanies your blog posts/tweet/update. Readers are visual creatures and one way to pique their interest is to create a quote graphic.
Find a compelling quote that will draw readers in. Create a graphic using one of the many software applications available (Photoshop, Adobe, Canva, etc) and save it to your computer/device. I have a folder with all the graphics I’ve used for my books so it’s easy to post to Twitter/Pinterest/Blog.
I can’t stress this enough, use graphics in Twitter and on your blog. Trust me, you’ll get more readers intrigued with a visual aid than by saying you have a book for sale.
Like the graphic states at the top of this post, it all comes down to trust. Readers will be more likely to buy your book(s) if you have established a connection and they trust you. I’ve built trust as an authentic author/blogger/reviewer and readers trust me when I tell them something is great.
I hope these tips have helped you to see that book promotion is not only essential but fun, too. You’ve done the hard stuff, writing and publishing the book. Promotion is sharing your writing with the world while building your brand.
Question Time: What do you struggle with the most when it comes to book promotion? I’d love to hear from you. I’m happy to answer any and all questions, too. If you prefer, you can email me.
Planting the Seeds of Love: A Novella
Torn between two men, Sally must follow her heart and decide if love will lead her to the city or the countryside.
Back Cover Copy for Planting the Seeds of Love: A Novella
Twenty-Two year old Sally Rayton returns to the family farm she deserted four years ago to bury her grandfather. Her plan: to settle her grandfather's estate and return to her life in the city with her boyfriend, Trevor Mattson.
Her childhood friend, Jack Smith, has other ideas.
Jack convinces Sally to transform the farm into a brewery and fulfill her grandfather's dream while keeping the Rayton Farm in the family. Sally works side-by-side with Jack while Trevor is hundreds of miles away in the city. The more time she spends with Jack, the stronger her feelings are for him.
When Trevor shows up to propose to Sally right before Christmas and finds her in Jack's embrace, she must make the biggest choice of her life: true love.
Reviews for Planting the Seeds of Love: A Novella
Bottom line: I enjoyed PLANTING THE SEEDS OF LOVE. It reads quickly, has a solid romance based on compatibility and respect rather than being merely about sex, and the love triangle was realistically drawn, and earned four very solid stars — and a recommended tag.
The author does a splendid job of building the internal tension as well as some wonderfully lighthearted interactions that play out perfectly and keep the reader engaged. The secondary characters are well thought out, and bring an added dimension to the setting.
Sweet and full of heartfelt emotion, this is a powerful little short story that will make the reader feel Sally’s angst as she considers her options. Sally must dig deep to decide what is best her both her and her grandfather’s legacy.
A perfect read, even for a reader like me – someone who doesn’t normally read romances. ~
Excerpt from Planting the Seeds of Love: A Novella
"Jack, thank you so much for the lift into town," a woman replied behind Sally. "Let's grab some lunch before we shop."
Sally froze. She stared at Linda who shook her head. What was Jack doing with a woman in town?
"Here, let me take your coat, Emma," Jack said.
Emma? mouthed Sally to Linda.
"She's the daughter of Lonnie and Mary Beth." Linda gave Emma the look-over and scoffed, "She can't be a day over sixteen."
"What do I do?" Sally panicked. Normally she didn't care what Jack did or who he went off with. Curiosity got the better of her and she turned around.
Emma stood five foot three with curly blonde hair and innocent green eyes. Her figure was slim with curves in all the right places. Sally narrowed her eyes as Emma stood on tiptoe to kiss Jack on the cheek.
Fuming, Sally turned around. Linda chuckled.
"You better tone down your jealousy, darlin'. You're shooting darts everywhere."
Sally gritted her teeth.
"I'm not jealous. If Jack wants school girls kissing him, what do I care?" She took a deep drink of her coffee, draining the cup. She slammed it down.
"Simmer down, here they come," whispered Linda. She waved to Jack while Sally swore under her breath.
"Well, fancy meeting you two here," Jack drawled.
Without looking up Sally retorted, "I told you I was coming into town today."
Linda kicked Sally's leg under the table. Sally plastered a smile across her face, greeting Jack and Emma.
"Yes, what a coincidence." Sally noticed Emma looping her arm in Jack's and snuggling closer.
"I was on my way into town to pick up those parts we ordered for the tractor when I ran into Emma walking by herself in the snow." Jack smiled. Emma squeezed his arm.
"He pulled over and offered me a lift into town. Isn't he a gentleman?" cooed Emma. Jack patted her hand.
Sally's chest constricted at the sight of the two of them acting all couple-y. She stared into his twinkling eyes. Oh God, is he laughing at me? Emma can't have him. He's mine. Wait what?
"So," Linda broke the strained silence. "I have to go powder my nose. Emma, would you care to join me?"
"What's that?" Emma looked confused.
Linda laughed. "It's the bathroom, dear sweet child." She stood up, untangled Emma from Jack and guided Emma away from the table.
Jack sat down.
"What's with you today?" he asked.
"Nothing." Sally cleared her throat.
He raised an eyebrow.
"Really!" A few diners turned to stare. Sally flushed with embarrassment. She didn't mean to talk so loud. She looked everywhere except in Jack's direction.
Jack observed Sally as she fidgeted, first with her coffee cup then with the silverware. His gaze unnerved her and she practically jumped out of her chair when he placed a hand over hers. Electricity flew up her arm while warmth filled her core. Butterflies raced around her stomach, only she didn't feel sick; she pulsed with life, like never before.
"Sally...look at me."
Sally shook her head.
"You'll only laugh at me."
Jack's thumb caressed her hand gently, causing her breath to hitch.
"You know I'd never laugh at you. Laugh with you, definitely, but never at you."
Sally lifted her gaze to meet Jack's loving eyes. He slid his fingers between hers, never breaking eye contact. Sparks flew between them. He moistened his lips with a flick of his tongue. Her gaze dropped to his lips.
"Please tell me. I'm begging you," he whispered.
Unable to think clearly through the fog of desire, Sally tilted her head to one side. Her skin vibrated with heat while her nerve-endings jumped at the slightest caress.
"Tell you what?" she whispered. Her throat dry, her breathing shallow, she wet her lips with her tongue. She was under a spell and everything fell away except for Jack's passionate eyes.
"Tell me what my wasted heart needs to hear." His eyes flashed. "Tell me Emma made you jealous."
Sally started to nod but Emma interrupted.
"What are you guys talking about in hushed tones? Crops and stuff?"
Jack groaned. He dropped Sally's hand as if it burned him, causing the water glasses to jostle.
About NN Light
N. N. Light has been creating stories ever since she was little. Her grandfather remembers when she was two years old, she would stand at the top of the stairs and tell him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with her hands on her hips. Let's just say she was a born storyteller.
She was born in Minnesota, lived in Southern California only to move to chilly Ontario, Canada to marry her beloved husband MR N. She is blissfully happy and loves all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports and baking. Her mantra is to spread the Light.
Most of the time you can find her on Twitter or getting new ideas on how to spread the Light on Pinterest. She is a proud member of ASMSG, Independent Author Network and Marketing for Romance Writers.
In addition to being an author, she's also a book promoter/reviewer and social media marketer. She loves books, has ever since she was young. Matching up books and readers is something that gives her great pleasure.
She’d love to connect with you either via email or via these various social media sites:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/nnlightIndependent Author Network: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/n-n-light.html