Book Promotion Toolbox: Creative Ideas to Reach Your Target Readers
Book marketing is easier and more accessible than ever. Social media, an open internet, and even old-fashioned phone calls are viable ways to start your author outreach. Stay in your comfort zone or push your boundaries; all you have to gain is fans.
1. Create or Update your Amazon Author Profile
Connect your website, social media handles, and blog to your Amazon author profile, creating more connections to lead readers to your work.
2. Update Your Metadata
Do your research and compare your category, description, and keywords to other books within your genre. The better you match these to how readers search for books, the more likely your novel will appear when they’re looking for their next read.
3. Professional Author Social Media Account
Your account could focus on your genre, writing news, characters, or series. It will give your fans an inside look at their favorite books, continuing the reading experience.
4. Make A Video
Go on camera and talk about your book. Think of it as a personal talk show cameo where you get to pitch your novel to new readers.
5. Make A Book Trailer
It works for films, building anticipation and letting fans know what to expect. You can hire a freelancer or do it yourself. Check out our tutorial for creating animated book covers using Canva.
6. Create A Business Card For Your Book
This is one piece of business collateral that can introduce your books and drive sales. Get creative with how you use the front AND back of the card. Incorporate QR codes, show off new book covers, and fine tune your elevator pitch as you hand them out. These are great for networking, leave-behinds on conference swag tables, or pinning to a coffee shop bulletin board.
7. Network Everywhere
Whenever someone asks you what you do, tell them you’re an author and practice that elevator pitch! Word of mouth is still one of the most trusted and impactful forms of marketing.
Networking goes beyond conferences and coffee shops. Professional organizations and writers groups are always looking for presenters and program guests that add value to their members. Volunteering for organizations that let you meet other writers and having their support can help open doors to wider audiences or publication.
8. Open Mic Night
These events aren’t just for music. Check your local MeetUp groups list to see if there’s one for writers near you.
9. Bookstore Readings
Independent bookstores love helping authors and readers connect. Ask if they accept self-published books to sell on consignment and volunteer to promote with an in-store book signing. Use your author platform to drive customers to the event. Learn how to put your best forward in building bookstore relationships.
10. School Readings
Schools have limited funds for cultural arts events and welcome authors for readings. Contact your local school or PTA representative to see if your book is appropriate for this audience or if they would consider it for their annual book fair.
11. Your Local Library
Local libraries offer readings, book clubs, and special programs to help patrons discover their next favorite author. Ask your librarian how you can be involved in their ongoing programming.
12. Create A Goodreads Author Profile
Goodreads is social media for book lovers. While you don’t actively sell your novels here, it’s the perfect place to connect with readers, share what you’re reading, and link your website or blog.
13. Run Promoted Ads On Social Media
Holiday weekends are big for readers. Think beach chair, hammock, or curling up in your favorite chair. The days leading up to these long weekends are the perfect time to remind readers of your book with targeted ads. Test the waters with a low price point of $5-$10 per day for a couple of days. Ads can be static images or short videos. Aim to entice, not sell. Ads should be about the benefit to the reader and what they’re going to love about your novel.
14. Add Your Title To Your Local Library
Libraries are setting record numbers with digital loans of ebooks and audiobooks. Ingram Spark and Smashwords distribute to Overdrive and Library Direct; however, individual libraries must order your book for their collection. Make the price $0 for these channels, and then contact the main branch of your local library to have your title added.
15. Participate In Book Fairs
Book fairs pop up at conferences for all industries. If you have a non-fiction book that would fit a conference topic, ask to have yours included at the book sales table. Fiction titles are often welcome at local book fairs and writer’s conferences.
16. Publish A Press Release
Share your press release with local media, former schools, and professional organizations for inclusion in local coverage and newsletters.
17. Twitter Chat
Themed Twitter chats let you share insights on topics with an active group in real-time. Whether it’s about publishing your novel, romance book, or the latest YA bestseller, you’ll grow your sphere of connections and fans.
18. Create A Facebook Page
This will help you chat with fans, but it allows you access to run paid advertising for your books on Facebook and Instagram.
19. Get Competitive
Awards signal to readers that your work stands above the more than 1.7 million self-published titles publishing each year. Event being nominated or a finalist can bring enough clout to help you stand out. Check out these 7 indie-friendly book competitions.
Join local meetups with other writers and book clubs. Select your location and add a topic, and shortly, you’ll connect with like-minded folks for networking and support.
21. Have A Sale
Don’t be timid about reducing the price of your novel for a short time or even list it for free. Making the first novel in a series free allows readers to fall in love with your writing and characters, leading to continuous sales for the rest of the series.
Start a podcast or offer to be interviewed on someone else’s book podcast. Let fans get to know you and what motivated you to create your characters and storylines.
Run facebook events for appearances, book signings, and free promotional days. Readers love meeting their favorite authors- make it easy for them to find you. Even if you’re not speaking at a conference/event, you can still meet up with fans and other writers for coffee to talk about books.
24. Blog Tours
Wondering where to start? Check out this article from Book Marketing Tools to learn how to join a tour or organize your own.
25. Serial Social Content
Create serial content based on your book for social media. No one can resist finishing a story, and serial content has a unique ability to create anticipation that keeps readers interested.
26. Google Hangouts & Zoom Appearances
Take the pressure off yourself by inviting others to join in. A video is the next best thing to a personal appearance. For those of us who are introverted authors, having a group helps the conversation flow smoothly and gives viewers different perspectives. You can share the live video via social media or on your website.
27. Add A Freebie
Give readers access to an exclusive video interview, mini-documentary, or workbook – whatever pairs naturally with your book topic. Here are a few more ideas.
28. Offer eBook Signings
Add your titles to sites like Authorgraph and add personal autographs to any ebook. Promote virtual book signings via social media or your website.
29. Advertise On Your Blog
Although your blog talks about your books and writing, sometimes readers need a reminder of your titles and how to purchase them. Add your book cover with a simple call to action to read an excerpt. From there, link to your point-of-sale.
30. Free Samples
Allow a generous percentage for the free sample download of your ebook. Once readers are hooked, they’ll want to buy the rest of the book
31. Refresh Your Backlist
If sales have lagged for a while, update the cover, give the edit a new pass and republish. It will show up in the recently published lists for a new set of readers to discover. Amazon will automatically update the previously purchased editions in users’ libraries. As an indie author, you have more control over your product and the timing of publication. Use it to your advantage and tweak until you find the formula that works for you.