Friday, May 13, 2011

No Magic Bullet: Promoting Your Book

Today we have a guest blogger, Talli Roland, who made a splash with her debut novel on 1st December by taking on Amazon for a day. We've invited her here today to talk about, unsurprisingly, book promotion.

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A big thank you to the Minxes for inviting me back to discuss book promotion! This is a subject that is near and dear to my heart, after I launched a successful web campaign that propelled my debut novel The Hating Game into the top 100 on Amazon UK Kindle for over eighty days.

I wish I could provide three easy steps to guarantee a book’s success. But the fact of the matter is, what works for one book might not work for another; and what one author is comfortable with, another might not be. One thing is for certain, though: promotion takes a lot of time and effort; it must begin well before the book is launched; and it must be done consistently.

These days, every author is aware of the importance of Twitter, Facebook and blogging. But there’s no point to any of it without using the media consistently. Take, for example, my Web Splash, where I was able to get over 500 people signed up on social media to talk about my novel on its launch day. This didn’t happen overnight. It happened over months and months of interacting with people and time spent building relationships, well before my novel was due out.

Every day, I visit and comment on more than fifty blogs, getting to know people on a personal level. Every day, I’m on Twitter and Facebook. It doesn’t need to take masses of energy and you don’t have to sink endless amounts of time into it, but showing interest and talking to writers and readers is critical to get people on board to help spread the word. And more than that – it’s fun!

Once your book is out in the wild, there are a few things you can do to help get it noticed. On Amazon, make use of tags. By adding tags, you can ensure your book turns up in product searches. The more people who tag you in that category, the higher it will appear in the search. If you can, buy your book with a similar best-selling product, so the two are linked and will show up in ‘customers who bought this, also bought…’. Complete your Amazon author profile and make sure all your books are listed. If your book is on Kindle, you should also consider posting about it in the relevant sections of the Kindle Users Forum (UK) or Kindleboards (US) to let Kindle users know it’s out there.

If sales have slowed and you want to get your book noticed again, I’ve found giveaways a great way to do so. Goodreads allows authors to offer up free books, and giveaways there often attract hundreds of potential readers. While you might be limited to the number of copies you can offer, think of all the potential readers who will hear about your book and may go out and buy it, even if they don’t win. And don’t forget to promote your giveaway on Facebook, Twitter and blogs, too. The more opportunities you can create to get people talking about your book, the better.

Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet to book promotion. But by using social media effectively and building relationships, you’ll have a ready-made platform to help spread the word when the time comes.

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Talli Roland has three loves in her life: rom coms, coffee and wine. Born and raised in Canada, Talli now lives in London, where she savors the great cultural life (coffee and wine). Despite training as a journalist, Talli soon found she preferred making up her own stories – complete with happy endings. The Hating Game is her first novel and she is currently working on her second, Watching Willow Watts. Talli blogs here and can be found on Twitter here.


Janice said...

Both interesting and informative, Talli. I didn't know anything about the importance of 'tags' so thanks for that. I'm very interested to see how you promote your second book and wish you success - after The Hating Game - Watching Willow Watts has become a waiting game! xx

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your experiences about promotion. Very helpful! I'd heard of the important 'tags' but never quite understood them.

Sally Clements said...

Great post, Talli! Thanks for going minxy for the day!

Talli Roland said...

A big thanks to the Minxes for hosting me again - I'm sorry that, because of Bad Blogger, I've just now seen this! I'm glad it was helpful!:)

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Great post about promotion, Talli - I knew about tags but need to get more people tagging mine!

Anonymous said...

I just published my first self pubbed, a Paranormal Romance Short ----- so your post was very helpful and encouraging! Thanks!

hugs, Kari Thomas, SLOAN'S WITCH