Book Marketing Tips You Need To Know Now! Part One

By Rachel Thompson | Author Marketing

Nov 07

I did a webinar a few days ago for my publisher, Booktrope, about book marketing tips. The biggest question authors have is this: how can I market my books without spamming “Buy my book!” constantly on Twitter, Facebook and other channels? It’s a valid question, because as readers ourselves, we feel the bombardment fatigue. As authors, do we want to be constantly self-promoting? I know I absolutely do not!Rachel Thompson, book marketing tips, BadRedhead Media, Booktrope

Social media is a tool in your tool box — let’s call it a hammer. People are hammering us with tweets, (or maybe you’re doing that yourself), but to what end? Here’s what you need to ask before you start with all that hammering…where’s the nail? What are you building? Where’s your plan?

Is that all you can do to sell your books? No way. You have SO many other options!

Let’s deconstruct.

SOCIAL MEDIA

I love social media because it’s an excellent way to connect with readers, book bloggers, book reviewers, and even other authors in a way that’s two-way, interactive, talking and listening, sharing cool articles and blog posts, discussion and discourse.

Twitter: What didn’t I say up there? Selling. The hard sell. The “Buy my book!” constant tweets. Sure, you can do that (and I do, too, occasionally, when my books are free or discounted — like right now), but constantly pushing in every tweet? No. Why? Because it’s ineffective and annoying. If that’s all you are capable of saying, of writing, then why would anyone be interested in purchasing your book? You are a terrible salesperson. There is no skill, no craft, no finesse there.

What can you do instead? Everything I listed in the first paragraph! It takes time and effort to build a fan base, and you need to invest in your readers just as you are expecting them to invest in you. If you expect them to take the time to read your work, shouldn’t you take the time to find out who they are, what interests them, discover common interests?

Tip: Use ManageFlitter to find readers, book bloggers, and book reviewers by entering in keywords. It’s not a perfect system, but it works well for me and I’ve used it for about five years to grow my following. Once I connect, I interact, retweet, share relevant information, discuss, etc.

Facebook: Use your personal account to interact, post interesting articles and blog posts, videos, quotes, etc….anything but a product or service because that’s against Facebook’s guidelines anyway. You need an author page for that stuff. And no, you can’t post what’s on your author page over to your personal account — why do people ask that? That’s like robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Tip: Facebook now offers a lovely new option — Notes.  Click on the “More” button, and you’ll see a Notes option. Open it, and a whole new world opens up for you. I’ve chosen to share an excerpt from my upcoming release, Broken People (out next year from Booktrope). This is a great way to share your writing without the hard sell.

The best part about connecting with others is that you build up good karma — when you’re generous, the vibe carries. When you do have a new release, promotion or win an award, people are more than happy to share because they like you, are genuinely thrilled for you, and are happy to get the word out, without you even having to ask! 

BLOGGING

“I can’t blog because then I won’t have time to write.” If I had a nickel…

Listen, it’s not difficult to figure out that you need a web presence as part of your author platform, and a blog is an excellent way to ‘advertise’ your wares without that hard sell we all despise. Not sure what to write about? Here are a few tips:

  • You don’t have to write about writing. Unless your ideal reader and book buyers are writers, skip it. It’s been done. To death.
  • What interests you? What do you have a passion for? What makes you jump out of bed in the morning? What are you most excited to share with others? Write about that. It does not matter if it has anything at all to do with your book. Why?

In publishing, we brand the author, not the book. Readers want to know about you, the author.

  • Create an editorial calendar (something as simple as using Google Calendar works). Pick one keyword or topic that interests you for each week. Blog once weekly, any day of the week, which is enough to help your Google ranking. Share on Mondays using the #MondayBlogs hashtag to radically increase your reach, traffic, and engagement.

Tip: Keep in mind, you will likely be writing more than one book, right? So if you create accounts, websites, or blogs that have your book’s name, what happens when you move on to the next book?

NEWSLETTERS/EMAIL MARKETING Rachel Thompson, BadRedhead Media, book marketing tips

A great way to engage with your readers directly is to use what’s called ‘permission marketing’ tactics, aka email marketing. They subscribe to your email newsletter, you share your latest updates with them. I use Mailchimp but there are a lot of options out there. I share my latest blog posts with them, top tips, anything promotional (i.e., a sale or free promo), new excerpts from my upcoming books, contests, etc. Make it occasional, interesting, fun!

Here’s a great article from The Creative Penn with lots of ideas on email marketing.

What’s important to remember here: you own this list. You don’t own social media. They can block or suspend your account at any time, particularly if you’re spamming (please, don’t be spamming). You do own your email list however, if you do spam, people will report you as well.

Tip: Add a newsletter sign up tab to your website and Facebook author page. You can capture sign-ups in many places. Make it easy for people to sign up for your newsletter, not a treasure hunt.

ADVERTISING

You have a myriad of options to advertise your books, website, blog. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, even Instagram all offer options. Google AdWords is a good option if you can figure it out (or pay someone to do it).

The reason advertising is helpful: it doesn’t come directly from you. Indirect selling is helpful because it takes away the broadcasting module of your platform — it removes you from the equation, and focuses instead on the product. You can spend a small amount ($1-$5/day) for a few days if you feel it’s worth the effort. It’s totally your call.

Tip: Check out AuthorRise.com — I like their free options and if you choose to spend money on Facebook advertising, they work with you to make it as targeted as possible for you, you set your budget, and they do all the hard work! I’m very happy with their tools and services.

(Bonus: I ran across this awesome article and wanted to share it! 40 + Social Media Tools for Personal Branding http://ow.ly/UnhXJ via isocialfanz.com by Brian Fanzo.)

In Part Two, I cover another six to eight more marketing tips, including specific promo sites you may not be aware of.

Please feel free to share your own tips below!

To learn more about the Gravity Imprint (books about trauma and recovery) I’m now directing for Booktrope, click here.

Sign up for my newsletter and never miss a post again! I will never share your email and that’s a promise. Follow me on Twitter @RachelintheOC or @BadRedheadMedia for social media, branding, or marketing help. Increase your blog traffic by participating in #MondayBlogs (a Twitter meme I created to share posts on Mondays — no book promo)

All content © 2017 by BadRedhead Media aka Rachel Thompson, author, unless otherwise specified. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to use short quotes provided a link back to this page and proper attribution is given to me as the original author.


Pictures courtesy of Unsplash

 

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About the Author

Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge: How to energize your book sales in a month – created to help authors market their book. She is also the author of Broken Places (one of IndieReader’s “Best of 2015” top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival), and the multi award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed.

She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post IndieReader.com, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, BookPromotion.com, and Self-Publishers Monthly.

Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs,  #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with Melissa Flickinger) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with certified therapist/survivor, Bobbi Parish all live Twitter chats.

She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.

Leave a Comment:

(9) comments

I agree absolutely about the ‘not selling your book’ every 2 minutes..at the risk of being offensive, we Brits think it is a very US thing….I have lost count of the number of US writers who follow me, then, if I follow back, bombard my DM with their buy buy stuff. I unfollow. Am in process of weeding out the self promoters! The trouble is, the bigger your following, the less chance you have of interacting! Another thing I do on Twitter is belong to various hashtags associated with TV/Radio programmes I listen to. I live tweet along with other fans..it’s surprising how many buy my books off that. And I use other writers’ generous endorsements to promote. The main thing to say is, that it’s HARD WORK! and you won’t make a fortune out of it. So you have to do it for love….. and cake, if there is any around…

Reply
    Rachel Thompson November 9, 2015

    You very well could be correct there, ma’am — it’s definitely a manners thing, something many US folks are sorely lacking. There’s an art to ‘selling’ and I just don’t think many authors GET that social graces aren’t about the hard sell.

    I used to be in Big Pharma, and doctors love love love to golf. It was verboten to discuss business during their golf games — that’s standard protocol — no discussion of business topics on the greens. However, how much wheelin and dealin do you think they did (with their reps or amongst each other) afterward, at the clubhouse? I personally refused to participate in those activities for two reasons: 1) it was very ‘boys club’ and they objectified women, regardless of our intelligence and 2) I preferred to develop relationships in a business atmosphere (though I would have lunches with them before or after golf, if we had organized tournaments — something i hated doing!). All that’s gone by the wayside now with newer Pharma regulations, thank goodness.

    Regardless, my (and your!) point: there are times for business and times for social. And time for cake! LOL

    Reply
elscottwrites November 11, 2015

Hadn’t heard of Notes in FB! What a great idea! I’ve been trying to be more on FB. Am definitely going to try this out!

Reply
    Rachel Thompson November 16, 2015

    Oh it’s awesome! So pretty, compared to Notes in Pages (yuck). I really hope they upgrade Pages. Let me know what you think 🙂

    Reply

[…] Marketing Tips You Need To Know Now! – http://badredheadmedia.com/2015/11/07/book-marketing-tips-you-need-to-know-now-part-one/ – Big focus on being genuine and non-spammy on social media while sharing your precious book […]

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D.J Bowman-Smith November 16, 2015

Thanks for this Rachel, actually some stuff here that I have not read before. So many posts around that have no information in!
Looking fwd to the next one

Reply
    Rachel Thompson November 16, 2015

    Hi DJ — I slipped a link in but you may have not seen it (I will make it more prominent). Here’s the link to Part Two!

    So glad you found the info useful! Thanks for visiting my blog.

    Reply

[…] Book Marketing Tips You Need To Know Now! Part One […]

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[…] my post last week, I discussed part one of essential book marketing tips you need to know now (social media, […]

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