Despite multiple articles on this topic, I still see authors every day begging, pleading, and spamming their books to people on social media who:
Do you know who your ultimate reader is? You should.
Let’s use my latest book, Broken Pieces, as an example. As I wrote it, I knew that I wanted women and men to read this, but I focused most on looking at how women would relate to the material. It’s dark, it’s real, and it’s not humor like my past two books.
Betareading. This created a challenge: whom would I ask to betaread it? Which reviewers would I approach? Who would ultimately buy it?
Research, interact. If you can’t answer those questions, you’ve got some work to do. How? Google, Goodreads, even your social media (I use primarily Twitter and Facebook) to connect with people and discuss the subject matter and if it’s of interest to them. Social media is the ultimate in free market research.
I sent my book to about twenty-five betareaders who expressed interest in seeing it as well as giving me feedback. Leaving a review is by no means expected or required, but by creating a ‘sneak peek,’ many readers are happy to leave you a review when your book goes live (usually on Amazon and/or Goodreads).
And when Pieces went live, I had about ten reviews within a few days. It’s been three months and I’m up over seventy-five!
(Betareaders can be anyone who is interested in reading your book before it’s available for sale. You don’t pay them anything, other than a free ARC — advanced review copy — of the book.)
Are your friend. BUT, if you’re spamming anyone and everyone with your book, you risk losing followers, annoying potential shot in the dark readers, and having your account suspended for spamming people.
I received about thirty of these every day: Hi Rachel. Thx for the follow. Plz read, review, & RT my book It’s All About Me on Amazon. Thx.
When I check their stream (which believe me, I do), I see they’ve sent the same message to hundreds of others and usually unfollow.
Get informed. Read this article (from Amazon Hall of Famer Dr. Bojan Tunguz on my blog for suggestions on what to do and what not to do). Here’s another one by Tracy Riva of Midwest Book Review.
I get it. I was confused, too, before my first book came out. So I asked people what to do! I researched. I learned.
If you’re not sure how to approach reviewers, Google it! Ask another writer. Read blog posts about it. But for the love of all things holy or otherwise, don’t spam your book in a welcome message or blanket your stream in spam. It’s unprofessional and you will actually repel potential readers.
Read the guidelines. Book bloggers and reviews are very specific in what they review and they post their review guidelines right on their blog and sometimes, even in their Twitter or Facebook bio. It’s there for you to read and pay attention to. Why waste your time asking people to review your book who don’t review your genre?
Be selective. I get several requests daily to read and review someone’s book, and I’m not even a reviewer! I don’t review books; I’m not a book blogger. So, why is this happening? It’s not that I don’t appreciate it and I’m honored people give a darn about me at all, but there are thousands and thousands of book bloggers and reviewers who do this professionally. Why are you wasting your time on people like me who don’t even do that?
Finally, here’s a great list put together by WordPress whiz and romance reviewer Barb Drozdowich, titled the Book Blogger List. Read it. It’s broken out by genre — the work is done for you!
Hope you find these tips helpful. Any questions or experiences, please share below.
If you’d like to read Broken Pieces, click for a free sample on Amazon (no Kindle required – they have free apps for any smartphone, computer, or tablet). It’s on sale today (2.99, regular price 5.99) through Friday, 3/22 only. Thank you!
Need personalized help? Check out my BadRedheadMedia.com services page.
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 and two live Twitter chats: #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with TheRuralVA, Emilie Rabitoy) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with C. Streetlights and Judith Staff. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.
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