Whether you are the author of a newly written ucdm or the person in charge of increasing its sales, book marketing can be a challenge. Online self-publishing platforms have encouraged lots of people to write and publish books by themselves on a variety of subjects, and the Internet public is spoilt for choice. But the Internet as well is a great platform to empower your book marketing campaign, and help you reach people who would never have heard of your book otherwise.
It’s better to start creating buzz about your new book even before you have it sent to the printers, as that will increase the chances of getting a good start with sales as soon as it’s published. Most writers release teasers and free chapters as they write them, encouraging people to sign up on their websites for a newsletter announcing the launch. This creates a good deal of expectation and your readers will be hooked even before your book is finished. Getting a large number of sales on the first few days is important because it can get you added exposure by getting your book on Amazon’s Best Sellers or Hot New Releases lists.
One of the best ways of getting exposure for a new book is by getting reviews from relevant people. It used to be newspapers, but nowadays you’ll find many bloggers have a lot of influence on their audience, specially for technical or knowledge oriented books as opposed to creative writing. Getting your book reviewed on a popular ezine or by a relevant blogger can increase your sales and traffic to your website, but if you want that review to appear close to your release date you’ll need to negotiate in advance, as both ezines and bloggers usually plan their writing well ahead of time, and have a limited amount of time to read books. While it’s always good to have an option for people to request a review copy (and you should encourage your readers to write their reviews on Amazon, B&N and anywhere else your book is being sold), if you are really interested in a particular magazine covering your launch get in touch with them as soon as you have a date and see if they can review your book on time.
One of the best ways of getting people to buy your book is by word of mouth. And you can use social media networks and user generated content to increase your sales, by encouraging people to write reviews about your book, post about it on Twitter and liking your author page on Facebook for exclusive goodies, such as sample chapters. If you have built buzz before the book launch and you interact regularly with your followers you can count on much better sales figures during the first weeks, as those people will be happy that finally the wait is over. If you are willing to manage them, creating a forum around your book where people can discuss plots and characters can also be a great way to create a community around your book, but it can be somehow hard for an author to read how some people don’t really like your favourite character or find a plot weak. If you aren’t sure about this point, get somebody else to manage the forums for you or stick to a Facebook page with less deep conversations.
Many people turn to the Internet to read more about their favourite authors, check out sample chapters of their books before buying and read reviews. To make it easy for them you should create a book website that can act as a hub for everything related to your new book. You don’t need to spend a lot of time or money on this, a suitable domain name and hosting and a low cost WordPress blog will be enough provided you fill the site with unique and interesting content that cannot be found anywhere else, such as sample chapters or author insights, and of course links to places where people can buy the book. Encourage people to write reviews and talk about the book on the book’s website, sell the book yourself directly and announce there any book signing or event you will be speaking at.
There are many ways to drive traffic to your website for free so people can learn more about your book, read excerpts and even write reviews or ask for review copies. For example, by appearing high on search engines result pages your website will already get a certain amount of trust in the eyes of your potential readers that cannot be replicated just with paid ads.