Book Marketing Ideas

Book Marketing Ideas That Will…

Increase your web presence:

  1. Create a testimonial page on your website
  2. Add the free My Book Progress plugin to your WordPress website to update your visitors about the status of your upcoming book.
  3. Retweak the SEO on your site
  4. Ask fans to post their reviews on your Facebook page
  5. Ask fans to post their reviews on Amazon
  6. Ask fans to post their reviews on Goodreads
  7. Sign up for Twitter
  8. Clean up your social footprint
  9. Create an author FB page and use it instead of your profile
  10. Sign up for Google Authorship
  11. Offer bloggers advanced reading copies
  12. Go on an online book tour
  13. Create a book launch team
  14. Host Q+A sessions on Google+
  15. Create Facebook Friday videos
  16. Register as an author on Amazon
  17. Register as an author on Goodreads
  18. Create a book trailer
  19. Add the free My Book Table plugin to your WordPress website to boost book sales.
  20. Create a hashtag for your next book

Build your fan base:

  1. Start a FB campaign to increase your fans
  2. Start a Google Campaign to increase traffic to your site
  3. Start a controversial web series
  4. Link up with other writers for your controversial web series
  5. Start weekly twitter chats with readers
  6. Keyword your blog posts
  7. Create a monthly newsletter
  8. Create an affiliate program
  9. Host guest bloggers
  10. Become a guest blogger
  11. Create business cards with your web address on them and hand them out
  12. Put your photo on your business card for stronger branding
  13. Start commenting on other blogs (early and often)
  14. Host regular author hangouts on Google+
  15. Host regular author interviews on Google+
  16. Record your Google+ hangouts and put them on YouTube
  17. Get social media coaching

Cultivate Community:

  1. Create an online community with a forum
  2. Say thank you to readers with special incentives for being a fan
  3. Ask your reading community to design merchandise for your store
  4. Create a fan page for your main character (works well if they are in a series)
  5. Ask fans to create their own book trailers and post them online
  6. Offer core fans advanced copy of future books
  7. Ask fans to post pictures of “character spottings”
  8. Offer “extra features” on your website
  9. Use Twitter hashtags
  10. Poll your readers and listen to what they say
  11. Answer all your blog comments
  12. Engage with your fans on FB
  13. Ask your fans to post pictures of them reading your book

Make some extra money:

  1. Repackage old blog posts and sell them as an e-book
  2. Join an affiliate program
  3. Speak on the core topic of your book
  4. Become a content writer
  5. Host paid webinars
  6. Freelance with niche magazines
  7. Sell ads on your website
  8. Sell ads in your newsletter
  9. Write a new ebook tailored to your fans
  10. Mentor another writer
  11. Become an Amazon Affiliate (and use MyBookTable)
  12. Offer customizable ebooks for readers
  13. Sell your book on your site, not just Amazon

Tweetables:

  • The @AuthorMedia crew just gave me 89 free book marketing ideas. Watch out world! – click to tweet. 
  • My sales should spike soon. I’m going to try out some of the book marketing suggestions from @AuthorMedia. – click to tweet.
  • 89 Book Marketing Ideas That Will Change Your Life. Try one today! – click to tweet.
  • Have you tried any of these marketing tips from @AuthorMedia? They look great! – click to tweet.
  • Dang. I needed book marketing ideas and I found 89 of them via @AuthorMedia.  – click to tweet.
  • If you write books, you should look at this list ASAP. Unless you are my competitor. – click to tweet.
  • Need some book marketing ideas? One of these ideas should do the trick! – click to tweet.

Build your brand offline

  1. Write a Press Release
  2. Ask to be interviewed by your local paper
  3. Ask to be interviewed by the paper your book is set in
  4. Ask to be interviewed by the local radio host
  5. Ask to be interviewed on the local morning show (read this article first)
  6. Partner with a band that has the same cause as you
  7. Go on a physical book tour
  8. Start thinking local
  9. Sell themed merchandise (Think “Team Edward” shirts)
  10. Rent a billboard
  11. Host a book release party
  12. Link with an activity that supports your cause and sell your book there
  13. Create a viral video about a scene from your book

Find a Place To Give a Book Reading:

  1. Your local coffee shop
  2. A hospital
  3. A retirement community
  4. A rehabilitation center
  5. A local church
  6. A locally owned bookstore
  7. The library (try the five closest to your house)
  8. The local community college
  9. A school
  10. Wherever the main setting of your book is
  11. Google+
  12. Videos you upload to Facebook
  13. Goodreads

Discover where to donate your book (and make new fans):

  1. Women’s shelters
  2. VA hospitals
  3. Homeless shelters
  4. Children’s hospitals
  5. Retirement homes
  6. The five closest libraries to your house
  7. The library in your hometown
  8. Summer camp
  9. Community libraries at coffee shops
  10. The local community college library
  11. The libraries in the town where the book was set in
  12. BookCrossing.com
  13. Local B&B’s
  14. Local motels
  15. Prisons
  16. Church libraries
  17. Rehab centers
  18. Cruise ship libraries
  19. Doctor’s offices
  20. Community centers
  21. Senior Centers

Become an expert:

  1. Listen to the Novel Marketing Podcast.
  2. Become a HARO source
  3. Get active on LinkedIn
  4. Write Op-Ed pieces on the core message of your story
  5. Write freelance pieces on the core message of your story and pitch to niche publications
  6. Give lectures on the core message of your story
  7. Host webinars with other experts
  8. Create a series of web-videos interviewing experts on the core message of your story
  9. Make sure your author about me page is interesting and relevant
  10. Create a Meetup group

How to Finish Your Book in Three Drafts

Have you ever asked yourself while writing, “How many drafts is this going to take?” That may seem like a question that can’t have an answer, but I would like to propose that it does. And that answer is three. Three drafts, provided that each draft is approached in the right spirit and we take the time we need between drafts.

Some writers assume that the difference between a first draft and a final draft is a few revisions and a solid copy edit. What I am talking about here is a process that requires more patience.

It probably already makes intuitive sense to you that you can’t work on more than one draft at a time. But here is the mantra for the process as a whole:

Know what draft you’re in.

Each draft plays by different rules, and knowing what draft you’re in can help you avoid writer’s block.

There is a literary myth that Jack Kerouac wrote On the Road in one draft—one Benzedrine- and marijuana-fueled draft—over a twenty-one-day period. It is true that he created a 120-foot roll of paper so that he wouldn’t have to stop to feed more paper into his typewriter, and wrote one of his drafts that way. But it turns out that he was working from a draft he already had in his journals. Also, if you look at that typewriter scroll closely, you can see all kinds of corrections; those corrections are, in effect, his third draft.

Three drafts, not one. Also: three drafts, not forty-nine. You may have heard this cute story about Oscar Wilde: His host asked him how his writing was going, and he said, “I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning and took out a comma.” “And in the afternoon?” “In the afternoon—well, I put it back in again.” That doesn’t count as a draft. What you are trying to do is tackle your book, not tinker with it. Because—are you ready?—the point is not to go through life writing the same book the whole time.

We’ll call the first draft the messy draft, which is all about getting it down. We’ll call the second draft the method draft, which is all about making sense. And we’ll call the third draft the polished draft, which is all about making it good. We could also call the third draft the design draft if you are publishing independently or the agent draft if you are seeking traditional publication.

The Messy Draft

You may have heard that there is this debate about who has a better way to write between pantsers and outliners. A pantser is someone who, as the name suggests, writes by the seat of his or her pants. An outliner, on the other hand, is someone who meticulously crafts every writing session.

This isn’t a real debate, by the way, because we are all both of these at different times. Even the most ardent pantsers are bound to somehow keep track of where they are going next and what they have already accomplished, while even the most rigorous outliners get surprised when they sit at their desks and discover something about their books that they didn’t already know. There’s an interplay between outlining and pantsing, and while every writer is different, I suggest that you create the messy draft by pantsing.

I have heard that writers need permission to “pants,” probably from the outliner side of them, which likes to make plans but can’t bring itself to start. It also helps if you trust that there will be a method for sifting out the repetitions and for strengthening the foundations between the first draft and the second draft. That is what the method draft is all about.

A perfect first draft covers the ground. A perfect first draft tries material out. A perfect first draft makes a start in a lot of places. A perfect first draft familiarizes you with your material—or, at least, the portion of it that is available to your conscious mind. Successive drafts will fill that reservoir further, deepen your understanding of what you are doing, and enable you to tighten connections and layer in nuances.

In sum, disorganization is an excellent sign. It means that you haven’t picked a subject that is too easy and that your conclusions aren’t too pat. You are allowing the drafting process to accomplish something big and organic. Keep writing the first draft, and keep being okay when it feels like a mess.

The Method Draft

The method draft is to outlining as the messy draft was to pantsing. I have heard some pantsers refer to outlining as their Kryptonite. That’s a pretty strong statement, but I think I understand where that nervous apprehension comes from. For pantsers, it is writing from scratch that brings the purest joy. After that, they may recognize the efficacy of getting—and staying—organized, but that is paired with the instinctual fear that their favorite part of the process is behind them.

By outline, here I am referring to any class of graphs, lists, or diagrams—or, if you are familiar with my work, grids, targets, and arcs. You can think of outlining, at this point, as creating a map of a territory you are just discovering; just because you know the soundings of where you can land a boat, that doesn’t mean you know the interior geography of the country. When something is mapped out completely, it may lose its mystique, but I don’t think you run the risk of that just between a first draft and a second draft.

There are many types of exercises you can complete during the method draft (and I recommend many in my book). What matters is that you harness the right method-draft attitudes, beginning with taking the word rewriting out of your vocabulary. That is not what you are doing; you are revising, re-visioning your work as you complete a second draft.

Just as you got permission to write a draft that was messy, and just as you got permission to stop writing, give yourself permission to write a method draft knowing that you are going to get some of it wrong. You are also going to get some of it startlingly right.

The Polished Draft

When the time comes to create the third and final draft of your work, the polished draft, it is time to find other people you can trust and ask them for their input—regardless of whether you go in the directions they suggest.

For now you don’t want just any feedback—you want constructive, motivating, eye-opening feedback to help you prepare for your third and final draft, the polished draft. Well, that’s the way it’s supposed to work, anyway. This is where you call on beta readers—individuals who read your work before it is finished and offer you feedback.

Throughout the three-draft process, you have had questions. Some of those questions have since resolved themselves; some of them didn’t turn out to be questions at all. And some of those questions you still have.

The beta-reader questionnaire is a vehicle for you to ask those remaining questions. You need to phrase these questions carefully to receive the greatest benefit from your beta readers.

For content questions, you can ask my favorite:

  • What scenes do you remember the best?

Or any of these variations:

  • Did any character strike you as particularly memorable?
  • Were any of the characters too over the top (i.e., memorable in a bad way)?
  • Did you particularly identify with any one character’s opinions? Which one, and how?

Most content questions, thus, are really “more or less” questions:

  • Less violence?
  • More sex?
  • Did you have any questions that weren’t answered adequately by the current manuscript?

You can also ask questions that address the issues of pace and structure. These questions are a great way to get ideas about your manuscript, as well as ideas for your manuscript.

  • Did any sections of the manuscript feel underdeveloped?
  • Which parts did you want to skip?
  • Where did you feel there was an emotional payoff?
  • Did the answers to your questions come later than you were looking for them?

When I gather feedback from all beta readers, I compile the responses that resonate and start putting together a punch list for my final draft.

I try to make this list as comprehensive as possible. No sense mailing it in. If an idea is legitimately a good one, I have every intention of weaving it in. If an idea is legitimately a bad one, I try to remember that polished-draft mantra: