Tag Archives: book marketing

Where to host a book launch party?

book party Yesterday I was talking with a client of mine who is launching a book set in the 1970s. She found a store that is all about the ’70s and is now in discussions to host a book launch party there. This got me to thinking about all the various places that you could host a book launch shindig.

A bookstore
This is the obvious choice and one that many an author makes. Of course it makes sense … a book launch party is supposed to jump start book sales, so why not hold it in a place that people buy books? The benefits of hosting a launch party at a bookstore include:

  • ease of book sales — they sell books, so they can sell yours
  • literary credibility — bookstores are for readers, including yours
  • better media attention — an established bookseller lends credibility to your launch
  • piggy back on bookstore promotional resources — event calendars, posters on store, website, email newsletter, etc.

A nice home, yours or someone else’s
Depending on how large the home is, the launch party could be an intimate or large affair. Either way, holding the party in a home gives an air of coziness or intimacy, that holding it in a retail establishment doesn’t. Also, the event can be more exclusive.

A library
Like a bookstore, a library lends literary credibility to a book launch party. You can also add in a fundraiser for the library to the event, which could improve press coverage and attendance.

A thematic location in alignment with your book
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Using Online PR to Market Your Book

online book pr There are two ways you can use online public relations (PR) to market your book: actively and passively.

Active Public Relations
Now that so many people in the media use the Internet to find and research stories, it has become easier for authors without big marketing budgets to catch the eye of the press. Yes, it does take time and effort, but it can be done and it can be successful. Here are some things you can do:

  • Write press releases and post them on online press release sites. This does two things for you — potentially helps the media find you and adds to your websites off-page search engine optimization. However, be aware that this is not a sure-bet way to be press coverage. It just helps.
  • Get the emails of reporters who cover your topic and send them a customized pitch letter. This takes a lot of thought and time, but when done correctly can really get you some good press. Be helpful, polite and on target. Don’t sent emails to reporters that would have no interest in your proposed story.

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Online Book Marketing: Building Your List of Fans

fan list The most successful authors have fans … these are people who love what the author writes and has to say. These people will buy all their books, come see them speak when they get the chance, and will tell all their friends, family and colleagues about them.

For example, I’m a big fan of Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Ursula LeGuin and Terry Pratchett. When I get the chance, I will go on and on about how wonderful their work is. I’m also a fan of a few of books that I’ve not only recommended, but given as gifts. This is the type of behavior you want to encourage.

Yes, you can do this without ever creating an online email list. But then all your activities are dependent on others promoting for you. Don’t you want to keep some of that control for yourself? Don’t you want to stand in your power as an author and writer and know that you are keeping in touch with your fans?

You can use social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to nurture your fan base, but then you are again at the mercy of those two companies. You don’t “own” your list. If Facebook or Twitter goes away, you lose contact with your fans.

To take control of your fan communication, you need to build an online list using a reputable email marketing provider. MailChimp is a good place to get started, because they are inexpensive. If you think you’ll want to have multiple lists, I recommend that you use Aweber, like I do. Aweber lets you brand each list differently, if you so choose.
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Marketing Your Book on Twitter

twitter book marketing Twitter can be time consuming, but it can also be a useful tool in developing a fan base of avid readers. You just have to know the kinds of people who will read your book and figure out if they are Twitterers or not.

If they are, there are three ways you can market your writing and books with Twitter: as an author, as a book or as a character from your book.

Author Tweets
This option can be used by fiction and non-fiction authors alike. Basically, your tweets share bits and pieces of your knowledge and experience. People who follow an author’s tweets do so because they read your books or are interested in what you have to say and may eventually read your books. Maintain a balance of 3 parts information to 1 part promotion.

Book Tweets
This will most likely be a short-lived Twitter handle, built to create buzz about your forthcoming book and encourage sales during the initial promotional run. This is a good place to share bits and pieces of information from and about your book, as well announce events surrounding your book. People who follow book tweets are usually interested in possibly buying the book or have purchased it and want to engage with it further.
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Marketing Your Book on Facebook

facebook book marketing Are you on Facebook? Then your book should be, as well. There are a few ways you can use Facebook to market your book and nurture your fan base of book buyers (and readers). Here are some ideas.

Facebook Pages
There are two basic ways you can use a Facebook page to market your book. If you have a nonfiction book, you can build a community around the book, like I have with Public Speaking Super Powers. I post updates, news and related information on the page and, once the book comes out, I’ll use the page to announce it and engage my audience with special Facebook-only activities

You can do the same thing with a fiction book, but if you are writing a series of fiction books with the same main character, you might consider having the Facebook page focus on the character instead. Then the posts can all come from the character and engage your readers in a fun, make believe way.

Facebook Groups
If you want to increase the interaction with your readers, a Facebook group might be a better idea. The group should focus on the topic of your book … not the book itself. In fact, the group is more useful as a tool for supporting your expertise, and thereby tangentially leading to sales of your book, than actually selling your book outright.
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Online Book Marketing: Virtual Book Readings

virtual book reading Some people like to experience a little of a book before they buy it. That’s why many folks enjoy going to book readings. These types of events serve two purposes for potential readers: They get to experience a taste of the book before they buy and they get to experience a taste of the author, as well.

Many readers develop relationships inside their heads with their favorite authors. Book readings give the author and opportunity to nurture this relationship, which leads to more book sales.

There are a couple of ways you can host a book reading without ever having to leave the comfort of your home. Here are some suggestions for hosting your own virtual book reading.

Step One: How Will You Deliver Your Book Reading?

  • Telephone – Using a conference call service such as Free Conference Pro or Instant Teleseminar, you can perform your book reading to an audience of people listening in over the telephone or the web.
  • Video – You can stream video of your book reading live over the Internet using a service such as UStream.tv.

Step Two: How Will You Organize Your Event?
If all you do is show up and read a selection from your book, you probably won’t get much return on time invested. You should make it more like a real book reading event, complete with a host introducing you and a Q&A session that follows.

Finding someone to be the host of the event not only makes the event more interesting and engaging, it can also expose you to a wider audience because the host will invite people from their list, as well.

Adding a Q&A session at the end further engages the audience and helps you nurture that relationship many of your readers crave.
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Marketing Your Book with Internet Radio

internet radio book marketing There are two basic ways you can use Internet Radio to market your book: You can be the host or you can be the guest. There are pros and cons to both.

Author as Host
Pros:
When you host a live Internet Radio show you are seen as an expert. Hosting your own show gives you an outlet for sharing your expertise that is convenient to your listeners.

Cons:
You have to keep to your schedule. If your show is weekly, you need to do it weekly. This is a big time commitment. You may spend a bit of your time looking for topics and/or guests to fill up the “air” time.

Author as Guest
Pros:
When you are the guest on an Internet radio show, the spot light is on you for that particular episode. It is a good way to potentially reach a wide audience.

Cons:
You have to make sure that you get on the right shows. It is difficult to tell if the reach the host tells you he or she has it accurate.
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Online Book Marketing for Fiction

online fiction marketing Although marketing nonfiction is easier online than fiction, you still can use the Internet to market your fiction effectively. Here are some ideas:

Make Your Fictional World More Real
I recently interviewed Shawn Lamb, the author of a series of fantasy novels. In preparation for the interview, I visited her website and was treated to a website that really helped readers engage with her fictional world. When you visit allonbooks.com, you can learn more about the characters, complete with realistic sketches and bios, and explore an interactive map of Allon. This is a great way to make your fictional world more real and get readers to interact with it so they’ll want to continue reading. (My interview with her will post on The Genre Traveler on June 6.)

Robert Liparulo, author of the Dreamhouse Kings series of books, does a good job of this with dreamhousekings.com, as well. The website is build with flash, which reduces its search engine optimization, but once people find it, they can spend a great deal of time tooling around the website and learning about the author and the books. He even has a page with games and contests. You can listen to my interview with him here.
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