I don’t talk enough about marketing. That is in part because I’m not great at it: it seems like that magic sauce so many people have eludes me. Maybe it’s because I’ve tried to replicate what works for other people… that only gets a person like me so far (I’m kind-of an off-the-wall type and it’s hard to put me in a box.)
Below are some great marketing ideas I’m going to try. If you’re as unique as I am, they might be the kind of marketing ideas you need! Here are three fresh ideas I’m planning to test drive…
- Here’s an idea from Bookbub that I liked about real-life promotion events.
Create a “real-world” experience to supplement a book
The book launch at the local library included a traditional reading, Q&A, and signing. But to really shore up the number of turnouts, he recruited a local host-walk group to run a tour visiting three haunted spots near the library.
He ended up with a launch attendance of over 100 people, and with a spot on morning TV to talk about the launch!
Now, ghost walks aren’t suitable for 99% of book launches — but that doesn’t mean you can’t organize some activity that will:
- Attract a larger audience to your launch.
- Make it stand out from the “biscuits and wine in plastic cups” crowd.
- Get people excited to read, share, and review the new book.
Lefebvre says, “The concept is adding in real-world three-dimensional experiences associated with the book itself that will draw people in to attend and participate in the event. It can be directly tied in to the book itself, or be more associated with a tangential element associated with the book or the writer.”
The trick with this tactic is to find something relevant to your book’s content. This may be easier with nonfiction, but you can always link in some kind of tie-in that will build reader confidence.
An author friend of mine sells books about local, paranormal history. He has used live events to set himself up as a paranormal expert and his personal appearances are usually sold out and drive his book sales. He also runs a popular podcast.
- A second idea I got from Bookbub (though it’s hardly new) is to use podcasts.
Use podcasts to promote a new book
Marketing guru Rob Eagar has helped numerous books hit the New York Times bestseller list. For him, “one of the smartest and most underused book marketing ideas is using iTunes to line up author interviews on popular podcasts for free.”
Podcasts have soared in popularity over the past few years. As of February 2018, there are over half a million podcasts on iTunes — and many of them are always looking for fresh guests. And we’re not just talking about book-related podcasts (although there are hundreds exploring topics from writing tips to book reviews and recommendations). Look for shows that fit into your niche.
I’ve had a few recommended to me from friends including The Sell More Books Show, The Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast, and Novel Marketing Podcast by Jim Rubart
- Several folks I know are die-hards for AMS (Amazon Marketing Services.)
A fellow author in my writing group online recommends Brian Meek’s Mastering Amazon Ads. I’m planning to pick up a copy soon. She is in the same boat as myself: not an expert by any means, and encourages others to follow Meek’s advice on every step while insinuating that failure for it to work probably says more about a writers copywriting skills or ability to draft ad copy than it does about Meek’s advice. Ouch… but she’s probably right!
Bonus Idea, I recently purchased the Busy Mom’s Guide to Novel Marketing (also by some folks in my writers circle.) I’m only a quarter of the way through it, but there is lots of gold in here… and it’s not just for Mom’s, but it is a good tool for busy people.