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Instant Author Academy: 21 Ways to Promote Your Book

Instant Author Academy: 21 Ways to Promote Your Book

 Tamara Patzer’s

Instant Author Academy

21 Ways to Promote your Book 

You’ve created a powerful book with an eye-grabbing cover, an attention-arresting title and an intriguing description.  People can “Look Inside” and you’ve carefully priced it and placed it within your best Amazon category.

You know your audience, inside out.  But this is no “Field of Dreams”.  You’ve built it – but now you have to actively and proactively let them know your Amazon book is ready and waiting to become the next best seller.

It’s important to realize there is no specific “best” way to promote your book – just a handful of best ways for your particular audience.

These twenty-one ideas should help you come up with a winning formula all your own.

Proof your eBook thoroughly – before and after formatting.

You want the professional aura you’ve built up to continue – not break down – when people finally access your book.

And “proofing” doesn’t just mean a quick read-through.  It means checking for:

Spelling mistakes

Syntax and grammar

Inconsistencies

Formatting

Flow

Image placement

Be sure to include a “Look Inside” sample of your book’s contents.

 

You can learn more about this in Amazon’s Help section.  It is fairly sparse, so if you have specific questions, scroll down to the very bottom of that page and click the tiny “Contact Us” link.  (In spite of being hard to find, Amazon’s support team is very helpful with simple questions.)

Make a Marketing Plan.

Don’t just leave it to chance.  Choose your methods with your target reader and the platforms she uses in mind.  Make a plan for:

Pre-launch – getting reviews and feedback; tweaking anything that needs to be edited

Launch – Plan to build up excitement and do your best to make your book launch news go viral

Post-launch – Don’t just let your book sit there, once the initial excitement has waned.  Plan promotions throughout the year and take full advantage of your five give-the-book-away-for-free days, if you’ve enrolled in KDP Select.

Tie promotions in with seasonal holidays, if appropriate.

Educate your audience about Kindle’s Cloud Reader.

Many people ignore Kindle because they don’t own a device – and they don’t realize they can still download eBooks and read them right in their own browsers through installing the free Kindle Cloud Reader.

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Write a “How to get it” post on your blog

Upload a “How to get it” video on YouTube

(Remember to include a link to your book in your signature, sidebar, ad, link, description or anywhere else you can put it in a way that feels logical and natural.)

Research and contact top Amazon reviewers.

Look for those who post honest, critically valid, point-specific reviews.  Make a list of the top one hundred, including contact information provided.

Contact each one to query whether or not they would be interested in reviewing your book.  (This is one of the quickest and best ways to accumulate valuable reviews – and you’ll have your list for next time, perhaps with only a few minor tweaks if you go outside your current niche.)

Keep your contact low-key and simple, and try to provide one single compelling reason why they might want to review your book.

Submit your book to review sites.

Amazon itself provides a great article on how to do this – and be sure to submit it to Goodreads.

(Once you’ve done the latter, ask your list, writers’ club members or fellow forum/membership site members to go there and rate your book.)

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Wait until you have at least six reviews.

One of the most effective ways to make sure your promotions stick is to wait.  Don’t fall prey to the common beginner mistake of rushing to announce your launch.  Make sure the book has populated in Amazon’s catalogue (48-72 hours)… and make sure you have at least six reviews first before announcing to the world at large.

Familiarize yourself with Amazon link permissions.

Taking advantage of these will allow you to use Amazon trademarks or logos on other websites (such as your own).  If your book is on Kindle, be sure to follow the Kindle brand use tagging and framing guidelines.

(NOTE:  You cannot include a link to your site in your Description!)

Sign up for the Amazon Associates program and provide affiliate links to your book on your website.

You can include customized Text Links, Text-and-Image links, and “Image Only” links to your books.

The Amazon Associates page provides tools to get you started:  Adds Amazon:  “We’ve provided links to Kindle devices and to best sellers in Kindle books and accessories to help get you started”.

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You can sign up for the Amazon Associates program here.

Create a hashtag for your book or book launch.

Register it with Hashtags.org.  You can even create a Twitter Party about it, if you already have fans or a list.

Create a contest.

Do this before or after your book is released and base it on others sharing your book in some way – through social shares, reviews, “Liking” your Facebook Page, and so forth.  (Make sure you obey platform and local laws, however.)

Make sure you offer something people really want as the prize (iPads seem to be the gift of choice on marketing forums, when people are asked).

Create a YouTube video.

You can talk about your book on camera, or put together a presentation of slides from your book, a sound track, images that boost your message.

Make it short and impactful.  (You can also demonstrate one point or method or tip from your book.)

(You can also upload a slide presentation to SlideShare.)

 

 

 

Create a Google Hangout on Air.

This live-streaming video will be automatically recorded on YouTube.  Do this, not on your book, but on the topic your book deals with.

For example, say your book is about surviving the terrible twos while working at home:  Invite up to ten work-at-home moms you know who have experienced children going through the terrible twos stage and invite them to share their stories.  (Be sure to include a link to your book in your YouTube recording description; and at least at the end of your video.)

Follow Digital authority blogs and directories.

Sites like Digital Book Today provide valuable tips about promotion, as well information about contests and award opportunities.

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(And whatever you do, don’t miss checking out the Author Marketing Club.)

Don’t neglect your local market.

Send out press releases, presenting your book release as a “Human Interest” story rather than a blowing-your-own-horn story.  (E.G.:  “When Verna Cular rescued a drowning bee two years ago, she didn’t realize that it would lead to producing award-winning local honey – entirely produced from her wild rose garden.”)

If your book is printed, send a review copy of your book to your local and nearest “big city” arts and entertainment editors.  (Check to see if there is a particular person in charge of book reviews.)

Send it to your local librarian and other key people in your niche.

Offer to do a book signing for your local independent bookseller, if you can convince them to carry your book.

Or give a (niche-related) workshop at your local library

You can do this even if yours is a kindle book – but it works better if you have copies of physical books

Start a genre group on Goodreads.

Goodreads allows authors to create groups.  Start one, not for your book, but for your genre or industry.

Send invitations to list member and on your social networks.  (Ask others to share the news.)

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Create a Facebook Author Page for your book.

Not only can you build a community and get a buzz going with your Facebook Page, you can also use it to display third-party app tabs leading to:

Sample chapters

Contests

Sign-ups

Treat it as a “customer service” site, no matter what your book topic.  Answer questions about becoming an author; answer questions about your niche topic; and remember to acknowledge and thank people for interactions as you check in daily to keep your community well-nourished and happy.

Keep your book updated.

A book is a live entity. Don’t be afraid to put out a second, third, fourth edition or more, as long as your book keeps selling.   This will most likely apply if yours is a textbook or deals with changing technology or social habits.  Not only will people appreciate updated information, your diligence will build trust, as well as give you the opportunity to run new promotions around the new edition – and attract new readers.

Don’t use promotional stickers on your book covers!

By “promotional stickers”, we mean banners running across your Cover Photo with a “deal” or price emblazoned on; or starbursts containing pricing or promotional information.

It doesn’t matter how well these stickers “work”:  Amazon doesn’t like them, and your book will suffer if you use them.

Upload a presentation to SlideShare

This is another often neglected method of promoting your book.  Build the slide show around your best keywords, and even include quotes and slides from your book, always keeping the focus on the topic – not on your book.

Finish off with an invitation to check out your book (include your Amazon link directly.)

Learn from your mistakes.

Even the best marketers make mistakes in promoting their books, so it’s not the end of the world.  If one promotion fails, build another – and congratulate yourself on learning what not to do next time.  (Check out Common but Painful Kindle Publishing Mistakes to Avoid that Cost you Money at Nicoleonthenet.com to learn which mistakes nine top marketers admitted to.)

But the best promotion methods are the ones you dream up yourself.  We hope these twenty-one suggestions have started you brainstorming.

 

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