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Found on laura-marshall.com

Found on laura-marshall.com

I was following the other day a conversation on the best book marketing strategies on LinkedIn. Authors Trish LeSage and Simon Denman, among others, shared some valuable insight, which I think interests us all. The conclusions of the conversation can be summed up as follows:

  • Blog, writing helpful and useful material. When you post them on Facebook groups, add a copyright notice at the bottom with a back link. If you write your posts like magazine articles, you can also submit them to print magazines and ezines (digital magazines).
  • Get published in ezines (online magazines) and magazines. Search Google for “ezine” or “magazine” and the subject of your books. You could also go to yor local bookstore and browse through the magazine racks, writing down the names of magazines that may publish your articles. Then look up their websites online and submit your articles to them.
  • Get booked on radio shows. Do a google search for the keywords “radio show” and whatever subject your book is about. You can also join Radio Guide List. It’s free, and they’ll automatically email you lists of radio shows that need guests.
  • Do author joint venture launches for your books and participate in other authors’ ones. When you do your own book launch, ask each author for a free gift to those who purchase your book – usually a copy of their own book. Include a link to each author’s free gift on your book launch page that will take your customers to the other authors’ websites. To get a general idea of how to structure an online joint venture book launch, you can visit Trish’ book launch page.
  • Guest blogging – Submit your blog articles to other authors’ blogs. They always include back links to your blog/website, and often give you an opportunity to mention your work.
  • Host other authors’ guest posts. When you do, post links on your Facebook page and on the walls of the Facebook groups that you are a member of, with the same copyright notice and back links mentioned above. This will allow you to both drive traffic to your blog, and help other authors.
  • To connect with the right kind of followers, you can visit the websites of other authors who write books in your genre and find the link to their Twitter page. Once there, you can browse through the list of all of their followers. Follow people who are book readers (I avoid marketers, and steer clear of those who promise to increase your followers) and people who enjoy your genre. This will prompt them to follow you back, or at least check you out. Make sure your Twitter profile includes a link to your blog/website and a brief description of the kinds of books that you write. An added bonus is that books of authors in the same genre as you will be linked to your books on Amazon, if enough of your common followers also buy your books. So, every time they do a promotional event and sell a bunch of books, your books will also get exposed to a bunch of new customers.
  • Speaking of Amazon, you can change some of the keywords for your books there to the names of authors who write books similar to yours, and/or to their book titles. Whenever someone searches for them or their books on Amazon, your books will also show up. The more sales you have, the higher you will jump up on that list.Update: According to MT (see comment below), this could backfire, so use this tip at your own risk. Apparently, back in the days of Amazon tags, authors used to use the names of other authors in the tagging section. There were lots of tag me and I’ll tag you back kinds of threads with ‘please add x y or z tags to my books’ plus link. Unfortunately, the Amazon.com forum police decided that this practice was unethical. They would tag the books with comments to the effect that the author was paying for shill reviews, unprincipled or behaving badly, that the book was therefore poor and should be boycotted etc. Their practices ranged from stopping there, to raining down one star ratings and reviews on the strength of the look inside sample, and ever onward, to hounding the author across the internet, basically, until the person stopped writing. There is another group of equally odious people who act, supposedly, on behalf of the authors, hounding their targets the same way. These are the kinds of people who will check searches for well known authors and target any indies who come up for their “bad” behaviour. Yes they are that obsessed and that rigorous in collecting their “proof”.
  • Join a book club. You all know my experience with the Rave Reviews Book Club. It has increased my visibility and my sales, while generating a lot of new reviews.
  • And a suggestion by Charles: if you can, take part in a convention or organize a library event (eg a book signing, if you can get it). These tend to show up in local papers and newsletters, which have an on-line component. Mandy expanded on this, by pointing out that local events and bookstores have been more successful for her book sales than online sales. She takes great care in exhibiting each book to its best advantage with themed displays, bookmarks, pre-order forms, competition details and entry forms. She also (rightly) advises against spamming out ‘buy my book’, which just turns people off, although you do need to be involved and interact with other authors and as well as readers. In her case, what worked was using her personal network and taking it from from there.

As always, I’d love to hear what has worked for you!