Book authors are always looking for ways to promote their books, often without spending money to do so. So why do so many book authors miss out on free online book marketing opportunities?
Here are four missed book marketing opportunities and what you can do not to miss them:
Missed opportunity n. 1:
A book on blogging is published, and several other blogging books are recommended in the resource section. One of the authors whose book is recommended finds out by accident about this new book because no one, not the publisher, not the publisher’s advertising department, not the author or the author’s publicist, has notified the authors of the recommended books.
For the publisher and author of the blogging book, this is like leaving money on the table. It should have been someone’s marketing responsibility to have contacted all the authors whose book is recommended. The contact email should 1) inform the author that their book is recommended and 2) suggest that the author consider blogging, linking to, or recommending it.
And why would recommended authors say yes to this email request? Because having your blog book recommended in someone else’s blogging book is a huge stamp of approval. By making an effort to help promote this new book, other authors are getting the benefit of approving their own books.
Missed opportunity # 2:
A blogger posts a review of his book on his blog and comments are enabled on the blog. Your Google alerts pick up the review even though the blogger did not notify you about the review. You go to the blog, you read the review and then you leave.
This review is free marketing for you. Increase the value of marketing by leaving a comment thanking the blogger for reviewing your book. And say something in the comment that shows you appreciate this specific review. (Even if the review isn’t great, try to find something positive to say about the chance to get your book featured on the blog.)
And come back the next day to see if they left any other comments. Then add a second comment thanking the people who have left comments by name. Refer to something that everyone said. Here’s an example of what you can leave in a single comment:
Sally, I’m glad you liked the way the main character got out of her big dilemma. It took me several weeks to find that solution.
John, I see that places are important to you as a background for a book. I went to San Francisco to verify that I had the correct configuration.
Marlene, thank you for passing my book to your sister. I hope she likes it as much as you do.
With these comments, you 1) revealed interesting information about yourself (for example, it took weeks to solve a story question), and 2) encouraged potential readers to start a relationship with you. Recognizing these potential readers as individuals means that they are much more likely to start following what you are doing.
Missed opportunity # 3:
Someone tweets that they enjoyed their book and gives you the link to their website from which the book can be purchased. You reply on Twitter “I’m glad you enjoyed my book” and don’t include the link.
It is perfectly acceptable to include your own link in this case. In fact, you’re doing your followers a favor. If they didn’t see the original tweet and they didn’t know about your book, they might be upset that you don’t provide the information (the link) in your reply tweet. By providing the link, you’ve made it easier for your followers to review your book if they want to. (And if they don’t want to, it doesn’t hurt. They just don’t click the link).
Missed opportunity # 4:
The home page of your website displays a large photo of your book cover with no content information to “hook” potential readers. Here’s an example: A website advertised a new book with a title that included a racehorse owner’s last name and no mention of racehorses. Just by clicking on the site it became clear that the guy in the title had to do with a major racehorse scandal.
Now while a potential reader might not recognize the guy’s name in the book title, if there were a headline and brief information that this book tells connoisseurs the true story of the world’s largest racehorse scandal century (the “hook”), the potential The reader may be interested in buying the book even if they do not recognize the boy’s name. (Who isn’t interested in reading about large-scale scandals? It’s human nature.)
When planning a book author’s website, it is important to consider what elements the potential reader needs to see immediately and easily in order to consider purchasing the book. Usually this is clear information about what the story is about and what the “hook” is. (In addition to having a large BUY THIS BOOK button next to the image of the book cover).
In conclusion, book authors should be on the lookout for every legitimate promotional opportunity that comes their way. And one of the best ways to get a book promoted is to publicly thank the people who have promoted your book. That’s just good manners.