ways-to-promote-book

Cue the confetti. Your book is hot off of the press, and now you’ll be looking for ways to promote it. Sure you might be able to get into a book store, but when you consider the tens of thousands of books competing with yours, you’ll need to get creative and put your eggs in more than one basket.

After publishing several books of my own, I’ve come to learn what works to sell my book, and what doesn’t work so well. I’ve been on the NYT best-seller’s list, and I’ve also reached the Amazon best sellers list at #1 in my category–twice.

Of course there are countless ways one can promote a book, but for the sake of space and time, I’ll list 11 ideas that I think top the list:

1. Host a book signing event. Most local bookstores welcome book signings. Invite a boat load of your friends and relatives. This will get the ball rolling, and start people talking.

2. Create a niche blog. What is your book about? Is there a niche market you can tap into? If so, start a blog and use other social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to promote it. Put a link at the bottom of each blog post to direct readers to your book.

3. Start Public Speaking. A few years ago, I told my writing mentor that I couldn’t do public speaking. He dismissed that claim saying that “anyone can learn.” He was right. I took some local classes which gave me experience, skills, and confidence. I went from being absolutely horrified of the stage to the point where I wasn’t nervous at all.

I then made myself available to be a conference speaker. Back of the room sales are a HUGE venue for book sales. At a company like Art Bookbindery, you can get as little as 50 books printed at a time, which is great for public speakers!

4. Be a guest blogger. If you don’t have a blog of your own, or if you have a small blog, try approaching bloggers with related audiences to offer a guest post. When I published my last book, I prepared about 30 guest posts, and created a list of standard Q & A’s so bloggers could use them as interview style posts.

Make sure the blogger puts your bio and a link to your book at the bottom of the post.

5. Approach bloggers etc. I created a list of about 50 bloggers that I submitted to my publisher who sent books out to each one of them. If you can’t afford to send 50 free books out, consider sending digital copies of your book to them along with a nice letter.

For bigger fish, I’d recommend sending an actual copy.

One of the nicest letters I’ve seen, was recently sent to a celebrity friend of mine. The letter started off unrelated to the gift. It was more of a “just because you are awesome” kind of present, which included a copy of the book and some goodies. She went on to say, “this is a gift, which truly comes with zero obligation…”

Well, guess what? My friend shared a photo of the book with over 1,000,000 of her online readers.

I’ve spent months (and in some cases, years) connecting with bloggers by retweeting their posts, sharing their stuff on my Facebook page and leaving encouraging comments. Always engage with zero expectation of getting something back and you’ll develop a stronger relationship in the community.

Don’t stop at bloggers. Send a copy of the book to your local newspapers, radio stations, and some of the bigger churches in your area.

Side note: If you consider putting me on your send list, you’ll have to nix that idea. Unfortunately I can’t take on any book reviews. I just don’t have the time to read them. I sincerely wish I did.

6. Give away free copies. Offer free digital copies to people who will share the news. You might say something like, “Do you want a few copy of my new book? All you have to do is share it on Facebook and then email me to let me know you did. I’ll reply with a free digital copy. Here’s the blurb to share: “Title of Your Book just released on Amazon today. Click here for more details! www.nolink. com”

7. Create a mailing list. This might not be the best solution for your book today, but it will be months and years down the road. In my opinion, THIS is the biggest asset to any author. Unless you’re a celebrity or a pastor with a ginormous church, a mailing list is the best tool for getting the word out.

There’s so much to add to this point, but I’ll keep it short by offering you some good advice. I had a mailing list that grew slowly over the years, and I also had one that grew to over 10,000 in the first three months. The difference between the two is that I offered something of value to the readers who signed up. So for example, you might create a mailing list and offer readers free daily housekeeping tips, free printables every week, a free eBook for signing up, etc.

Some programs I’m the most familiar with are feed burner (free), or Mail Chimp.

8. Write more than one book. If you have a book that you want to sell, create a second book to boost sales. Here’s the thing, you don’t have to go nuts on the second book. Some ideas might include a companion study guide, a 7-day Bible study, a recipe book, a little book of tips and tricks, etc. I’ve seen a lot of small books used to bump the sales of the bigger books. Authors say, “Buy my book today and receive a free companion study guide!”

If you’re selling books at the back of the room, simply gather the email addresses to send the book to them later that day. AND you might also say, “Hey, can I also add you to my mailing list? I send out daily free housekeeping tips. I think you might like it!”

9. Offer a book club. During the first week of sales, create a book club. Announce it in your church, your community, your Facebook page, or your blog. I had over 1,000 people sign up for 30-days of prayer last fall.

10. Gather a promo team. I did this for my last book, and it definitely gave me a leg up. First off, I had to create an incentive to offer team members. This included a digital download of my companion study guide, some digital printables, a free eBook I created, and a few other eBooks from friends.

Team members were invited to join a Facebook group. They were each given access to the freebie package. The Facebook group was my place to connect with them. In exchange for the freebies, they were expected to post an honest review on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. They were also asked (and did so gladly) to promote the book on their Facebook pages and their blogs.

11. Create a buzz on launch day. If you’ve done any or all of the things I’ve listed, you’ll want to send out a huge reminder on launch day. Create an email with Tweets and Facebook blurbs that your friends can easily copy and paste. The easier you make this, the more likely they are to share.

Simply remind your friends that you book is being released today, and kindly suggest that you’d be forever grateful if they could help get the word out. Mention the fact that you have include some blurbs they can easily copy and paste.