One of the biggest challenges self-published authors face is effectively promoting their books. Advertising and discount-price strategies can only go so far. Constantly announcing your book launch on social media can quickly get you branded as a spammer. And none of these methods takes advantage of the single most powerful way to sell anything—get people talking about your book. Think about it: How did you choose the last book you read? The experts at Self-Publishing Relief can tell you: It was probably due to a word-of-mouth recommendation.
So how do you get people talking online about your self-published book?
Easy Ways To Build Online Word-Of-Mouth Book Sales
Offer Freebies Or Low-Cost Digital Content
Giving away a digital freebie is a great way to entice people to join your mailing list and become fans and followers. For self-published writers, services like BookFunnel allow easy, low-cost distribution of digital content. A prequel to your series, an associated novella, a top-secret dossier of the main character, or extra and/or deleted scenes can be just the enticement you need to get readers talking about your book.
Set Up A Facebook Group To Encourage Online Book Discussions
Whether you make your Facebook Group open to the public or private “by-invitation-only,” setting up an online space where your fans and followers can gather to talk about your latest book is a great way to encourage word-of-mouth sales without resorting to blatant book marketing. Make sure you pop in at regular intervals to lead discussions, offer insights into the making of the book, and tease them about what’s coming next.
Host A Monthly Contest
Get people coming back again and again to your social media pages by hosting a contest. The prize can be as simple as a signed copy of your latest book, or perhaps some swag relating to your book’s theme. Just make sure to check the rules for contests on the different social media platforms. If you don’t know how to start an online contest, check out Rafflecopter.
Ask Readers To Write Reviews
Readers don’t always understand the importance of reviews, so on occasion you have to ask them for a little help. Periodically request that your readers pop over to their favorite e-vendor and write a quick review. PRO TIP: Posting a link to that vendor helps! Most readers will be happy to oblige, and they might even share the review with others.
Ask Readers To Post Photos Of Your Book
Get readers involved with the excitement of a new book launch by encouraging them to take a photo of your print book (or the e-book on their tablet or e-reader) while they’re lounging in their favorite hammock or posing with your book and their dog or cat! This is a great, free way to get readers engaged and help to promote your book.
Do A Blog Tour To Start Discussions
Blog tours increase your exposure to a wide range of potentially new readers. Make sure to answer any questions and respond to any comments in the days after the posting, and encourage all readers to join your mailing list and follow you on social media.
Post Excerpts Of Your Book On Your Website
Another way to tempt readers into talking about your book is to direct them to a page on your website where you post the first scene or chapter of your upcoming book. Leave them at a cliffhanger and they’re sure to anticipate the upcoming release!
Use Your Back Matter Effectively
The most precious real estate in your self-published book is the page that comes after “The End.” This is generally where you encourage the reader to buy another book. This page can also be used to encourage readers to continue the conversation on your Facebook Group page, or on your preferred social media platform. Make sure you use this back matter space effectively to help readers who are dazzled by your prose know where to go to read more.
Promoting your self-published novels can easily turn into a full-time job. If you’re uncomfortable taking on such a huge book promotion task yourself, don’t despair. There are plenty of people who can legitimately help you market your book so you can get back to what you like to do best: Write.
Question: What questions do you ask your social media followers online to get a conversation going?