Apart from writer’s block, one of the most frustrating things about writing a book can be the trouble that you have to go through to get it noticed. In the fluid modern market, even authors of top selling novels have to do a bit of personal publicity. Considering the vast expanse of available titles, it is imperative to give your book every opportunity to be noticed. Here are a few handy tips on how to promote the sales of your title:
The first point to take of when it comes to book signings, is that the purpose of a signing session is not to sell your book – it is to sell yourself! A book signing creates the ideal platform for the promotion of your book as the ‘book store’ environment is crawling with people who love to read i.e. potential customers.
Depending on your target market, book genre and your personal attitude toward the signing – you could expect to make anywhere from 5 to 100 sales per signing. However, as with every idea of product promotion, you will only get out what you put in.
Here are a few quick tips on preparing for a book signing :
Promote yourself to everyone that you know
Make an effort to invite everyone that you know to your signing. Also, feel free to tell your friends and family to invite everyone that they know. Essentially all that you are trying to do is guarantee a good attendance, so make every effort to get the word out about your signing!
Don’t do it on your own
Try to arrange a book signing with other writers. Believe it or not, the book industry is not always about competition. By having a group book signing, you will feel more at ease and have the benefit of learning from more experienced writers i.e. learn the best way to interact with readers, find out how you can prepare yourself personally for the event and maybe even how to professionally handle ‘groupies’.
Essentially, you need to look good, while still being comfortable. The best way to go is ‘causal business’ attire.
Be as friendly as you can possibly be – greet people, wave and most importantly, smile!
Just remember: a book signing gives you the opportunity to have a bit of fun with your readers, so go ahead and enjoy every minute of the lime light.
Public Talks and Interviews
One of the best ways to gain local publicity for your book, is attaining public exposure amongst your potential target market. While it may sound rather ‘old school’, public talks and radio interviews are highly effective vehicles for publicity – radio itself is one of the most widely used media sources in most first and third world countries. If you are working with an agent, you should definitely try to get a word in about either of these mediums.
If you are handling your own publicity, you should make an active effort to hunt down any interview opportunity. Approach websites like Barnes & Noble Explorations, John Scalzi’s By the Way blog, and Suite101.com
This is an example of a good public speaking idea:
If you find that your book targets children, why not go to its source? It has been noted that schools are the best location to do a reading and give a talk. Firstly, you are guaranteed an audience and secondly, children are highly opinionated and that will give you an accurate reflection of your target market’s interpretation of and comments on your book.
When it comes to public talks and readings, your priority should be the location of your target market.
Online Book Promotion
Online promoting is probably the most powerful marketing tool available to you. Any successful book must make use of online media to boost sales. Here are a few tips for effective online book promotion:
Start a blog well before the release of your book and begin consciously trying to write about topics that will hopefully garner you an audience.
Make use of your current social media sites i.e. MySpace and Facebook, and seek friends with interests in the genre of your book.
Create a personalised webpage for your new book – maybe dedicate an entire lens on Squidoo to it and use that page to display your book’s events info, reviews etc.
If taking on the pressure of marketing your book personally, is something you could do without, it may be a good idea for you to make use of an online service. International promotional companies offer various marketing packages. You could pay anywhere between $10 for a mention on a website for one week, to several thousand dollars for a larger scale online promotional package.
The only downside, apart from forking out hefty bundles of cash, is that these promotional packages don’t let you see exactly how your title is doing. One company, RankTracer, allows you to see how your book is faring while simultaneously promoting and marketing it online – giving you the best of both worlds for a mere $2 per month.
If blogging about your book is the type of online promotion that works for you, you may be interested to hear about the embeddable Amazon sales ranks and graphs feature that RankTracer has recently added to its list of services.
It comprises of a unique html code snippet, which is automatically generated for each tracked book or any other product. This snippet will display a specific product’s sales ranks, performance statistics, with a graph included. Another embeddable snippet displays your book’s best sales rank along with an authentication link for verification. This allows you to show your readers exactly how well your book is selling, plus your shout out can be verified at the click of a button.
By way of example, take a look at this link: My Blog. It will help you visualise the displayed version of the code (the graph, stats and subsequent line about the ‘best sales rank’ are produced by Ranktracer for inclusion into your own blog, site and promotional material).
All that’s required for RankTracer subscribers to achieve this, is a snippet copy and paste into any page that allows html. With the creation of such a code, avenues for personalised online book promotion are endless, plus sales ranks are neatly verified by the company. Remember too that the actual snippets provide direct links to the product in question allowing readers to purchase it at a click of a button.
If your book’s online sales could do with a boost or it simply needs tracking, why not visit the RankTracer website and let the leaders in sales tracking technology help you out.
Elodie specializes in sales tracking and the promotion of products that are sold on Amazon.
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