There are probably hundreds of ways of promoting a book.
In this new world of independent publishing, in which writers new and old can choose from a smorgasbord of options as to how to publish their books, it makes sense that there is an equally wide range of choices about how to get one’s book known to the public at large.
Not all of these ways are equal, though. I’ve started off here by listing some of the easier ways. What do I mean by ‘easier’? Well, in most cases, writers are not natural marketers. It’s probably true to say that the majority of writers are introverts, or people who prefer solitude, at least while they are working - otherwise, they are not likely to get much actual writing done. So I’ve selected a few ways for writers to promote books which can be done on your own, from your desk or armchair, without too much interaction - as long as you understand that part of the product of promotion is ‘interaction’.
1. Contact all your friends via social media and let them know that you have written a book. Don’t particularly try to ‘sell’ it to them, just inform them about it, send them a picture of the cover, perhaps tell them a tiny bit about it (without giving anything away about the story, if it’s fiction) and ask them to pass it around to others, if they so wish.
See, that was easy, wasn’t it? Of course, if it’s a book that it may be embarrassing to have known in your social circles, you may want to restrict this one a bit.
2. Set up a Facebook group about your book and invite a few selected friends into the group - the ones you think would be interested. Post into the group about your book and invite comments and ‘likes’ and all the rest of it. Keep this alive by visiting the group every day to add fresh remarks or answer questions.
3. Ask a couple of key friends to write a review of your book. Use this (if it’s good) in other promotion, and, if your friends don’t mind, get them to post it on Amazon or wherever you have the book available.
4. Which reminds me: get the book on Amazon if you can. Just have it sitting there for credibility. You can always promote it more later.
5. If this is applicable at all to your book, create a bunch of £0.99 snippets from it that are full of quality material. Use these as tasters for your other books — people will take a chance for 99p and if they like your stuff they’ll be back for more.
6. Put a link to your book in your email signature. That means that every e-mail you write becomes a piece of free promotion for your book. You can even develop this into a mini-‘blurb’ for your book, which then appears at the bottom of all your correspondence.
7. Run a contest or a giveaway for your book from your website or Facebook group.
8. Put a link inside your book (if it’s an e-book) that encourages people to sign up for your Facebook group or your email list.
9. Start and keep a blog. Write interesting blog articles on a topic related to or covered in your book, and then reference and link to your book in the post and at the end.
10. Participate in writers’ groups, forums, discussion sites, and so forth. Don’t just appear and plug your book: be interested, be a good listener, make friends. The more affinity you can generate (appropriately) the more chance you have of selling your book.
11. Create a movement or a campaign around your book. If there is any way of turning your readers into some kind of ‘following’ or ‘fellowship’, explore it and do it.
12. Write more books! This is important for a number of reasons. Firstly, if you’re a writer, you’ll feel more alive when you get back to writing and it will refresh you from the somewhat foreign experience of trying to do marketing; but secondly, and importantly, it will increase your scope as a writer and take your attention off the ‘one book’. Writing more will alleviate the pressure of having to sell the one you’ve written, yes, but when the one you’ve written starts to sell, you will already have something else to offer. Most - not all, but most - of the world’s best-selling authors wrote more than one book. When a reader likes what you have to say, that reader will want to buy more of your books, so you’d better have them ready!
For more about writing, publishing and marketing, join the Inner Circle Writers’ Group on Facebook.