How to Promote a Book.
Please note I missed the question mark from the post title, and I'm wondering whether I should have put it in. I'm not intending that this should be an instruction kit as to promoting an e-book book, but rather what I've done as a first-time author with the help of my publisher, Publerati.
First there was the thrill of seeing my booK Leap of Faith actually available for sale on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com. (Plug) http://www.amazon.co.uk/Temporal-Detective-Agency-Series-ebook/dp/B007XYIFO4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1340102705&sr=1-1
Admittedly a greater thrill would have been to have walked into my local book shop and seen my book physically on the shelf, while a keen fan pulled on my sleeve, asking me to sign his treasured copy.
Wake up time!
Having a book on Amazon is one thing, promoting it so people see it with the opportunity of buying is another.
I already had a Twitter account and made a point of expanding my follower numbers, concentrating on those people who have an interest in books and specifically in my genre and age-group. I built up the number to close on one thousand but have found it very difficult to go beyond there. As I recruit, others seem to drop off in equal numbers. I have to be honest that Twitter seems to be a populated by people who want to promote something (either a business or a product) or they tend to be celebrities keen to Twitter away on banalities. As a marketing tool I have doubts about Twitter unless you tweet constantly. I believe it's called "soap flake advertising", on the basis that a soap flake manufacturer that didn't advertise on TV day in, day out lost their so-called loyal customers in literally days.
Google+ is a relative newcomer and is trying to be the NEW Facebook. I've created an account, but I find it complicated to use and sparsely populated. However some of the people who use it that I've connected with are highly respected authors with big sales under their belts, some of whom are happy to help a novice. Others are more protective and aren't so helpful. I'll maintain the Google+ account, but it will be far from being my main marketing tool.
Facebook is still the king. It's a great place to make friends and they provide facilities such as EVENTS for having book launch parties. I've found Facebook devotees to be very helpful and many have become personal friends. The sense of humour is wonderful, though that depends on who you accept as friends.
Other tools exist such as Google Ads and Google Alerts. Both allow you to choose key words that will either guide an enquirer to wherever you want them to go (you / your publisher's website), or in the case of Alerts will notify you when someone uses one of your key words in Google. The trick is to make the key words precise and not generic,
Some book shops will allow quality cover pictures to be put up with a link to purchasing, though it's a tremendous favour because they make nothing out of it.
I tries my local library and although they were very nice they had no room to put up any promotional material and the local council said they were looking into the e-book phenomena.
At the end of the day, the book itself may be difficult to write, getting an agent and publisher may be even harder, but the job only starts there. Publicity and dhouting from the roof tops is the only way to sell in any form of volume....and on that note, here's one last plug for Leap of Faith!!!!
I'd love to hear anyone else's experiences and comments on promoting a book, so feel free.
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