Archives for book promotion

What if you could lend the electronic version of your book to readers for free, while pocketing a royalty?  Sounds crazy, right?  Well, perhaps it would be, if not for Kindle’s ever-adapting platform.

KDP Select” is a program that enables Amazon Prime members to check out a limited amount of books from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library at no cost, and read them at their leisure (there’s no due date). The best part, for authors and publishers, is that royalties are paid by Amazon for each copy borrowed. The amount per copy changes monthly, based on a fund that Amazon sets aside every month as incentive for publishers or authors who list their books this way, and is determined in part by how many books are borrowed overall (among all the titles listed in this program). But in general, the royalties are comparable, or sometimes better than, the royalties that would typically be earned by an eBook sale.

The catch? KDP Select requires that the book is released as an eBook through Kindle exclusively for a period of three months. Afterwards, it can be released as an eBook everywhere else (for the Nook, Sony e-readers, and so on), and after the three-month exclusivity period is up, the book will still be enrolled in KDP Select, forever, it seems (or until they end this innovative program). The good news is that the restrictions do not apply to print versions, so the book can be released in print and in the Kindle format simultaneously.

Books published by Scribe Publishing Company will always be made available for Kindle and will participate in this program as long as it lasts. Like book reviews, signings, and other promotional efforts, allowing readers to borrow your work for free is another way to expose potential readers to your work.  Word of mouth travels fast, and if someone borrows your book and likes what they read, they may decide to tell all their friends.

Congratulations!  You’ve finished the final manuscript, ARCs are rolling out to reviewers, and you’re waiting for the big publication date to arrive so you can tell friends and family where to pick up your book.  Only one thing left to do – promote, promote, promote.  A book signing or reading might be nice, but can you be sure how many people will attend?  What good is a reading if only five people are there to hear you?

Enter Togather.com, a fresh, new site that enables an author to get commitments from fans to attend a book signing, before actually committing to hold the signing. Think of it as a Kickstarter-like fansourcing platform for authors, fans, and “hosts” of signing or reading events. If the prescribed (by author) number of fans pledge to attend, the event will “turn on,” making it the real deal.  And best of all? The service is totally free to the author. The site collects a small fee from event attendees if the author’s minimum criteria for accepting an event are satisfied (i.e. either enough people RSVPed or bought enough books or tickets for the author to say yes).

The site launched in August and is currently still in beta, but that might make it the best time to test the waters, as it has already been featured in Publisher’s Weekly, Fast Company, and other news outlets. Authors are featured prominently on the site and can link their Twitter feeds and websites and include their book’s cover image and description, so at the very least, they are getting good exposure for free, as people come to check out the site.

While an author can use the site to tell friends and family about an upcoming event (and secure their RSVP), it’s also an interesting tool that makes authors available to fans in a way that wouldn’t have been possible without social media innovation.

Check out the write-up on Mediabistro, where a video and more intricate description of the site’s offerings are provided.

California startup CoverCake offers publishers, authors and retailers a complete rundown on what books people are talking about online.

From their site:

“While working on solving the book discovery problem, we noticed book readers were leaving hundreds of thousands of comments on many social networks. We thought it would be beneficial for the book publishing and book retail industries to be able to see turn-key measurements of this activity and corroborate it with their outbound marketing campaigns, author appearances and media features … We’re now focused completely on providing meaningful analytical data on books that can be used by publishers, authors, book retailers and even end users.”

Find out more.

Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, you can make yourself more desirable to publishers or agents (and thus, more likely to get an offer) if you can demonstrate that you’ve already got a good grasp on who your readers are and how to reach them. Social media makes this an easier task.

Take the phenomenon of a blog tour. Sort of like an author tour without the hassle of traveling, a blog tour is when a targeted list of 40-60 bloggers are recruited to blog about a book, either using their own reviews or pulling from the press release.

You can expect your publisher to do a lot of the leg work here, but if you were to do a “blog tour,” what are the best blogs for you to target? Who reads the genre you write in? Approaching a publisher with well-thought-out suggestions will make you a more appealing author.

Blog tours are just one facet of a book promotion campaign, and it’s part of your job, as the author, to help brainstorm how to best get your book in front of its intended audience. You’ll have a richer (in more ways than one) author experience because of it.

We’ll explore other social media outreach strategies in future posts.

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