Archives for book promotion

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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