How to Avoid Missed Online Book Marketing Opportunities
Book authors are always looking for ways to promote their books – often without spending any money to do so. Why, then, do so many book authors miss out on free online book marketing opportunities?
Here are four missed book marketing opportunities – and what can be done in order not to miss out:
Missed opportunity #1:
A book on blogging comes out, and in the resource section several other blogging books are recommended. One of the authors whose book is recommended finds out by accident about this new book because no one – not the publisher or the publisher’s publicity department or the author or the author’s publicist – has notified the authors of the books recommended.
For the publisher and author of the blogging book, this is like leaving money on the table. It should have been someone’s marketing responsibility to have contacted every author whose book is recommended. The contact email should 1) inform the author that her/his book is recommended and 2) suggest that the author consider blogging about, linking to, or recommending the new blogging book.
And why would the recommended authors say yes to this email request? Because having your blogging book recommended in someone else’s book about blogging is a rather large stamp of approval. By putting in the effort to help promote this new book, the other authors are actually getting the benefit of providing thumbs up for their own books.
Missed opportunity #2:
A blogger posts a review of your book on his/her blog, and comments are enabled on the blog. Your Google alerts picks up the review even though the blogger didn’t notify you about the review. You go to the blog, read the review, and then leave.
This review is free marketing for you. Increase the value of the marketing by leaving a comment thanking the blogger for reviewing your book. And say something in the comment that shows you appreciate this specific review. (Even if the review isn’t great, try to find something positive to say about the opportunity to have your book featured on the blog.)
And go back the next day to see if other comments were left. Then add a second comment thanking by name the people who have left comments. Refer to something each one said. Here’s an example of what you can leave in a single comment:
Sally, I’m glad you liked the way the protagonist got out of her major dilemma. It took me several weeks to come up with that solution.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
John, I see that locales are important to you as background for a book. I did go to San Francisco to check that I had my settings correct.
Marlene, thanks for passing my book along to your sister. I hope she likes it as much as you did.
By these comments you have 1) revealed interesting tidbits about yourself (for example, you took weeks to solve a story question) and 2) encouraged potential readers to start a relationship with you. Acknowledging these potential readers as individuals means that they are much more likely to start following what you are doing.
Missed opportunity #3:
Someone tweets that she enjoyed your book and gives the link to your website from which the book can be bought. You tweet back “glad you enjoyed my book” and don’t include the link.
It’s perfectly acceptable to include your own link in this case. In fact, you are doing your followers a favor. If they didn’t see the original tweet and didn’t know about your book, they might be annoyed that you don’t provide the info (the link) in your response tweet. By providing the link, you’ve made it easy for your followers to check out your book if they want to. (And if they don’t want to, there’s no harm done. They just don’t click on the link.)
Missed opportunity #4:
Your home page of your website shows a large photo of your book’s cover with no content information to “hook” potential readers. Here’s an example: A website announced a new book with a title that included the last name of a race horse owner and no mention of race horses. Only by clicking around on the site did it become apparent that the guy in the title had to do with a major race horse scandal.
Now although a potential reader might not recognize the guy’s name in the book title, if there were a headline and brief info that this book tells the insider true story of the largest race horse scandal of the century (the “hook”), the potential reader might be interested in buying the book even though she/he didn’t recognize the guy’s name. (Who isn’t interested in reading about large-scale scandals? It’s human nature.)
When planning a book author website, it’s important to consider what elements the potential reader needs to see immediately and easily in order to consider buying the book. This is usually clear information on what the story is about and what is the “hook.” (Besides having a large BUY THIS BOOK button next to the picture of the book’s cover.)
In conclusion, book authors have to be on the alert for every legitimate promotion opportunity that comes their way. And one of the best ways to get book promotion is to publicly say thank you to the people who have promoted your book. That’s only good manners.