Guest Post by Rachel Thompson
Many writers and newbie authors—and, in fact, even some veteran authors—have only a vague idea about how to market their books. Whether you are a traditionally published, self-published, or hybrid author, you will be doing your own marketing. I started as a self-published author, am now a hybrid author (I signed with Booktrope in August for a print edition of my book, Broken Pieces), and I have clients who are all three.
Here are some examples on how to market—and market well—by connecting with the people who can help you out. Let’s focus on influencers.
Who Are Influencers:
Influencers for authors are: reviewers, book bloggers (check out BookBloggerList.com for a free list of bloggers categorized by genre), publications, or social media influencers. Let’s deconstruct.
Reviewers are an author’s best friend. I’m not just talking about readers who read your book, then leave a review (which of course is terrific). I’m talking about people who review books on their blog or for various publications. These are the people you want to connect with for your book reviews.
Where To Start?
Many authors randomly share tweets or posts or send out blanket emails, asking anyone and everyone to read and review their book. This is ineffective at best, and can get you blocked from the various social media sites at worst.
There are also plenty of groups and book clubs on Facebook and Goodreads that authors can join. Be sure to participate and get to know the members, rather than book-bombing the minute you sign up. Become an active member, get to know the other members, be generous with your retweets and shares.
In my personal experience, it behooves any author to target and connect with book bloggers and reviewers (enter the terms in Search on Twitter, for example) and start following and interacting with the folks who review your genre. Build a relationship.
Connecting With Influencers
When I released Broken Pieces last December, I asked a few reviewer folks (whom I’d followed and interacted with for several years at that point) and book bloggers to take a look at an ARC (Advance Review Copy). This is similar to the betareading process (where you ask fans and other authors or bloggers to give you input on the close-to-final manuscript), except that reviewers and book bloggers are more specialized.
It’s worth noting that I met every reviewer and book blogger via social media.
One of the Top 10 Amazon reviewers I had interacted with, Tracy Riva, told me she would purchase the book after I uploaded it—she didn’t want any appearance of impropriety. Not only did she give the book five stars, she also included it in her monthly summary for the Midwest Book Review of “Must-Read Books!”
I share this because it’s a wonderful example of how developing relationships makes a difference for any author. Call it “relationship” or “influencer” marketing,” or refer to the old sales adage, ‘Make a friend, make a sale,’…whatever. Just know that it works.
If you are a writer, these tips should help you. They certainly help my clients and me. We only have so much time to market our books—make it count.
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