This week I have another guest post for you, this time looking at different ways to promote your book in a crowded marketplace.
Over to Hayley:
5 UNIQUE AND CREATIVE WAYS TO PROMOTE YOUR NOVEL
There are countless ways to promote your recently published novel on the internet. However, many novelists are already using tried-and-tested tactics. You wouldn’t want to be like every other author, would you? Fortunately, novels are an incredibly exciting, albeit challenging, category of books with a plethora of characters, story arcs, and even an entire universe to promote.
So how can you stand out from the crowd, gain a loyal and engaged fan base, and get to the top of bestseller lists? We’ve put together a list of five unique and creative ways to promote your novel and how authors, novelists, and even brands use these techniques to market their books and characters.
Create a social media profile of your main character
Why not try to create a profile of your protagonist or main character on social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram? It’s an excellent way for your fans, readers, and potential book buyers to personally interact with your novel’s characters before the book hits stores. English teachers often challenge their students to build a mock social media profile based on a literary character, so why not get started and do the same for your cast of colorful characters?
Barbie is a great example of a fictional character with her own social media presence. Would you believe the iconic fashion doll has 2.1 million followers on Instagram!
Offer a sample chapter
Leading bookselling platforms like Amazon often offer a free look inside books, and bookstores allow shoppers to browse and read sample copies. Make it easy yet attractive for your readers to purchase your book online by providing a sample chapter on online publishing sites like Wattpad and Commaful. If you are concerned about copyright infringement and book piracy, consider emailing a chapter to your mailing list with a unique PDF, ebook, or website password. For example, Harry Potter author JK Rowling recently released a children’s book called “The Ickabog” by posting one chapter at a time on a new website.
Run a contest or giveaway
Hosting a trivia contest or a book giveaway while readers can pre-order your novel is another creative way to promote your work. Consider giving away gifts, such as tote bags, bookmarks, or postcards featuring your novel’s cover art and memorable quotes. You can also try digital giveaways such as social media avatars and wallpapers. Offering signed or even specially dedicated copies at a premium or as a competition prize is a popular option. Book recommendations website Goodreads can help writers distribute free copies to their fans, readers, and subscribers on the site.
Send review copies
Major publishing houses often distribute review copies and have entire web pages devoted to the media and requests for review copies. It doesn’t hurt to apply the same tactics to your novel. Send a limited number of copies to media outlets (websites, radio stations), podcasts, book clubs, and influencers targeting your genre. Your book might just get featured on a curated list such as those on Wired for Youth. Make sure each copy comes with a message inviting the recipient (preferably a decision-maker) to read and review your novel honestly. You don’t need to be pushy in your letter, but you should be confident and assertive.
Upload a book trailer
Just as television shows and movies have trailers, so do novels. Team up with a creative director and video editor to create a book trailer that introduces the storyline. A winning example of a compelling book trailer is the video for Kiera Cass’ The One, which has been viewed 2.1 million times on YouTube. If you’d rather not reveal the story yet, a video interview about your creative process or a recording in which you read a short clip will work just as well.
Our advice: Be original.
Being a novelist, especially a self-published or independently published author, means you have to do your own publicity and promotions.
Show off your novel with flair and a distinctive voice. Study the ideas we have presented and create a roadmap. Create a marketing strategy that works best for you and your novel. It’s not easy, and it takes a lot of time and effort, but it also means you have complete control over your novel’s success.
Magic happens when you can break the barriers between you, your masterpiece, and your readers.
Hayley Zelda is a writer and marketer at heart. She’s written on all the major writing platforms and worked with a number of self-published authors on marketing books to the YA audience.