Tag Archives: promotion

Book Promotion: What’s Hot, What’s Not

These days there are so many ways of promoting a book—yet also so many chances of that book not being noticed at all in the flood of promotion that washes over people daily. So as an author, what do you do? In this post I’m listing a few things that have worked—and not worked—for me. These are very personal observations of course; you may have had a totally different experience.

What’s hot:

Cover reveals on social media—accompanied by an intriguing ‘tag.’ These can start a buzz well before publication.

What’s not:

Book trailers on You Tube or similar channels. Heaps of fun to make but in terms of effects on sales, pretty much nil. You don’t get half as many people looking at them, compared to cover reveals. However, as long as they don’t cost you heaps of money and time to make, there’s no reason to not do it as it can be a nice adjunct.

What’s hot:

Interviews with local radio stations—a brilliant promotion, in my experience, although that may be because at our local radio station there are at least two presenters interested in books and publishing. They and their producers are very keen on local publishing/literary news stories. I have had many people over the years say they went to their local bookshop to find a book I’d spoken about on radio. If you have a similarly engaged presenter on local radio, cultivate them; it’s really worth it.

And by the way in my experience local TV can be good but is hard to get on board.

Book launch for ‘Jules Verne’s Mikhail Strogoff’. Photo by Sophie Masson

What’s not:

Blog tours. Great for the bloggers but a fairly large amount of work and time-consuming for the author doing the tour—as either you have to write separate guest posts or answer interview questions over the whole tour. And you can’t just recycle the same guest post, of course, or insist on the same interview questions. My experience is that the payoff in book recognition isn’t necessarily there, especially given the amount of work you have to do.

However, interviews/posts on blogs often work really well. I just think it’s better, for an author, to restrict them to one or two blogs at a time for any one book.

What’s hot:

In-person visits to schools and libraries. These small, single-author events often work much better, in my experience, than being included along with a whole lot of other authors in a festival program. Poets have long known that performance poetry events are a great place to sell books: it’s the same for authors in other genres. I like to get in touch with the local bookshop in the place I’m visiting, to see if they want to come along to the event and sell books: this is a good way of not only avoiding having to cart large numbers of books with you, but also the bookshop will continue selling them afterwards, as they have had the personal contact with you.

What’s not:

Facebook and Twitter ads. You might get thousands of ‘likes’ but not a single sale out of them; ‘organic’ or unpaid-for posts are much better, especially if you angle them less like ads and more human interest—with good photos! Instagram is a good option too, but only around photos and just a few intriguing words—not too promotey-sounding either.

What’s hot:

Reviews in good print and online journals, magazines and blogs. And good early reviews can be used as part of promotion for the book.

What’s not:

Don’t expect too much from local newspaper pieces about your new book. Unlike with radio interviews, for some reason, though people will often say they saw it in the paper, it doesn’t seem to unleash a ‘get thee to a bookshop’ type of reaction. Perhaps, as far as traditional media is concerned, the radio interview more closely resembles the ‘word of mouth’ or ‘viral’ effect that is the Holy Grail of promotion. However don’t let that put you off doing newspaper interviews—they are fun and are good to have on hand if you are putting together a promotions scrapbook.

What’s hot:

In-person book launches. They are still a lovely way to celebrate the book with your family and friends—worth organising for yourself: even if your publisher isn’t doing one, they can usually help with posters, flyers etc, electronic or print. You can also have a virtual launch of course but I’ve never organised one or found them satisfactory to attend. You may well have a different experience of course.

What’s not:

Book signings, unconnected with a launch—you rarely get enough people coming, unless it’s for an event.

What’s hot:

Posts on your own blog, if you have one, about the story behind the book—readers like to know not only about the inspiration but the process. I have found that making sure my blog has a mix of stuff about my own books and other people’s, and interviews not only with creators but also publishing professionals, brings in a lot of readers. Doing that makes the blog feel a lot less like self-promotion and more about being involved in the wider literary/publishing landscape. And that’s a lot more fun!

What’s not:

Flooding your social media networks—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, whatever—with promotional posts about your books. People stop looking after a while.

Over to you: What’s your experience of book promotion, and do you have any other tips for what’s hot and what’s not?

By
Source: writerunboxed.com

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New Venture to Fansource Book Events

Looking to address the major problem with promotional book events—the dreaded barely attended reading/signing—science author Andrew Kessler is launching a new online venture called Togather.com, a “fansourcing” platform that allows authors or their fans to propose an author event and get commitments from fans planning to attend well before the event is held. Much like a crowdfunding site like Kickstarter, Togather.com allows an author to know in advance whether there’s enough interest and support to hold an event at all.

Ebook Publishing Design Edition First Graphic Aggregators Ebooks Publishers Distribution POD Designing Approved Aggregator How Services Academic Distributor Chapter Submission Professional Firsteditiondesignpublishing.com published book market  Togather.com is free for authors and starts August 6 with an authors-only portal for writers to sign up and receive an account. The account will allow them to set up events on a custom author event page that can be circulated through social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. “The event page allows authors to ‘fansource,’ ” Kessler said, “set up a tour, schedule events, tweak the details, and solicit support for the event before the author arrives.”

Kessler is the author of Martian Summer: Robot Arms, Cowboy Spacemen and My 90 Days with the Phoenix Mars Mission (Pegasus, 2011), a smart-but-regular-guy’s account of spending three months camped out in mission control for NASA’s 2008 Phoenix Mars landing in order to write about the Mars expedition. Kessler said that far too often he arrived at his book readings to find “lots of empty chairs and three people. It can be a little depressing.”

“Well-organized book events work great, if they are promoted well,” he said, and book events create what he called “a halo effect” that generates word-of-mouth and “a networked effect” that can lead to a series of new book events and more book sales. To promote Martian Summer, Kessler was faced with the task of trying to connect with the more than 400 astronomy groups around the country, groups that would be his best audience.

“What if you promoted the event before you committed to do it?” he asked himself. In a phone interview with PW, Kessler outlined how Togather works. Using the Togather account, an author can decide what kind of support he or she will require to actually hold the event—sell, say, 20 books, or get RSVPs from 60 people if it’s a school or free event, or sell tickets. Since one of the criteria for an event can be book sales, Togather is also organized to sell books. Fans can go to the page and propose additional events, and the author can review the proposal, accept it or ask for changes, or tweak the level of commitments.

The site lets authors notify their fans how many people it will take to reach a certain level of book sales (Kessler consulted with booksellers on this). “People can promise to buy your book or Togather gives you the flexibility to hold free events,” he said. Togather can be used to set up events anywhere, from bookstores and auditoriums to private homes for, say, a book club that gets its members to buy a certain number of books.

Once decided, the offer to hold an event will show up as a box on the author’s page asking fans to commit by clicking through. For book buys or other financial transactions, the site will take credit card numbers but not process the sale until the desired commitment level is achieved—if there’s not enough interest, the event is canceled and no one is charged. Author pages also provide the usual comments field, a listing of the author’s schedule, and information about the book and author. Kessler said, “It turns fans into your publicists.” Kessler has been beta testing the site with his own book events (Togather.com/Kessler), scheduling a combination of real and mock events. While the site will be free to authors, Kessler said they plan to monetize Togather through book sales and later through possible fees for tour support; there is also a 5% processing fee for ticketed or honorarium events. The site also provides data on reader behavior tracked through the site.

Togather’s cofounder is another author, Aaron Shapiro (Users Not Customers: Who Really Determines the Success of Your Business), who is also the CEO of Huge, a creator of digital products. The venture began as an incubator project by Huge and has received venture capital funding from the Interpublic Group. It has a staff of about 10 freelancers and full-timers and enough financing for a year. At launch the site will be for authors only, because “they have so few tools to help them with promotion.” But Kessler also said, “Once we scale up, people will be able to go to the site and search for authors and their events.”

Source: http://www.publishersweekly.com

By Calvin Reid
Aug 06, 2012

Ebook Publishing Design Edition First Graphic Aggregators Ebooks Publishers Distribution POD Designing Approved Aggregator How Services Academic Distributor Chapter Submission Professional Firsteditiondesignpublishing.com published book market First Edition Design Publishing is the world’s largest eBook and POD (Print On Demand) book distributor. Ranked first in the industry, First Edition Design Publishing converts and formats manuscripts for every type of platform (e-reader). They submit Fiction, Non-Fiction, Academic and Children’s Books to Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Google, Kobo, Diesel, 3M, Ingram, Baker and Taylor, Nielsen, EBSCO, and over 100,000 additional on-line locations including retailers, libraries, schools, colleges and universities. The company’s POD division creates printed books and makes them available worldwide through their distribution network. First Edition Design Publishing is a licensed and approved Aggregator and holds licenses with Apple and Microsoft.

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