2020 has been quite the year, hasn’t it? Definitely one to write about for those that like to take real life events and turn them into captivating stories. This year hasn’t been for the faint of heart to say the least.
One question we have been getting a lot is, “How do you market your book to large audiences without being able to attend physical events?”
We all know that since the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been less physical events to attend, and a large spike in online presence. For authors, it may be difficult to figure out how to get books in front of people other than our family and friends without being able to have book signings and participate at events with vendors. The personable aspects of such events are what make them intimate and unique. We have the opportunity to get to know our readers a little bit and let the readers know a little more about the author. They get to watch us sign their book copies.
So how can we possibly do that without being able to be in large physical crowds?
There are a number of ways you can begin to market your book online so that you reach a larger audience.
Host Live Sessions via Social Media
If this year hasn’t taught us anything else, it’s the impact social media can have on businesses. Even if you don’t normally treat your book like a business, during this time, you should.
Social media is one of the quickest ways to be able to get your book in front of a much larger audience, and you can create an intimate atmosphere along the way. Going live on your social media accounts a few times a month can greatly help not only the marketing of your book, but also the engagement of your audience. By going live, people have the opportunity to ask you questions about you and the book that they may not have otherwise had the chance to at a physical event
How to Present Live Sessions:
Have a live online book signing. You can create a live stream where people have the opportunity to buy the book directly from a paypal link, then they get to watch you personally sign it online. It’s presented the same way as a physical book signing, except online
Have a Q&A. Open the floor for questions and answers every now and again. Allow your readers to ask questions about your story, about any characters, about your writing process, whatever they want to ask. This creates a personal engagement, and encourages the reader to stay connected for other works or projects you present.
Do a live reading. Take a chapter or page from your book, and then read it on social media. Allow for discussion of that particular passage. This again allows the reader to become involved, and it creates the intimacy of a book club, but with the author.
Do A Virtual Book Tour
Not many indie or smaller authors consider book tours, but they can be highly beneficial to increase your following. Virtual book tours are just that, book tours done virtually. You’re probably thinking, how can you do a book tour on the Internet? Well, there are plenty of ways.
Get featured in blog posts. There are a number of bloggers looking to feature authors. You simply have to find the ones that are right for your audience. These blog posts will typically introduce you as the author, have an interview portion about your book, and have the opportunity for people to see your social media handles. When the bloggers audience sees the interview, they may be interested in buying your book, or even connecting with you online.
Get featured in online magazines. This is pretty much the exact same thing as the blog, except it is a magazine instead of a blog.
Get interviewed on podcasts. There are plenty of podcasters out there that are always looking for people to interview on their podcast. Owner of Hustle Write Publication LLC, Felicia, has done this on her own personal podcast Boss in the Making. These podcast interviews allow you the opportunity to have a physical conversation with someone that will be presented to their established listeners.
Be interviewed on other people’s lives. Yes, this is a thing. Aren’t ready to go live on social media for yourself? You can go live with someone else. There are plenty of people who highlight authors all the time, some of them even do their interviews live on social media. This gives you the practice you need to go live, as well as the opportunity to engage with a larger audience right then and there via responding to comments.
Engage Your Own Audience
One mistake many authors make is simply promoting their book all of the time. People get tired of buy this, buy this, buy this. And new comers to your social media accounts may not see the value in what you want them to buy right away. To alleviate this, promote your book in a “buy this” kind of way once or twice a week. But also use your book to engage the audience. Make posts that require people’s feedback. Ask what their favorite part of the book was. Put up quotes or small paragraphs from the book. Ask people how they would have ended the book. Create FUN and ENGAGING content for people to respond to. This not only gets your engagement up and builds your following, but for the people who may not have gotten your book yet, reading through comments and seeing more valuable content concerning the book may prompt them to make the purchase.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to market your book online. Does it take work, absolutely. But it can be very rewarding and beneficial in the long run.
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Did you find this post helpful? Share it with other authors and aspiring authors. Tell us in the comments what you may be struggling with.