Tired of pumping out the regulation 5 Blog posts, 2 dozen Tweets and 10 hours of Facebook per week and getting nothing in return? Get Creative!
|Make them want it!|
There are a lot of ways to market a book on the Internet: Ads, Press Releases, You Tube, Facebook and Twitter etc. These methods can be expensive, both in terms of money and especially time. The reality is that you could spend a fortune of money and time to promote your book and end up with little to show for it.
It’s not that these things don’t work, but that everyone is using them and nobody is using them creatively. For most people going viral on Twitter is an exciting possibility, but it might take an alignment of the planets to achieve. They end up posting the same old thing, day in and day out, hoping for a break. What you need to do is make your own break. What you need to do is to get creative and stand out from the crowds.
Here is my fool proof, 2 step guide to marketing your book creatively.
- Pick a specific audience
- Give something that your audience craves
That’s it! The rest is up to you and your creativity. I know most people give steps away in packages of 3 or more, but I like to be a rebel.
Who is your Marketing Audience
By marketing audience I mean the group of people you want to market to. The group of people you wrote your book for is much too broad of an audience for what I am proposing. So pick a specific audience. Specific enough that you can target them. If you have written a Fantasy novel, do you really know anything about the people who might want to buy your book other than that they like Fantasy novels? OK I am simplifying a bit here, but the truth is you just can’t market effectively to everyone you intended your book for at once.
Do some brain storming and think of as many sub-groups within the larger group of Fantasy Fans. Several possible target audiences spring to mind: Medieval re-enactment groups, fans of Xena: Warrior Princess, Roleplayers and Aspiring Authors.
Let’s look at the target audience of aspiring authors because, whatever genre you are writing in, you are bound to have a group within your larger audience whom identify themselves as aspiring authors. What kinds of things do aspiring authors want? They want to know how to write better and how to get published. Now you have something!
Something for Nothing–Better than something for hours on Twitter!
Once you know what your audience wants you are in a powerful place. This is the place where you can get fans and book sales with almost no investment. Instead of Tweeting to yourself and Blogging aimlessly through the Internet, you have purpose and direction. You knew where you wanted to end up, the “City of a Million Booksales,” but now you have a map to get there–or at least get to the suburbs in the general vicinity of the City proper!
If you can give people what they crave they will look up to you, be interested in you, and trust you. Logically if you can give them one thing they enjoy or find useful then you must have other worthy things to offer. Think of your giveaway like a gateway drug and you are the dealer. Once they have sampled it, they will want to know “what else you got.”
The thing you give away can’t be crap either. If it’s just some fluffy blog post, the same as 20 other blog posts on the subject, people will bounce right on through as if you were the pavement to their rubber ball. Make it unique and something that answers their needs. Give it unselfishly with no obvious benefit to yourself for doing so. Remember that giving is the road to success not getting.
I found a great example when I happened to be looking at the free writing software ywriter5. The program’s creator had, of course, promoted his own book in the product description, but what stood out to me most was the YouTube video on how to use it. The creator and narrator of the video, author K.M. Weiland, described how she uses the program and also used elements from her book as examples for using the software. She also mentioned her website URL. Once I was done watching the video I checked out her web page, blog, YouTube Channel (where I watched the trailer for her latest book and made a mental note to add it to my reading list) and followed her on Twitter.
Here is the kicker: Her video for the software, which isn’t even her creation and which she gains nothing by promoting, has been viewed almost 30,000 times. How much time did she invest in it? The video is just under 9 minutes long. Even accounting for all the fussy little things involved in posting a video, the entire project couldn’t have taken more than an hour. So for less than an hour she just increased her exposure by 30,000 people. Even if only 10% of those people were interested in her book that is 3,000 potential book sales and that is a pretty good return for less than an hour of time.
OK “fool proof” is a bit of a fib. It isn’t fool proof. Not much in this world is. If you are so much of a fool that you cannot put one step in front of the other then 2 steps is too much for you! Stop fooling around! Start thinking of creative ways you can give a target audience something they crave! Just be creative, specific and generous and you will soon find yourself on a fast train into the City, rather than sitting there stuck in the traffic jam!