Reaching for the stars? Prepare for your e-publishing takeoff with these marketing activities before your title is live.
Book marketing is an ongoing process, and many authors choose to wait until the title is live to start their marketing efforts. But why wait? Since Vook takes the ebook production and distribution off your shoulders, use this extra time to plan ahead. We've dedicated a series of blog posts to pre-launch marketing activities, starting with social media.
In this case, social media should 1) build your audience, 2) drum up anticipation, and 3) provide value to your audience right out the gate. Here's a breakdown of the platforms to make the process less daunting.
The first step is to create a dedicated Facebook page separate from your personal page. Include your headshot, a bio, links to other platforms, and—when it's time—links to your title in the e-retailers. In order to keep fans coming back for more, steer away from plain self-promotion all the time. Write interesting posts, e.g. commentary on current events, little-known facts, humorous articles or pictures. We recommend two posts a day. And make sure that you leverage photos: they make your page visually stimulating and will increase your chances of appearing in your fans' news feeds. Replying and writing comments on other users' posts is a must to get expanded exposure and fans. You can also engage your audience with interactive activities, such as launching a contest to design your book cover.
Next, set up a Twitter account. Twitter will help drive day-to-day sales, but only if handled strategically. To increase your chances of getting discovered by non-followers, make sure that you use hashtags, e.g. #romance, #scifi, #99cents. In order to stay under the 140-character limit, shorten links with bitly, a free service that also lets you track the number of clicks your links get. Decide on a central page where you will direct your followers; an author website is best, but a strategically-designed Facebook page works too so long as it displays your book's info and retailer links.
If your ebook has great photos, consider sharing them on Pinterest. Create unique boards that give your audience a peek into your book as well as your own hobbies. Take a look at two of our non-book-promotional boards for some Pinterest inspiration: Book Nooks and Writing Inspiration! A great thing about this platform is the way it connects users with different interests through a shared photograph and then drives them to other boards relating to your book. By signing up, you can engage with an audience you might not have reached otherwise. Not only that, but pins also last significantly longer than Tweets or Facebook statuses; Pinterest focuses on ongoing ideas and inspiration rather than immediacy. Always remember to post high-quality images, and make sure that they are not watermarked. Nobody wants to pin a blurry picture... or one that markets a logo.
YouTube and Vimeo
Got a video-enhanced ebook? Leverage its content on video-sharing platforms like YouTube and Vimeo. A great way to get the audience talking is to share your book trailers, or simply to offer a sneak peek at a video that comes straight out of your ebook. Don't neglect the video descriptions section; title, category, tags... Answer them all to increase your discoverability in search results (a.k.a. search-engine optimization). When the book is live, add links to the retailers in your video's description. If you don't have a video-enhanced ebook but own the rights to a related video, share it.
Finally, create a Tumblr, whether you already have a blog or not. If you do, transpose some of that content regularly onto your Tumblr - you can even enhance it with photos found on the site. And if you're new to the blogosphere, focus on writing some posts about your ebook, but also provide author tips and book reviews, for example. Writing regularly will help you build a long-lasting relationship with your followers, as your new posts appear on their dashboards. They might choose to reblog them, which will increase your exposure to their own followers. Another great thing about the Tumblr dashboard is that it keeps you up to speed on what the latest trends are; see what the others are talking about, and find some new inspiration of your own.
Stay tuned for our next blog post - we'll give you tips to make a great author website.