Book Marketing: 5 Easy Ways to Blog Your Book

book marketing

You’ve written a book. Now it’s time for some simple book marketing magic. Why not blog your book? Not only is blogging a free promotional method, it’s also a way of building your readership for your next book.

I started my first blog a decade and a half ago, and have always used blogs for book marketing. Indeed, looking back, I’ve rarely bothered with other promotional methods. To me, blogs are instant publishing. I love the idea that I can type something, and within minutes, potentially millions of people could read my words.

Blogs’ are the lazy person’s book marketing. My thrill comes from writing. Once a book’s done, I tend to lose interest. Blogging’s writing, so it keeps me interested in a book.

Hate Writing? Book Marketing With Blogs Isn’t for You

You can create video and audio blog posts if you hate writing, but those options involve writing too, so if you’re all written-out once you’ve completed your book, blogging isn’t the right promotional method for you.

Assuming however that while writing may not be the joy of your life, you don’t actively hate it, let’s look at five easy ways to blog your book.

1. Start Early. Blog While You’re Writing Your Book.

Don’t wait until your book’s done before you create a blog. You’re missing out on creating interest before your book’s publication. Build your mailing list now. (More on your mailing list shortly.)

Tell your readers about your upcoming book; as much as you’re comfortable revealing.

2. Blog for Your Readers: What Do They Care About?

You want to market your book. However, droning on and on about your book won’t win you much of a readership. Moreover, you’re using energy which needs to go into your book.

You’re blogging for your book’s audience. Who are they? What do they care about? Think about your ideal reader, and write for him, or her.

Let’s say you’re writing a romance novel. Romance readers come from all walks of life. You’ve got a million and one things you could blog about, from the area in which your book is set, to recipes. Blog about your interests. Review others’ books in the same genre, or any book you find fascinating. Make it plain you’re a romance novelist, and share your book’s publication date.

The author of the Historical Fiction Research blog shares fascinating historical snippets with readers.

Jane Austen’s World is a wonderful blog about all things Jane. I became aware of the blog via the blog’s Pinterest boards. With 173 boards, over 62,000 pins, and over 48,000 followers, the blog and Pinterest work brilliantly together.

pinterest

Take a tip from Jane Austen’s World; if you don’t already have a Pinterest account, create one. Then pin, pin, pin… and pin some more.

3. Consider WIIFM – “What’s in It for Me?”

Millions of blog posts are published each day. Blogging’s fine, as a hobby. However, you’re using a blog for book marketing, so you need to be aware not only of your book’s potential readers, but also what might turn them into book buyers.

Consider what’s in it for them. “WIIFM” – what’s in it for me? is a copywriter’s acronym; people read what they read for a reason. Give them a reason. Think about what appeals to your readers.

You can take cues from other authors’ blogs, but don’t fall into the “me too” trap. Be authentic. Write what your perceive your readers care about, as long as you care about it too.

Consider popular books such as the “50 Shades” trilogy. The trilogy’s made millions for its author. It started out as fan fiction for the Twilight books, and was hugely popular. Twilight fans wanted more, and EL James gave it to them.

I can’t speak to either the 50 Shades or Twilight series, since I haven’t read them. However, the WIIFM aspect intrigues me. Probably unconsciously, both Stephenie Meyer and EL James tapped into a deep and profitable vein in public consciousness.

4. Create a Mailing List: It’s the Reason You Blog.

Someone comes to your blog, reads a post, and clicks away. With so much content online, the chance that he or she will return are slim. You can increase the likelihood that someone will return to your blog by creating a mailing list. Your mailing list is key to building your readership. Make creating a list a priority.

5. Forget “Musts.” Do What You Like. It’s Your Book, and Your Blog.

Few things infuriate me more than editors, or literary agents, or anyone else, telling an author how to blog. It’s your blog; do what you like. Over the years, I’ve had many people telling me how I should blog. I’ve thanked them kindly, and gone my own way.

Up until 2005, selling anything on a blog was frowned on. Anyone bringing crass commercialism into blogging was not only a horrible blogger, their morals were suspect too.

Eventually, I got a wry chuckle out of the “you can’t do that!” anti-commercialism crowd. After 2005, they gave in, and jumped into making money from their blogs. Mind you, I was tempted to ask them what had happened to their “pure blogging” stance, but I resisted the temptation.

Be you. It’s your book, and your blog. There are no rules. Moreover, just because something works today, doesn’t mean it will work tomorrow. Please understand, I’m not talking about fundamentals like book marketing and blogging, they work. I’m talking about tricks and strategies which come and go.

Amazon’s KDP Select is an example. It works for many authors, but not as the tsunami of cash it once was, for some authors. “Free” works today, as it always will. But don’t base your book marketing on one trick, like “free” and expect it to work forever. Write the best book you can. Use KDP Select, or Google Play, or whatever, AND build a real blog. Put your heart into your blog, as you put it into your book, and book marketing via blogging will work for you.

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Ebook Marketing For Business Books: A Simple Method

Ebooks as a Gift

You’ve written an ebook for a business audience. While you’ve made some sales, you feel you’d be making more, if only you could get some reviews.

Here’s the solution: give some copies away to people who would benefit from the book.

Sites like Goodreads can manage this process for you. However, book review sites for readers work best for “consumer” ebooks, rather than for books with a business audience.

For example, let’s say you’ve written an ebook about sales training. Why not give a copy of the ebook to people you’ve already trained? These people know you. They’re enthusiastic about your methods, and have used those methods. A book review from someone who’s tested your information is much more valuable than a review from someone who’s just read the book.

Why not offer free copies to people you know, and ask them for a brief review?

Amazon makes it easy to share your ebooks with others. The benefit of sending a gift by Amazon, is that your ebook will show up in your recipient’s Kindle account. Reading on the Kindle, or in a Kindle app, is a lot easier than reading a PDF.

Here’s how to offer your book for free on the Kindle.

This article, 3 E-Book Marketing Tips Sure to Bring Success, offers some marketing tips, and suggests:

“Amazon’s ‘Give a Gift Feature’ allows you to send someone a free copy of your Kindle book via e-mail. Offering e-books free for a limited time or a limited audience is an effective approach to e-book marketing.”

Yes, there’s an alternative to the Gift Feature: Amazon KDP Select.

What about Amazon KDP Select?

Amazon’s Select program will allow you to offer your book for free at times you choose. (But you must sell your ebook on Amazon exclusively.)

While this is effective for consumer ebooks like novels, it’s less effective for business books. Business people aren’t likely to be browsing Amazon looking for free ebooks on topics which interest them. Moreover, since they don’t know you, they’re less likely to review your book.

It’s best to approach people directly, and then gift them your ebook.

Not everyone to whom you offer your ebook will be willing to accept it, because they don’t have time to read. If you give away 50 copies you may only get 10 reviews. However, those reviews are likely to be solid.

Several of my clients have tried this gifting process, and have had great results. They made a personal approach, either on the phone or via email, and it’s effective.

Try it — you’ll get your reviews.

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Book Marketing: Go Where Your Readers Are

Yesterday, we talked about book marketing, and said:

Marketing your book starts BEFORE you write it, believe it or not. In our ebook mastery coaching workshop, our focus is on promotion, before you start writing. Why? Look at the image on the right. Hundreds of thousands of books are published each year.

Today, let’s talk about where your READERS are.

I’m a voracious reader — I read anywhere between five and ten books a week — so here’s where I go. My reader friends use these sites too: Goodreads and LibrayThing.

Big tip: please DO NOT use these sites solely to push your books. You’ll just annoy people. Use the sites firstly as a reader.

You can promote your books of course, but do it in a professional manner.

Both sites have Help pages for authors:

* Goodreads authors’ program;

* LibraryThing authors’ page.

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Book Marketing: 3 Simple Marketing Tricks You Can Use Today

Book Marketing

Marketing your book starts BEFORE you write it, believe it or not. In our ebook mastery coaching workshop, our focus is on promotion, before you start writing. Why? Look at the image on the right. Hundreds of thousands of books are published each year.

When you send your book proposal to an agent or acquisitions editor, they glance over your overview, then flip directly to your marketing plan for the book. No plan? No contract.

Yes, I know this sounds tough, but it’s reality. Remember, your book is one of many, many thousands of books being published each and every year.

Cheer up! :-) Enough doom and gloom.

Let’s focus on three simple book marketing tricks you can use today.

1. Get a book idea and make a marketing plan

A couple of decades ago, I took my first marketing course. Marketing 101 teaches you that you look for a market, then concern yourself with a product.

Book ideas are everywhere. You can come up with a dozen ideas in five minutes, I’m sure.

As soon as you get an idea, check to see whether there’s a market. Or preferably, develop ideas to suit a hot market.

What if you’ve already written a book, and you need to market it NOW?

Your task is harder. It’s never to late to find a market, however. WHO would buy your book? Why? Answer those two questions, right now. You can’t market, until you answer them.

2. Pitch an agent, even if you’ve written an ebook

On my “write a book” blog, I wrote this article, If You Hate the Thought of Pitching Your Book | Write a Book: Just Write A Book Blog:

“Should you send your pitch to one agent at a time?
I’m often asked whether you should send your pitch out to many agents simultaneously.

You can do whatever you feel is best. However, I suggest one agent at a time. Research the agent online first. Read her/ his blog. Study the agent’s client list.

Personalize your letter/ email message, to ensure that the agent knows that you’re not sending out a mass email. Write something like:

‘I enjoyed your blog post on _________ (whatever. Tell her why you enjoyed it.) _____ (Author name) is one of my favorite authors, I loved his ________ (whatever) book.’”

The literary agent business is changing, just as publishing is changing. Agents are looking for ideas.

Therefore, pitch your book to an agent, even if you have zero interest in a traditional book deal.

Here’s why: you need to focus on BOOKS rather than a single book. An agent will teach you that. Agents have their fingers on the pulse of publishing. The 10% or 15% you pay an agent is a powerful motivator.

Agents deal in ideas, so your pitch is a calling card. Talk about your ebook. The agent may be looking for someone like you for a deal she’s putting together.

3. Keywords are your secret weapon

Keywords, or “tags” as Amazon calls them, are the key to your book being found.

Spend time on your tags. It’s a simple, but very powerful trick. If they can’t find your book, they can’t buy it.

Writing and Selling Ebooks

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