Tuesday, August 2, 2016

What’s New in Book Promotion? 5 Innovative Ideas from Successful Authors

Note: This article first appeared in Write! Publish! Sell! Volume 1, Issue11, August 2016 - A Free Newsletter/E-zine for Writers

When Write!Publish!Sell! publisher Joan West asked me to write an article on new ideas for book promotion, I figured she was looking for more than the typical book tours and media interviews that we publicists usually put together for our clients. While traditional publicity is important and necessary, there is always room for creativity and invention as authors look for new ways to reach their readers.

Here are a few ideas I’ve come across in recent months from authors who are successfully discovering new methods to help promote their books:

1) Thunderclap campaigns

Thunderclap is a free online social media tool (sometimes referred to as a “crowdspeaking platform”) that allows individuals to share the same message at the same time, in one timed blast, spreading an idea through social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.

Many authors are using Thunderclap as a way to announce new releases, asking their friends and followers to help spread the word by creating a social media message that Thunderclap will then announce through access to the participants’ social media sites on a chosen date.

Does it work? One of my clients, Pamela Fagan Hutchins recently used Thunderclap to announce the release of her newest book, Hell to Pay, in her What Doesn’t’ Kill You romantic mystery series. Pamela asked 250 supporters to participate in her Thunderclap promotion and ended up surpassing that goal by enlisting 357 participants (thus, she achieved 143% participation). Her social media reach on announcement day was 472, 533 people. That’s a lot of potential readers who have now heard about her book!

You can learn more about Thunderclap here: https://www.thunderclap.it/?locale=en and more about Pamela Fagan Hutchins and her books here: http://pamelafaganhutchins.com/

2) Book resumes 

Author Michele Giacomini recently described how she was creating a one-sheet book resume as a sales tool for use in promoting her book Looking for B.O.B. to managers at local shops and Big Box stores. Her book resume includes general information on the book, 5-starred reviews, and other content that helps position the book as an item that might interest the stores’ customers.

You can read more about Michele and her book here: https://omgmissomg.blogspot.com/ and her book resume idea here: http://booksbywomen.org/five-unique-ways-to-market-your-first-book/#comments

3) YouTube video series
One of the best ways to market books is to develop relationships with readers. Author Teymour Shahabi did that by developing a series of YouTube videos on a channel that he calls PageWing (www.youtube.com/PageWing). What makes PageWing remarkable is that Teymour started the series simply as a way of examining his own writing process. He sent his first link to family and friends, and then watched as subsequent video postings began to go viral. The nice thing about this series is that it gives Teymour a platform, where readers get to know him and learn more about him and his upcoming book, while they also learn about writing from the content that he shares on the videos.

If you’re the kind of author who prefers speaking to writing when it comes to book promotion, a YouTube video series like Teymour’s may be a great option.

You can learn more about Teymour and his video series here: http://publishingperspectives.com/2015/08/ready-for-your-close-up-what-youtube-can-do-for-writers/#.V3Gnx6KMn

4) Specialty and/or themed events
Author Allison Gilbert recently posted online about how she’s created a unique type of event she

calls The Passed and Present Memory Bash Book Tour. Her tour is actually a series of parties she’s throwing for her readers across the country, with stops in cities like New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Phoenix, Minneapolis, and Atlanta. At these interactive events, readers participate in meaningful activities from Passed and Present, even lifting their glasses in memory of their loved ones (Allison provides glasses and wine for the toast, too!). Since Gilbert is a nonfiction author who writes about loss and creative ways to keep the memory of loved ones alive, these events are a perfect tie-in with her books and their content.

You can learn more about Allison and her Memory Bash Book Tour here: http://allisongilbert.com

5) Easy author access
Ever finish a great book and think to yourself, I would love to send a note to the author, only to find there isn’t any way to do so? In a recent SheWrites post, author Maria Murnane points out that by not including contact information at the end of their books, authors are missing out on a wonderful opportunity to connect with readers. Maria suggests including the first chapter of your next book (or a brief note about something you have in the works), some personalized info in your acknowledgements (rather than just a list of names), and a website or email address, so that readers who’d like to reach you can easily do so.

You can read more about Maria and her books here: www.mariamurnane.com