In this post, I take off assuming you have your book listed on Goodreads, that you already have a book cover and all the other basics. This post is geared for authors needing to do their own promotion, so while it is great for self-publishers, traditionally contracted authors will find this helpful too if they need to do promotion of their own and are stuck for ideas.
Do a Goodreads paperback giveaway
Though many people are reading eBooks, paperbacks are still shiny and wanted formats. They’re special formats of books to put on a real shelf. The benefit you’re going for here regardless if they read the paperback is exposure. It’s free to list and only costs you the price of the book and postage which is peanuts compared to book ads.
Take advantage of the fact that Goodreads report many books average 900+ entries and many of them even reach thousands of entries. Now THAT is a lot of new people seeing and reading about your book!
Create and share teasers on social media
Sharing the favourite parts of your book on social media helps create an army — whether small or enormous — that will get excited about your release too and in turn help promote it out of their own excitement and interest. So go on and grab a properly licenced image (creative commons, stock purchase, or with permission signed by a photographer) and add text.
Images + text = creates more attention, so grab a short excerpt (1-5 sentences, relatively average size) or a tagline and add it to your text and post to social media, welcoming and inviting people to share it.
Share about 3-6 teasers (or more if you have the time) before release and spread it out over a few weeks, not crammed into a few spammy-and-annoying days before release.
Send out ARCs to reputable reviewers weeks before release
Timing is optimal for sending out ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies). Give only days and almost all your reviewers won’t have time to get to it, and give a few months and they could forget about it by the time it comes to reading just before release.
Depending on the length of your book, go for 2-6 weeks ahead of schedule, depending on if you have a novella or short novel upwards to an epic saga.
Do a book blitz or blog tour or review tour
These days, book tours are effective for exposure rather than generating book sales, and book blitz are heading that way too with the market more flooded than ever before.
As I said above though, you need to create a buzz, and you can’t stop trying to create the biggest buzz possible. Book blitzes are a cheaper option and are probably just as effective as book tours (since you can organise reviews on your own, and for free) so the little investment for a book blitz is worth it. You can get tens of blogs upwards to hundreds posting on release day or week for your book. They list the cover, synopsis, Goodreads link, book buy links, and often excerpts or teasers.
Companies for book blitzes or tours include Xpresso Book Tours, AToMR Book Blog Tours, and Love Between The Sheets Promotions. (I personally vouch the quality of these hosts)
Update your social media with posts about your progress on the book
Stay current in the mind of readers and find new readers by posting regularly about your book.
Don’t be spammy and make continual posts about them, so break these up amongst other types, but vary it and gain excitement for your book by posting fun facts, casting characters images, funny bits during your editing process, interesting things about the characters or storyline. Anything that will get people reading and asking questions.
Link reviewers with books sites where they can now post their review of your book
It’s hard for reviewers to keep track of all their reviewing list so kindly remind them they can now post their book review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc, as well as Goodreads if they haven’t already (the former is true for self-publishers since most can’t have book site links before they click publish).
Send out email with book links to bloggers on review day
Book bloggers are overworked and that’s an understatement. Regardless of this fact, they are still gracious people who will help authors share links for their book if they have the time and are interested. Gather the emails of book bloggers who accept and invite authors to email them promotional stuff and let them know that your book is live with link/s and thank them for their help and time.
N.B. always BCC everyone or email individually with their names in separate emails!
Do a post with links
If you have a blog, why not use, it? For every social media account you have, post links with your books.
Pictures help for a better result so add your book cover and/or a teaser to your post and link Goodreads and all the available book sites to buy your book. For Amazon, I recommend using a site like BookLinker because it sends the clicker to their country’s Amazon site. You then don’t have to list the ~11 country Amazon links AND you can check your click hits, too!
Send out to email subscribers
Do you have an email newsletter list? Don’t forget about this one! Most authors don’t use this regularly so it can be easy to forget. Why not use the tens, hundreds, thousands, or more people you have waiting to hear stuff about your books? Regardless of your list length, this will be beneficial!
Highly recommended and free!
Do a pre-release tour or book blog post features
It’s popular to do a feature on book blogs when and after you publish, but even if you’re a self-publisher who can’t list pre-order links, you can still gain interest and start that buzz by doing a feature with a host, or asking some bloggers yourself if you can feature you and your book on their site.
You never know what will work for exposure, so why not see if book bloggers want to feature you and get in front of their many thousands of eager book-reading followers?
Hold giveaways for readers to win prizes
Authors have their cover completed well before publishing, so why not use that to even more of an advantage! Order bookmarks or key rings or another promotional item with your cover or cover image and then hold giveaways for readers in exchange for entries such as adding your book to Goodreads or sharing a picture or post on social media.
I hope this list helped you!
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