Coming Attractions

We’ve all seen the advertisements for new movies, a release of a new song, or even a new product that will soon be available in the stores. Depending on the time of year, these ads can happen as early as two months before the item releases. Yet, as authors, many of us don’t take advantage of the same advertising technique for our books.

What are you, as an author, doing to bring attention to your new release prior to that happening?

That’s right. You, as an author, need to work hard prior to the release of your book in order to have sales.

What do you need to do?

The first thing is to brand your name. Many authors have no clue how to do this. They’re lost, often don’t understand what it means to brand a name.

The first thing is to set up social media accounts—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, a blog and website are all necessary to do this. Don’t just talk about your books on those sites. Be involved with those you see as your potential fans, but never get into hot topics—politics and religion are the big ones—or you may find half of your potential fan base turning against you.

Now that you have these accounts, you have to attract people to them. This is where those you know on your personal social media accounts come into play. They’re a start. Once they’ve liked or followed your page, you need to be posting. Tidbits about what you’re working on—limit these to general discussions about your story—are a great start. To keep your pages upbeat and away from hot topics, be involved by talking about topics you’ve noticed these people are interested in in their pages. Animals, vacations, and yes, even what’s for dinner.

Now, on Twitter, you can build your feed there by following those with like interests. Don’t stick with books. Search for those who have an interest in your books. Check out the suggestions Twitter makes for people that you might want to follow. Be diverse. And go international. Don’t stick with followers from your country. Remember, in the twenty-first century, the world is a much smaller place. You will have fans from every country, make the most of this.

Use your blog as a place to talk about writing, offer spots for other authors to advertise their releases, even do reviews. Get your blog moving, so it attracts followers. Be active weekly—you can even connect your blog posts to Twitter days. Just what are Twitter days? Look for Sunday Book Blogs, Monday Blogs, Tuesday Book Blogs and WWW Blogs (for those ladies out there). There’s also Teaser Tuesday, 1 Line Wednesday and 1 Line Friday for giving tidbits from your work in progress. All it takes is a bit of research to discover literally hundreds of ways to attract people to your new endeavor!

Now that you’re seriously working on branding your name, you need to take the next step—advertising that book and when it will be coming out. How you do this can make or break your book’s release.
First, you need to reveal your cover art. This can be done with a blog post and shared to Twitter, Facebook, and Google +. In fact, if your blog host allows it, you can share directly from the post’s page to those social media sites, saving you the trouble of saving the link and copying it into them.

Before you do that, though, you need to see what hashtags apply to your book. Why hashtags you ask. A few are probably scratching your head and asking “What’s a hashtag?”

Your book will be categorized when it’s uploaded to Amazon. If you are very lucky, your publisher will allow you to do this. That means looking at a really long list of categories and deciding which one fits your book best. First rule—don’t go just for the huge categories. That means don’t use just romance, science fiction, fantasy, coming of age, etc. Look for smaller categories where your book will fit. Why? Because if you happen to have enough sales to get ranked, these smaller categories will give you the opportunity to say you’re a “Best Selling Author” or even an “International Best Selling Author.” Oh, did I mention that if your book does hit that lovely height, you will also see it appearing in the “if you like this book, check out these books” section on Amazon—which means people who wouldn’t have known about you or your book will now see it. They might be interested, and that might lead to more sales.

There are but a few of the secrets about how to make your book a success. It’s not just about writing a book in the twenty-first century. You, the author, are now a business, and as such, you need to learn how to promote your work.


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