PART ONE ON BOOK PROMOTION
These tips should help you promote your novel successfully and gain new readers.
One way to promote your novel(s) is to hire a book tour company. But a word of caution…
Nothing against all these book tour companies, but promoting your novel on twenty blogs is not going to get your book much exposure, and they can be expensive. I have used a few in the past and the results were pitiful. Now that’s not to say there aren’t some great tour businesses out there, but from my own personal experience, I would advise against using them unless they can guarantee at least fifty blogs will participate in the tour and at least twenty-five reviews will be posted prior to your launch day. Anything less isn’t worth your money or your time.
In my own personal experience, I did get some exposure through using book blog tour companies, but (and correct me if I'm wrong) you usually only get about 20 to 30 stops for your money, and no guarantee of reviews.
I didn't think it was worth the money, so I decided (by trial and error. Yes, I made a few stupid mistakes!) to do it myself. I drafted about 5 versions until I had a solid email (book review request) letter to send out (Will post an example of it in my next post). Then I created about 10 to 15 guest posts on topics related to themes or subjects in my book and included it in my email.
So if a book blogger wasn’t interested in reviewing my book or had an overflowing TBR pile, I offered a guest post instead. And 8 out of 10 times, the book blogger said they’d love to host me on their blog.
Readers loved my guest posts and I got a lot of sales from them. I offered fun quizzes to heartfelt posts on my own writing journey. At the bottom of each post, I included my book cover, the blurb, purchase links, and my Bio.
A word about guest posts. As a former book blogger, I loved helping self-pubbed and indie authors promote their work, but the lack of professional posts made me cringe. Some writers rambled on about nothing in particular or their posts were not even related to their book. Other guest posts were sloppily put together and they were not even spell-checked. I strongly recommend that you have it edited and polished. These represent you and your writing. So if they look unprofessional, or the post is riddled with typos and misspelled words, then potential readers may think your book is too.
Do you really expect readers to buy your book after reading your poorly written post? If the guest post appears amateurish, then readers will assume the novel does, too.
Most book bloggers love working with me. I create fun and interesting guest posts pertaining to my novels, and I make it super easy for them to publish on their site. I am quick to respond to emails and send everything they need within 24 hours: the guest post in a Word Doc (so they can copy and paste), the book cover, blog banner (I created one myself), and the rafflecopter code if I'm doing a giveaway.
Here is a list of a few of the guest posts that I wrote for my last promo for my new novel, LOST IN STARLIGHT to give you some ideas. I included the list in my email to book bloggers that offered to feature guest spots by indie authors, and I had a wonderful response.
A FEW EXAMPLES:
• Starlight Saga Music Playlist
• Which Character Would You Be? Quiz
• Author Spotlight with Bio
• Book Cover Reveal (full-print image) with blurb
• Character Interview with heroine
• Guest post of my “Dream Cast” with photos
• Favorite Character Moments with excerpts
• First Chapter excerpt
• Why I love the YA Genre guest post
As you can see from my list, I found creative ways to make sure my posts were intriguing. I wanted to provide bloggers and potential readers with unique and entertaining promotional material to discover more about my books and me. I create different posts for each novel or series depending on the novel’s theme and genre.
For my adult novel, IMMORTAL ECLIPSE, I put together these:
• Witty and entertaining quotes from fashionatas
• Immortal Quiz with Amazon gift card giveaway
• Paranormal Fun Facts about the novel
• Supernatural Pet Quiz
• Exclusive excerpt from the novel
Hopefully these will give you some ideas of creating fantastic guest posts of your own. Also, my handbook "HOW TO MARKET YOUR FICTION THE RIGHT WAY" has TONS of suggestions on great ways to market your novel!
Hope this info helps. Best of luck!