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  • N. N. Light

Take your book promotion to the next level without costing you a dime #promo #marketing #socialmedia

“Marketing is first and foremost about connecting.” - Wendy Paine Miller

Book promotion is something most authors dread. I get that and I’m here to help. Being an author myself, I know how overwhelming it is to sell and market your book. In today’s publishing market, both traditional and indie authors are expected to promote and be active on social media.

I thought it might be fun to share some book promotion tips with you today. Who am I? My name is Nancy and I’m the Executive VP, Executive Editor, Graphic Design Manager, Product Creation Manager, Book Reviewer, Email Communication Manager at N. N. Light’s Book Heaven. I’ve been in the book industry for almost thirty years and I specialize in helping authors and readers connect. In addition, I’m the author of five books. Here are my top ten promo tips that take less than five minutes a day to take your book promotion to the next level without costing you a dime:

1- Be real not a robot. What do I mean? Unless you’re an automated speaker created by Bezos, you’re a real person. Let the reader world see the real you. You’re more than your books and your writing career. Give readers a sneak peek into what you’re really like. As a baker, I like to post pics on Instagram and Facebook what I’ve been baking. By showing them I’m a human who has an obsession with chocolate, they connect with me. Given enough time, we forge a friendship and they’ll be curious what my books I’m publishing.

2- Pick a select few social media platforms to consistently post curated content. I find my time is limited and tend to post daily if I focus on four platforms. While I have several social media accounts, I’m mainly on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and my website. I concentrate on growing my readers with eye-catching pics, reels and posts.

In order to keep followers interested, it’s important to have different content for different platforms. I post about several topics, not just books and reading. While there will be overlapping topics, I use new words to draw readers in. My ultimate goal is to bring them to my website and click-through to buy my books. This should be your goal as well.

3- Get visual with graphics. Studies show that 83% more readers will click-through to check out your book(s) if a graphic/photo accompanies your posts/tweet/update. Readers are visual creatures and one way to pique their interest is to create a quote graphic. I use Canva and Book Brush for all of my graphics. It’s easy to use and they both have lots of free templates to make creating beautiful graphics a breeze.

4- Try new ways to reach readers. Every day, several new articles are written on ways to reach readers and get people to buy your books. Everything from contests to book reviews to appearing on a booktuber’s channel are offered but it’s those marketing ideas that are out of the box thinking which tend to yield the greatest results.

One of the most inventive ones I encountered recently was an author’s cover reveal. Instead of just releasing a post, she ran a scavenger hunt on her website. She’d secretly hidden her new cover all over her website and you had to list all ten places where it was. The prize to the winner was a gift card but it was fun!

Guest posting on authors’/bloggers’ websites is another great way to reach new to you readers. I incorporate this strategy quite a bit. I reach out and ask about any promotional opportunities available. There’s a ton of authors looking for content on their website/blog while you’re looking for readers who aren’t aware of your books yet. It’s a win-win!

5- Don’t get bogged down by numbers. We live in a world obsessed by statistics. It’s easy to get discouraged if your tweet/reel/post wasn’t shared or your site stats are tanking. There’s one thing you need to concentrate on and that’s attracting new readers.

Think about what makes you click on a post or a reel. Was it the wording, the image or something else? Once you have the answer, use it in your social media promotion. Stay motivated.

Look at what topics get a lot of views and then get creative. You’re a writer and creativity is in your DNA. If something doesn’t draw attention, then try something else.

6- Automation is fine but don’t rely on it 100%. When everything is automated, the way to stand out is to resist turning into a robot. I pepper my social media feeds with real posts/thoughts as well as replying to others. Why? Well, no one wants to interact with a robot and I’m all about interacting. I want authors to realize the importance of bringing the social back to social media.

7- Pound the virtual pavement. Reach out to the publishing community and ask for help. If you struggle with getting book reviews, followers and so forth, ask for help. Sign up for author groups. Do your homework (search for answers online). Research what’s hot right now. No one said being an author is easy. It takes a lot of sweat and innovation to be a success.

8- Get on Goodreads as a reader, not just an author. Your love for the written word is one of the reasons you became an author in the first place. Let your reader side out and talk about books. There’s a ton of fun groups on Goodreads. Write reviews. Talk about what books you’re looking forward to reading. Connect with readers. It’s all about real interactions when it comes to the author-reader relationship.

9- Utilize Prolific Works/Book Funnel/BookSprout to your advantage. The whole point of these companies is to bring together readers and authors. It works great for handing out prizes or giving out ARCs to your readers but it’s also a way to introduce readers to you and your books. You can create a sample (the first few chapters) of your book and give it away for free. You can get new readers to check out your books by signing up for genre-themed giveaways. This is especially effective when you’re writing a series and want to give away a prequel, book one or like I mentioned above, a sample.

10- Be proactive, courteous and humble. This is key to not only marketing your books but being a success in the book industry. You can’t sit there and wait for readers to come to you. You have to be proactive. Being courteous is simply treating others how you’d like to be treated. Don’t be uppity and look down your nose at readers. They are your bread and butter. They are the reason you’re a writer. Be humble. When someone gives you a glowing review or mentions you online, thank them. Remember, the book world is small and while there are a lot of authors out there, if you’re a snarky, ungrateful author, word will spread like wildfire. It’s much better to be an author with a generous spirit.

I hope these tips have helped you to see that book promotion is not only essential but fun, too. You’ve done the hard stuff, writing and publishing the book. Promotion is sharing your writing with the world while building your brand.

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