What does it take to successfully promote the release of your new book? Time, energy, and money? Yes, but the experience you gain from having been down that road before can be priceless when it comes to a successful book launch.
When my book The Soulmate Secret was released in January, 2009 and then the paperback was launched in 2011, I did many of the customary marketing strategies to make the launches successful. But that was two and a half years ago and a lot has changed in the online world.
Now with the impending release of my next book, Wabi Sabi Love (January 2012) , I am taking a different approach. If you are about to launch your next (or first) book, you can save yourself time, money and energy by learning from my missteps and successes. I hope these insights help to shorten your learning curve.
Release content early: This time around I am providing content months in advance of the book's release. Start a conversation and engage people in your concept a couple of different ways. First offer a free excerpt or chapter of your book on your website. For an example, see here. In addition, start blogging on a regular basis with insights and real-life stories related to the content.
Tweak your tweeting: This idea that you should be tweeting 30 times a day is enough to make anyone feel inadequate. I don't subscribe to that notion but what I would recommend is to make tweeting more efficient and effective. I used to go onto Twitter with the intention of posting a link to my blog or tele-class, then I'd end up tweeting replies to people who sent messages or thanking people who retweeted my posts. What I found was my original tweet about my blog was pushed down the page of my profile ("below the fold") and my click through rate was low. When people are making a decision to follow you and begin a conversation they usually only see your latest tweet. What I wanted them to see was the content I hoped would bring them value. Therefore, the tweet about my blog or tele-class became the last tweet I did before I signed off for the afternoon or the evening. That way anyone who visited my page would see the blog post first and foremost. This single change has improved my results.
Double Up on Facebook: Each time a blog was published on Huffington Post or one of my websites, I wrote a status update with the link on Facebook (personal and fan page) that morning. My click through rates were okay but I experimented on making just one change and watched the results. Two days after the first Facebook post, I wrote another status update with the link in the afternoon hours. My thought was whoever missed the Tuesday morning post might be online Thursday afternoon, for instance. I was right. Again, my results improved and in many cases, they doubled.
Bestseller campaign: I will definitely repeat the bestseller campaign, which is when you get everyone you know to send out emails, tweets and Facebook posts at certain times to drive people to buy the book on my website, Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com and other online bookstores. You can see this type of campaign at SoulMateSecretbook.com. Your bestseller campaign sales page should have a welcome video that talks about the book, offers bonuses from you and other well-known experts in content that would be appropriate to your reader. This campaign worked well for me in the past and I will be combining it with national and regional publicity along with my weekly newsletter.
Video Book Trailer: When I launched The SoulMate Secret I spent time, money and lots of effort to conceptualize, create and promote an animated video book trailer and put it on YouTube. I loved it but it was not the most successful way of getting the message out to potential readers. It was adorable and fun and I fully expected it to go viral, which it never did. I no longer have any wild delusions about creating the world's greatest book trailer this time. To take advantage of the fact that YouTube is the second popular search engine (behind Google), I plan to use video to demonstrate the principles of Wabi Sabi Love.
Making the announcement: Reach out to your friends and ask them to tweet, Facebook, email and include in their newsletter the announcement of the website launch. If you have another website with a strong following, blog about it on that site. I did both of these strategies, which included the SoulMate Secret database of 60,000 people, and in the first four to five days, 1,200 people had downloaded the free chapter. My goal is to have 50,000 people signed up by January 5th when the book is released.
I hope these lessons have provided you with new ideas for promoting your book. If you have any success strategies that have not been mentioned, I am all ears! Please share them with all of us here in the comments section.
Arielle Ford has launched the careers of many NY Times bestselling authors including Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Neale Donald Walsch & Debbie Ford. She is a former book publicist, literary agent and the author of seven books. www.everythingyoushouldknow.com