The Innovative Ways Authors and Publishers Are Promoting Their Work

04/14/2017 11:28 am ET
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Vetta/Getty Images

What are some of the most interesting ways authors are promoting their books in 2016? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Jeff Umbro, Digital Marketing Director at Goldberg McDuffie Communications and podcast host, on Quora.

A lot of authors are coming up with clever ways to galvanize their audience, ranging from Thunderclap campaigns and online Q&As to Bookbub price promotions and reaching out directly to book clubs via Skype.

There are some really great publishers that are coming up with effective ways to promote their books and authors. Riverhead books, long a leader in digital marketing for the book world, just launched a program where if you donate to Support Syrian Refugees, they’ll send you a 3D printed bust of one of their premier authors. Bookbub has been the premier outlet for price promotions, which has a trickle down effect of selling a ton of backlist titles that will spur future sales for authors. Possibly to the detriment of the author and publishers (devaluing of work), we’ll see a lot more of this in the future. In a way it’s gaming the system.

Established authors like Tim Ferriss and Ryan Holiday are offering promotions for bulk orders of books. Buy x copies and I’ll send you y, buy 2x copies and I’ll send you y + z. This is effective if you have the audience and it fits your brand, but it can be expensive. Author Steena Holmes (a client) sends birthday cards to any reader that opts in. At scale, this can be really time consuming, but it’s a great gesture that readers remember.

Catherine McKenzie (also a client) went as far as to write a second book for marketing purposes. This second book, The Murder Game, is the book that the protagonist in her forthcoming novel, Fractured, wrote within that world. Both books are phenomenal, which helps, but this is something with the potential to create a feedback loop of coverage that will help push sales of Fractured.

Gretchen Rubin launched a podcast to accompany her latest book. Tons of authors have created reading groups and author groups that help to promote their work as well as the work of their contemporaries. Newsletters are increasingly awesome outlets to promote your work as well as the work of others and to keep engaging your community in an intimate way between books.

These are just a few examples of the best ways authors are promoting their books. The truth is there’s so many authors doing so many amazing things that it’s hard to keep up.

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