As I explore the Internet, looking for unique ways to promote books online, I’m seeing more and more new ideas. I’m one who often thinks, “I wish I had thought of that,” followed by, “But wow, that looks like a lot of work.” These events take time, and most have an unproven impact on book sales. Still, ignoring the Internet as a marketing tool is not an option.
The first wave of online marketing for authors came with e-mail lists and groups, blogs, and social media sites devoted to readers and writers. Soon to follow were professional and personal networking sites. Then came blog book tours.
RMFW member Beth Groundwater’s May 2009 virtual tour for To Hell in a Handbasket was one of the first I followed. With one advance teaser followed by twenty-three stops over a month’s time, Beth had to write all those posts and respond to interviews, then follow each of the host blogs for days to reply to comments.
Many authors are using blog book tours these days, but there are more promotional opportunities popping up. As we tackle any new project, we need to remember this: To tap into your creativity, think outside the box. Look what these hardworking authors did:
Carolyn Poling Schriber. Her book launch party for Beyond All Price lasted three days with guest authors’ articles displayed on the party home page according to a set schedule. There were even virtual refreshments, recipes included.
Alex J. Cavanaugh. He created an audience of 400+ followers for his own excellent blog by diligently leaving comments as he traveled the Internet making friends. When it was time for his sci fi novel, CassaStaR to release in October 2010, he had plenty of helpers willing to post his trailer on the official book release date.
London author Talli Roland. The Hating Game, Talli’s debut novel, is scheduled for e-book release (ahead of the hardcover edition) on December 1st. More than 225 bloggers have signed up for the Web Splash! scheduled for that date. The goal is to get that all-important buzz going around the world.
Blogging and building an audience of followers is the base for most of these activities. When you add the contacts on Facebook and Twitter to the mix, it’s easy to see how these events help spread the author’s name and book title.
If you’ve had an interesting and productive experience with online marketing, please tell us more. Come on, leave a comment. You know you want to.