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4 Book Marketing Tips You’ll Find Useful

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These days, everything’s online – including books. And, even if they’re not online per se, you need to market them online for the hard copies to get purchased at all. If you’ve been in the game for a while, you know how tough, challenging and time-consuming book marketing can be, don’t you? Ah, we all do. And, if you are new and enthusiastic – you’ll soon find out.

So, how are you going to market your book? Here are four ideas.

  1. Create a Compelling Brand Identity

Long gone are days when there were only a few authors to publish in a year. In the 21st century, the century of blogs and opinions, everyone’s a potential author and – if you want your book to sell – you need to stand out.

The truth is, writers are no longer just writers – they are walking and talking brands who need to market themselves if they want to be remembered. So, brand yourself in a way that resonates with your target audience and tells a story of who you are as a person and a writer. For instance, if you describe yourself as A Cab Driver Who Writes Books, or The Mother of Three – Criminal, Judge, and Writer – that’ll certainly attract people who either find your description (brand) exciting or see a little bit of themselves in it.

 

  1. Don’t Try to Sell – Try to Market Your Book

Selling is not marketing, especially not on social media! Forget the phrases like ‘Check out my book,’ ‘Buy my book,’ and ‘My book is free today’ because they’ll make you look, well, pathetic. Instead, interact to get known, post intelligent comments, be witty, be memorable, be worth reading.

  1. Blog Often But Don’t Spam

Newsflash: writing a book isn’t enough. With the competition as strong as it is and so many amazing authors to follow on social media, you need to keep reminding people of yourself and the work you do. So, make sure you blog as often as possible about your book to catch the reader’s interest. You can also write posts thematically related to your book, and then cleverly include it in the post.

For instance, if you wrote a book titled: My Childhood: How I Escaped from a Cult? And you are writing a post about, say, the elements of occultism, include a sentence like “In my book My Childhood: How I Escaped from a Cult? I talk extensively about reactions of the human psyche in the circumstances that…” etc. The point is: keep (subtly) reminding the readers of your book. Plus, writing about your book will get social media attention and make you discoverable on Google.

  1. Be Resourceful With Your Profiles

Set up accounts on Goodreads, AuthorDen, Shelfari or other social media sites related to books. Even places like Google+, Stumbleupon, Pinterest, and Facebook can work. Get notified through Google Alert every time your name lists on a new search engine entry. Since you are marketing yourself as an author, write an original bio for these sites – give your potential readers the reason to find out more about you.

For all the new authors, here’s a closing word of caution: gear up and get ready to face up a lot of arduous self-promotion and hard work before you get anywhere. But, do pair up with Progressive Rising Phoenix if you want to get the best independent publisher for your work, and get to the finish line quicker than you thought possible!

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Seasonal Books – When to Start Marketing

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A lot of people write books to market them specifically at certain times of year such as Valentine’s Day, Christmas time, Easter, Summer holidays, Anniversaries (e.g., WWII), etc. Seasonal publishing can do you more good than damage, especially if you’ve got a solid strategy. With the right seasonal marketing spin, you can turn yourself in the hit author of your targeted season.

What is Seasonal Marketing?

Seasonal marketing is a type of marketing focused on creating campaigns that align with annual events. There are three types of annual events linked to seasonal marketing:

Official holidays:

  • Christmas
  • Thanksgiving
  • New Year’s Day
  • Labor Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Father’s Day
  • Mother’s Day
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Halloween
  • Independence Day
  • Easter
  • Saint Patrick’s Day

Non-traditional holidays:

  • Black Friday
  • Earth Day
  • Star Wars Day
  • International Women’s Day

Annual cultural events:

  • Spring Break
  • Summer Vacation
  • Back-to-School

Apart from the official holidays which are the most celebrated holidays in a year, others aren’t officially acknowledged but do have a following and tend to vary in dates. However, they tend to happen at around the same time each year.

When to Start Marketing Your Seasonal Book?

Well, this is one of the crucial moments of your publishing campaign and career as an author. If you are targeting any of the unofficial groups, it’s best to keep track of those events (when they’ll be celebrated) and start marketing a few months before the actual event. First, create a buzz about your book a year before your publication date and then, as you get closer to the exact publishing date, get more aggressive with your campaign.

For instance, if you want to publish a romance novel, create a buzz at least six months before Valentine’s Day, and then release on Valentine’s or around that date. Looking to publish a children’s book? Build hype a few months before they go back to school! Got a sci-fi book? The next Star Wars movie is perfect timing to publish! Want to publish a self-help book targeting the broken hearted? Surprise the singletons during summer time – they’ll have something useful to read in the sun as they decompress and recharge. If you wrote a memoir on your grandfather’s WWII experiences, publish it on the anniversary of the D-Day. You get the gist.

Grab a Window

Unfortunately, not all events are predictable nor can you always follow a plan. In the 21st century, things seem to happen out of nowhere and create the biggest buzz ever. If you are drawn to this type of writing, you need to be quick to publish. The most important thing is to grab your window of opportunity, master your art of writing fast and launch it while the topic’s still hot. Otherwise, you’ll be old news. Remember when Prince died how many books there were published about his life within weeks of his death? Well, that’s what we mean by “being quick to publish.”

A thorough marketing strategy for your book release won’t play a massive role in situations like these. These are hot topics, they are trending today and are no longer a thing a week from now. Unless you are working with the best marketing team in the country, chances are – you’ll have to work fast and get yourself out there quickly.

If you are looking to publish in your favorite season, Progressive Rising Phoenix is willing to help you get the best tips to keep you on track.

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How to Hook Readers on the First Few Sentences or Paragraph

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Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself, wrote Virginia Wolf. Leo Tolstoy observed that Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Margaret Atwood made it clear that Time is not a line but a dimension, like the dimensions of space while Charles Dickens wondered Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. Brilliant.

So, what do these lines have in common except that we’re quoting (and remembering) them decades after they were written? They were (and still are) extraordinary novel openers we cannot get over. And that’s precisely what you want to accomplish, too.

But, how does a writer in the 21st century go about writing catchy openers and pieces that stick when, these days, virtually every content is chewed, digested, and spat out quicker than it was written?

In a climate that encourages everyone to speak their minds and share their content, you need to make sure your stuff is powerful enough to become worth remembering.

Apart from mastering these Must-Read Books That Will Make You a Better Writer, here’s how to hook readers:

Begin at a Pivotal Moment

In a novel – intrigue is everything. The reader is more likely to want to continue to read if you start your piece with a critical moment in the story.

“I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975.” Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

Make Your Readers Wonder

There’s something mind-bending about a plot you can’t understand straight away. When you put a question in your readers’ minds, you’ve done the most important thing – got their attention and made them want to read more. What’s going to happen? What do those first lines mean? You’ll keep them reading the more you make them wonder.

“Those old cows knew trouble was coming before we did.” – Jeannette Walls, Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel

Start in Medias Res

When you begin with something happening, you immediately catch the reader’s attention and make them wonder what next is going to happen, who the characters are, what’s the background, etc. and you successfully build suspense without even getting to the plot.

“You better not never tell nobody but God.” Alice Walker, The Color Purple

Introduce an Intriguing Character

The reader will, no doubt, be much more interested in a story if there’s a character they find fascinating. Draw your readers into a story’s narrative by starting it with a captivating plotline and an out of the ordinary character.

“I was born twice: first as a baby girl on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974.” Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex

Begin with a Compelling Narrative Voice

Make your first words effective by opening the story with the voice of a narrator. The moment your readers identify with the narrator, that’s when you get their undivided attention. It’s best to start with the first person:

“I am ninety. Or ninety-three. One or the other.”  Sara Gruen, Water for Elephants

 

Great opening lines are fantastic tools to pull the writers in; however, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. If your few first lines are spectacular and most of your content weak, they won’t continue reading. Keep your content strong at all times. Visit Progressive Rising Phoenix to learn how.