The Power of Online Book Promotion
Last year I sat on a panel at a writers conference that was dedicated to helping authors launch their books into cyberspace. Blogging, virtual book tours, book trailers, and social networking were all discussed.
I felt the discussion went well amongst the three authors, myself, and the audience. Imagine my surprise when I recently hooked up with a writer who sat in the audience during the panel and she said the general feeling people came away with was that focusing on online book promotion was a waste of time.
What? Where did I go wrong?
I've spent the past three years promoting virtual book tours as an excellent way to reach a worldwide audience. They certainly beat sitting at a book signing for several hours and selling only a handful of books--which I did in November. In addition, the importance of networking has been a topic I've discussed numerous times.
When my first book, Little Shepherd, came out this fall, I knew I was going to use a virtual book tour to promote it. Combining my online efforts with one book signing and an interview in our local weekly paper, Little Shepherd has hit the Amazon bestsellers list in the Large Print, Children's Books category seven times since its release.
Here are the steps I took to ensure my book's success via the help of social media marketing.
1) I began a blog dedicated solely to Little Shepherd, using the book's title and the genre as the URL.
2) Since the book's release on August 21, 2010, I have blogged nearly every day about the book, my virtual book tour, or on a subject that ties into my book.
3) I created a book trailer that I posted on YouTube and GodTube. It is also found on the Little Shepherd Book blog.
4) I used Facebook and Twitter to draw attention to my virtual book tour stops. I've also tweeted lines from my book and included a link to purchase.
5) I continue to seek out new opportunities to guest blog at other sites.
6) I comment at other people's blogs and retweet items of interest.
Online book promotion is what I like to call "virtual word of mouth" advertising. The reach of the Internet means your opportunities are endless. All you need to do is take advantage of it.