Take advantage of literature communities – Goodreads

Goodreads_Homepage

Image: Goodreads is an attractive platform for authors.

Facts about Goodreads

  • Goodreads was founded by US-American Otis Chandler in 2006. In the following years, the community developed very quickly and millions of members flocked to the site. Today, Goodreads has well over 50 million members that have written just as many millions of book reviews on the site – with numbers continuing to grow.
  • On Goodreads, Otis Chandler explains how he got the idea of creating a reader community: “One afternoon while I was scanning a friend’s bookshelf for ideas, it struck me: when I want to know what books to read, I’d rather turn to a friend than any random person or bestseller list. So I decided to build a website – a place where I could see my friends’ bookshelves and learn about what they thought of all their books. Elizabeth, my co-founder (and now my wife) wrote the site copy and I wrote the code. We started in my living room, motivated by the belief that there was a better way to discover and discuss good books, and that we could build it.”
  • In 2013, Othis Chandler and his wife and co-founder Elizabeth Khuri Chandler sold Goodreads to Amazon.

How do you register as an author?

  1. First you need to register as a general Goodreads member, either by using your email address or an exciting Facebook account if you have one. Register with Goodreads
  2. Once you are registered with Goodreads, simply log-in.
  3. Use the Goodreads search field to look for your book or your last name and then click on the search result.
  4. Now click on the author’s name. It is displayed under the book’s title. This is how you get to the author’s profile.
  5. At the end of the page, click on “Is this you? Let us know.” to let Goodreads know you are the author. After that, you will receive a message from Goodreads which will tell you that your normal member profile will be merged with your author profile. In addition, you will receive an email that will contain other information about the management of your author profile.

Use Goodreads as an author

You can (and should) use the many options Goodreads offers you to turn your profile into something that shows who you are as a person and author, this includes:

  • photo and resume
  • a list of your own favourite books or books you are currently reading
  • the chance to write editorial articles on your own blog which will create a fan community
  • announce readings, book signings and other events
  • provide reading samples
  • create competitions
  • post videos

Book promotion

There are different ways to promote your book on Goodreads. The most important are:

Take part in discussions

Simply browse the site a bit to find groups and books you find exciting and you feel like you’d want to contribute. Take part in the discussions and use the chance to let other Goodreads members know about you. But make sure you add value to the discussions instead of just talking about yourself. Otherwise people will find you an annoying attention seeker and ignore your books.

Giveaways

This means to give out free copies of your book to members of the Goodreads community. This will enable you to get as many reviews as possible and get attention at the same time.

  • Each author can determine how many books will be given away over a certain period of time.
  • Advantages: You don’t have to do much work because Goodreads will find the winners of the giveaway and distribute the books. Winners are selected depending on whether they have already chosen books from similar genre or were interested in similar topics.
  • Important: Goodreads recommend to have a giveaway that lasts at least one month and to give away at least ten copies of your book.
  • According to Goodreads, 60% of all giveaway winners eventually publish a review of the book they have won.
  • Goodsreads also recommend to start your giveway even before the book is published and send the books away on the day of publishing. This will create extra buzz around your book.
  • Keep in mind to have copies of your book at hand if you decide to give away hardback or paperback copies instead of eBooks.

Ask the Author

If you move the button “Ask your author” on your author profile from “off” to “on”, readers will be able to ask questions right on your profile. At first, you will be the only one who sees the questions but once you answer them, everyone will be able to see question and answer on your profile. So it is up to you to decide which questions to answer and which information you want to make public.

 

Tips from Goodreads: what you should avoid

  • Don’t react to negative reviews. It is more likely that you scare away new readers and won’t receive any new positive reviews or comments.
  • Don’t contact all readers who have put your book on their book list. You might mean well, but readers will be annoyed and see you as a spammer.
  • Don’t contact everyone on Goodreads randomly. Only send friend requests to people who are in groups you are a member of or who have been discussing topics with you.
  • Don’t only join groups to promote your book. You need to have a real interest in being an active and interested member of the group.

 

Series: Successfully marketing your own book – Part 1

At tredition, we support each book that is published with us through a variety of marketing actions like press releases and social media activities. But every self-publishing author knows this: your own marketing endeavours are necessary to create additional interest in readers and the press. You will need to put some work into your own marketing to create the attention your book deserves and to get people to buy it.

Email-Symbolbild_Maik Schwertle_pixelio.de

Copyright: Maik Schwertle, pixelio

In our new blog series on marketing your book, we will show you how to create interest for your book online and in book shops. Keep your eyes open – we will post new parts of this series regularly.

Teil I: Part I: Email-marketing and your own website

  • A link to you book in your email signature

The easiest and fastest way to tell readers about your book is to put a link to the tredition shop into your email’s signature. It is very simple:

  1. Visit the tredition page of your book (e.g. by using the search box on the main page).
  2. On this page, you need to click on “link to this page”.
  3. You can copy the now visible link (mark the link and either right click and choose “copy” from the menu, or press “CTRL + C” on your keyboard).
  4. Finally, integrate the link into your email’s signature or your website.

If you do not have a signature yet, you can learn how to create one with Outlook here.

  • Inform your acquaintancesSend an email with the link to your book and a few facts about it to your friends, acquaintances, and all other contacts that might be interested in reading your book. Please think about whom you send this to as people do not react well to spam. Ask the recipients of your email to forward the email to other parties that might be interested.
  •  Link on your websiteIf you already have your own website, then put a link to your book’s tredition page on it. Also integrate the link on your social media profiles, e.g. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Eigene Website erstellen: 

If you do not yet have a website, then create your own author homepage or a page about your book. You will need to update it with fresh content regularly to attract more readers and keep already existing readers interested in what you are doing. Here are some recommendations:

  • WordPress: We think that WordPress is one of the best tools to create a website. You can integrate a variety of useful tools without knowing how to program websites yourself. You can easily integrate social media, blogs, and comment functions. It is also easy to create surveys and make your website attractive to potential readers.
  • Blogger: Blogger is Google’s blogging service and has the advantage that you can also integrate Google’s AdSense for some extra income via displaying ads. Be sure to disable ads with sensitive content (e.g. adult content) unless your book actually is about that kind of content.
  • Build a website from scratch: If you already have some IT experience or would like to get your teeth into it, then you could also look into creating a website from scratch. This will give you far more creative freedom than using a service like WordPress and Blogger – but it will also take a lot more time, and the maintenance can be an additional workload, too. Also keep in mind that hosting and getting your own domain will be an additional cost factor (WordPress and Blogger are free, but for a more professional website, you should still fork out for a proper domain name).

In part II of our series we’ll tell you about how to introduce your book to the press and media outlets.

 

Buchmarketing

How do I market my book? – Get your book noticed with targeted advertisement

marketing your book

Image: There is no secret formula for universal book success. But there are some important rules that can help you with marketing your own book successfully. Copyright: Fotolia

Tens of thousands of new book releases flood the market every single year. There are some bestsellers among them – and plenty of debuts from unknown authors. On one hand, this means there is a great selection for readers to choose from. On the other hand, it means that there is immense competition for every single author.

In addition to unique content, professional editing, and attractive design, a book needs targeted marketing to make readers aware of its existence. If a reader does not know your book exists, he or she will not be able to develop an interest in it.

Tredition will show you how to come up with effective and targeted marketing strategies for your own book. This marketing instruction will teach you everything you need to know to turn your book into a success. You will be able to win readers’ attention and eventually make money with your book.

 

 

Each year, there are more writers fighting for the attention and money of a limited pool of readers. While reading is still amongst the top activities to do during your spare time (though watching TV and playing online games is a lot more popular), the immense amount of competition means that an author has to put a lot of effort into getting noticed, especially if you have no big publisher to do the marketing for you. Stephen King, James Patterson, and J.K. Rowling don’t have to do much to get their books sold – but it will be a long way until you can dream of that kind of success.

The path to success for your first book will not be an easy one (it also wasn’t easy for authors who are now famous – so don’t be discouraged), but it will be a lot easier if you know what you need to do. And that is what we will talk about in this article.

 

The main ingredient to successful book advertisement: the marketing plan

the marketing plan

Image: The secret behind a successful book project is to begin with marketing as soon as possible by using a marketing plan. Copyright: Fotolia

You shouldn’t wait too long until you start thinking about advertisement for your book. You could even being with developing a “battle plan” before or during the writing process. This will include a step by step plan on how to do the marketing for your book – basically it is a to-do-list for your marketing.

You won’t be able to simply copy someone else’s marketing plan off the internet. Your book is unique and needs a unique strategy. Also keep in mind that a collection of poetry needs different marketing than a non-fiction book about becoming a writer. You need to think about which marketing strategies make sense for your book, and how you can include them in your plan with detailed guidelines and deadlines for their implementation.

It also makes sense to start getting in touch with potential fans, the press, and bloggers before you publish your book. If you already have a pool of interested readers and people who would be interested in writing about your book, then it will be easy to distribute your finished book to them right away instead of having to do all the research after writing your book.

 

Before you start: Know your target group

Know your argeted audience !

Image: Targeted book advertisement is only possible when you know your audience. Copyright: Fotolia

Even though you’d like as many people as possible to read your book, you will never write the kind of book that appeals to every single reader on the planet. If you want your marketing to be effective, you need to know who you readers most likely will be. Have a look at your book from the perspective of a potential reader.

What is the genre of your book? What is its title and what kind of readers might be interested in this kind of book? Who will find the style and plot of the book appealing?

If you have written the book with a specific reader in mind, you will already have a good idea about your target group. It is often recommended that you write as if you are telling the story to a certain individual (which would be your perfect, ideal reader). We also mention this in our guide on how to write your book.

Once you have your target group, you need to analyse it in-depth. Where does your target group spend a lot of time? I.e. do they prefer Facebook to Twitter? Do they spend a lot of time browsing through the boards on Pinterest? Do they read certain publications?  It is important to know as much as possible about your target group, otherwise it will be very hard to place ads in the right places. It is easy to spend a lot of money on advertisement without reaching the right readers. If you, for example, have a cookbook full of vegan recipes, it would not make much sense to place ads on a website about furniture!

 

Consistency: Being persistent pays off when it comes to book advertising

It has been a long journey. You have written your book, it has been edited and proof-read (preferably more than once). It finally is on the market. Most authors are happy at that point and often neglect the importance of marketing. Of course, if you are a famous author, you’re books will sell automatically – but let’s just assume that you’re not Haruki Murakami or Danielle Steel.

A book will only turn into a consistent success when its author constantly works on its success. Imagine your marketing strategy like fireworks. They look great while they are up in the air – but after a while, they are gone and you’ll have to start another one.

 

Book marketing means telling stories on all channels

selling stories

Image: Use your talent for telling stories also when it comes to marketing your book! Copyright: Pixabay

After you have started working on your marketing plan and learned more about your target group, you will need to think about which channels you would like to use for your marketing.  You need to present your book on various levels: with words, images, and even sounds.

Use cross-media marketing actions, i.e. communicate with your reader on multiple channels that are somehow connected to each other. They should entertain and inform your reader at the same time. The best results always lead the reader back to your book and encourage its purchase without being pushy and obnoxious. Offer value to your readers by giving exciting content about yourself and your publication to them.

Once you have written a brief but appealing press release about your book, you can also use it for other purposes. Don’t just let an interesting author interview collect dust on your website. Publish it on blogs and other websites, make it accessible on your social media profiles. Use your talent for telling stories for the marketing of your book.

Some interesting questions you could answers in interviews are: What kind of challenges and experiences did you have during the writing of your books? What kind of story is told in your book? Or: What do people learn by reading your book? What is the advantage of reading your book?

The art of using cross-media-marketing is to spread your content over as many channels as possible to reach as many potential readers as possible.

 

Marketing for books: offline or online? Online is King

The online market place still has not overtaken traditional book stores when it comes to sales – but more and more buying decisions are made online these days, even when it comes to the purchase of traditional books.

This means that you need to use digital platforms, blogs, and social media as much as possible as many of your future readers will use them to learn about new and interesting books. Social media ads, blog marketing, online readings, book trailers: the possibilities are endless – and even better: you do not need many resources to use them.

Your acquaintances, friends, and family, and even your readers can also forward and share your content to other people (and that is free marketing!). Have another good look at your book and its content. What kind of marketing actions could work for it? Feel free to think out of the box. You don’t always have to go down the path everyone else is taking. Be brave enough to stand out. Original marketing usually attracts more attention, and more attention means more potential sales.

 

Take advantage of multipliers: Press and blog marketing

 

Press

press- unandd Blog marketing via multipliers

Image: Use the power of multipliers to make your advertisement even more effective! Copyright: Pixabay

Even though online media is becoming more and more relevant than traditional media, you should never underestimate the power of journalists, newspapers, magazines, radio stations, and TV channels. They still have a huge audience and are great places to get some attention for your book. Reviews by the press will usually lead to reviews from other sources. Journalists often ask about authors who already have been reviewed or written about or only learn about new authors and books from their colleagues.

So how do you get started? First of all, you need to find your target group and create a suitable media distribution list for it. After all, not every kind of media channel is suitable for certain genres, topic, and readers. The better you prepare, the better the outcome will be.

Research suitable media channels, news portals, papers, or special interest magazines. Write up an email about your book and attach a press kit about your book. This press kit includes: a short book announcement, a press release as PDF, a meaningful author profile and a high-definition cover image. The best case scenario is that your email creates curiosity about the book and encourages journalists to write about it. Don’t send this out randomly though! Note: It doesn’t have to be The Times, USA Today, or the Wall Street Journal. Those large newspapers only have limited space for reviews and articles about literature. It is unlikely that they will “waste” it on someone who is a total stranger to them.

Start with local papers and try to become featured by them as a local author. Be confident but don’t harass members of the press. Depending on which paper they work for, they get dozens if not hundreds of review requests every single day. Offer additional material like review samples, author interviews, or copies of your book for competitions to make your book more attractive to them.

 

Blog marketing

Blogs have become one of the most important tools to reach readers online. Authors have various options to introduce their book to a large audience and get their attention. Be creative: Announce the release of your book to bloggers that would be a good match with your book by sending them your press kit. Offer review samples to important literature blogs in exchange for book reviews, Offer copies of your books for competitions. Supply blogs with author interviews – or go on a blog tour.

During a blog tour, different blogs that cover the same kind of topic present your book within certain time frame in different ways: e.g. book talks, author interviews, reading samples, competitions, reviews, and so on. Of course, this requires some planning. You will need to win the interest of suitable bloggers and then arrange the time line for your blog tour. Beware: Bloggers hate nothing more than being showered with unwanted and unrelated information. Make sure that you do some research on various bloggers before you get in touch with them. You need to know the blog, the blogger, and the target group of the blogger. Don’t just send your press kit out to random bloggers.

 

 

Approach your target group: Advertisement on social media and in book communities

social Media marketing

Image: Social Media like Facebook offers tons of marketing options for authors! Copyright: Pixabay

Social media channels offer many opportunities for authors to advertise their book, to exchange information with other authors and network with them, and of course to get in touch with readers. You should already start to build your loyal fan base or readership while you are writing on your book. They will anticipate the release of your book and will want to read it as soon as it is out if you do the job right.

 

Facebook

If you want to reach many readers, you won’t get around having a social media presence. Create a profile on social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and more. They should all be connected to your website (if you have one – and you should!).

Authors also have the opportunity to create a fan page for their book on sites like Facebook. You can announce your book’s publishing date on this site, but you can also use it to keep people updated on your writing progress, provide writing samples, create competitions and get readers to interact with you in many different ways. The aim is to keep people interested in what you are doing. Social media makes it easy to give new material to potential customers regularly.

Fans can use your site to connect to each other, ask you questions (and then get really excited when you reply to them), and become eager to read your newest release. You can use the site to tease your readers by showing them the book cover, providing a book trailer, or giving them one or the other reading sample from the book. Look at TV series for examples: Game of Thrones starts teasing people for the next season as soon as one season is over. Fans will eagerly devour every little bit of information they can get.

Facebook also offers you the opportunity to create ads or so-called sponsored posts that will appear on the newsfeeds of potential readers. Of course, it is once again important that you know your target group – otherwise you will waste your money and might even get angry messages from people who feel annoyed by having your ad on their newsfeed.

Facebook is also useful for interacting with other authors and readers. Join some suitable groups in which writing and publishing are discussed. Learn from people with more experience and make connections that could be useful later on.

 

Use other social media channels: Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest…

While Facebook is the most popular social network and offers useful tools for authors, it is a good idea to also use other platforms if they are suitable. The golden rule is to not spend time on platforms where you won’t find any readers. It is not about your own personal preferences but about your readers.

You might not like Twitter but your research has found that many of your readers get their information about books via Twitter. Then there is no way around it: You need to be on Twitter, too. You can use tools to plan your posts and schedule them to be published in certain intervals or at certain times. There is no need to be present all the time. Twitter can do a lot of the work for you, but first you need to learn how to use it!

The same applies for social media sites that focus less on the written word but on images like Pinterest. If you are publishing a cookbook, then Pinterest can be a good way to get in touch with readers by creating your own boards with images from your book.

Have a look at the various networks out there and think about whether they could help you in finding new readers or not. And if they could, then you need to be on them.

 

Build a community as soon as possible

There are numerous portals, forums, author groups as well as the so-called book communities in the world wide web. Those enable authors to network with other authors, talk about their book, communicate with readers, and get recommendations and advice. Use these groups to tell people about yourself and your book. One of the most popular communities is Goodreads (with which you can also reach readers on a variety of social networks).

Book communities like Goodreads are a wonderful meeting point for book lovers. New releases are announced, reviewed, commented on and recommended. As an author, you can’t afford not to know these communities well. You need to create your own profile and create book shelves for your own books, host book readings, write your own recommendations, and be active in suitable book groups.

 

Book shops and events

events and book releases

Image: tredition author Hans-Ueli Regius during a book release event in St. Gallen.

Large online retailers like Amazon make life harder for traditional book shops. However, traditional book shops are still the most important distribution channel for books in most countries. Authors should know about this – and take advantage of the opportunities book shops offer to authors. Create contacts to book shops and make sure physical copies of your books are well presented in suitable book shops.

This means – again – more research. You will need to find out which book shops would be suitable for your book. At the beginning, you should focus on local book shops around you. They can present you as author from the region, or local author. Book sellers often prefer to present local writers. If your book is unusual or has something special to offer, then your chances of getting a god spot in a book shop are even better.

It is important that the content of your book is great and that the cover is appealing. No matter what is said: people DO judge a book by its cover and general design. Personal contact to book sellers is important. Go to them in person, take a copy of your book and your press kit with you. Introduce your book to the book seller, be confident but not cocky. The first impression counts, and this is your chance to create a long lasting contact to the world of book shops. You can arrange book readings or book presentations in book shops which will help you as well as the shop. Offer some copies to the shop and provide them with information on how to order more copies.

 

Author readings

Author readings are a great moment to personally connect to your readers. But a successful reading needs to be planned well. You should put a lot of thought into where and when to organize a reading for your book.

Did you already find a suitable book shop for your book? Then talk to the manager and organize the event. Once the date is confirmed, you need to plan the details. What should happen during the event? What happens when? Introduction of the author, reading of certain passages, author interviews, questions from the audience, with or without music?

A good way to connect to readers and getting them to buy the book is to have a book signing session after the reading.

Of course, you need to get people to turn up for the event, too. The book shop will advertise the event in their store, but you will also have to use your own channels to get people to show up. The bigger the audience, the better.

Also think out of the box: Does your reading necessarily need to take place in a book shop or would there be a more unusual setting that is suitable for the topic of your book? Creative events will get more attention – and if you have a very special event, you might even get the local paper to turn up.

Online readings

Of course, the internet is also a possibility when it comes to book readings. You can film a book reading at home or in another suitable setting and then upload it to YouTube, Facebook, Google Hangouts and other appropriate channels.

Online platforms make it easy to organize events that reach many people without having to consider their location. If you have an international audience make sure that you get the times right and be precise about which time zone you are talking about. This is especially important when you do live streams.

 

Use your publisher’s expertise – Use your publisher’s marketing as your foundation

tredition marketing services

Image: Use your publisher’s marketing as the foundation for your own marketing strategies!

Work together with your publisher when it comes to the marketing for your book. Ask them what kind of marketing they can and will do for your book – and then ideally use their work as a foundation for your own strategies.

Our marketing includes work with the press (one press release for every book, distribution of of free review samples), Social-Media-Marketing, blog marketing, release of your book within book communities, specific book marketing for non-fiction and scientific books, and will make your book discoverable on search engines.

In addition, our tredition-blog regularly provides detailed articles about marketing topics, author interviews or reports about authors in the book industry. You can get plenty of advise and tips that can help you to prepare your own marketing plan. Take advantage of our publishing expertise!

Have fun with implementing our tips and adjusting them to your own needs.

We hope your book will be a hit!