Blogger: Mary Keeley
It seems counter-productive that giving your book away results in increased sales. I was unconvinced until I saw hard cold data. The trend continues for both traditionally and self-published books. The secret is to be strategic about how and to whom you give them.
Influencers are an obvious group to begin with. One of the best places to identify influencers is among reader friends and followers on your social media networks. Offer a free autographed book and a small gift card to anyone who will commit to spreading the word about your book personally or to their own social media community. Of course you’ll have to get their email address and mailing address. Keep a record of these for future promotions, announcements and newsletters. Ask your influencers to write an honest review of your book on Amazon. If you have more than 25 or 30 reviews there, Amazon’s algorithms boost your book’s exposure on the site. Offer them an additional digital copy they can forward to a friend if they write a review.
Radio Stations, Bloggers, and Other Media. Along with your free autographed book, include a professional cover letter with a brief description of the book, a brief bio, and your photo. Express your appreciation for any ways they would be willing to promote your book if they like it.
If you are self-publishing, you might also want to contact an editorial assistant at relevant magazine publications as soon as advance reader copies (ARCs) are available. Find out if they accept free books for review directly from authors. If so, send it promptly with a cover letter, reminding the assistant of your email or phone conversation. You want to get your book into their hands as early as possible because these publications are usually monthly or quarterly. If they agree to write a review, respectfully ask if they could fit it into an issue closest to your book’s release. It’s worth a try because a review in a print or online publication can reach thousands of readers.
Online Book Reader Communities. Who hangs out on these sites but readers, the very people you want to reach. Goodreads is the most well known, but there are others you might also want to explore, such as LibraryThing, and Amazon’s Shelfari. As other social media platforms change and these communities continue to grow in numbers, the genre groups on these sites may contain the greatest number of potential readers of your book.
Here is a link to some tips for effective giveaways. It is directed specifically to Goodreads but is adaptable for most of the other communities as well.
Indicators are consistent that the expense you incur in mailing free books will be recouped in multiplied sales.
In what online reader communities are you active? Where else besides social media have you found readers and influencers?
Data shows that book giveaways increase sales. But do it strategically. Click to Tweet.
Three tips for effective book giveaways that can increase sales. Click to Tweet.