If you’re a Christian author, and you’ve experienced the book publishing process, then you’ve likely done some book promotions in the past and experienced various results. I’ll even venture to say you’ve tried some and not had great success. So why not have a paradigm shift on the subject, try some new things, and maybe even get outside of your comfort zone?
I remember as a new author, I thought bookstores buying my book was the end all-be all to marketing my book. I just didn’t have the concept that with all the other titles being published out there and less and less space being allocated in fewer and fewer bookstores, well, my pipe dream was just nowhere near reality! Now 3 books later, I’m much wiser and in touch with the way things really are out there in authordom.
First, let’s look at the difference between tradition and the opposite, which is definitely what we’re going for. After all, traditional publishers no longer just do everything for you with regards to book promotion, so no matter how you get your book published, you cannot afford to keep a traditional mentality when it comes to marketing your book!
3.a long-established or inherited way of thinking or acting:
The rebellious students wanted to break with tradition.
4. a continuing pattern of culture beliefs or practices.
Antonyms: fresh, new, unestablished, unfixed, untraditional, unusual
So how about coming up with some fresh, new, untraditional ideas for connecting with your audience?
How to Promote a Book at Events
o Book reading / signing event in:
- Someone’s home
- A local restaurant or event venue
o Book reading / signing in:
- One author I know has done signings in wedding shops, high end boutiques, and gift & home décor stores.
o Destination venue
- One author I know sits outside of the PX and sells his military thriller
- Another author and her granddaughter dressed up in costumes from the book and did signings at a local warehouse furniture store that offers special attractions
o County fair or Homeschool convention
- Sometimes a group of authors in the same genre can set up an entertaining backdrop to draw attention
o Anyplace except a bookstore
o Speaking engagements
o Start small if you’re not experienced.
- Join Toastmasters so you don’t go into cold sweats when you get up in front of a crowd J
- Start with the local Lions, Rotary, Kiwanis Clubs.
- Develop an area of expertise augmented by your book
o Set up a workshop in your community to share tips on writing & publishing your book
o Local TV show – highlighting you as a human interest story
o Local radio show – offering your book as a resource for their audience (i.e. this is not about you selling your book… yes, that’s the desired outcome, but no one wants to feel like they are being sold!)
These are just a few creative ideas…I’m sure you can come up with some more. Make sure you are clear on what your book offers others. What is the benefit to your reader? That’s what they will care about, and you need to be able to communicate that clearly.
This next area of connecting with your reader is so immense, I can’t cover it all in one blog. So, let’s just start with some areas that you might be valuable to investigate.
How to Promote a Book Online
o Blog tours – Look for bloggers who cover your topic. See if they are willing to review your book and have you on as part of a blog tour.
o Reviews – Ask your tribe of encouragers to put reviews on Amazon, Barnes&Noble.com, ChristianBookDistributors.com and any other sites you can think of. Positive word of mouth is incredibly valuable as you build your foundation of readers.
o Social media – This is a great article offering some great tips on using Social Media to promote your book.
o Blogging – Develop your audience by blogging consistently on your topic, or guest blog on someone else’s blog who speaks to your audience.
o Article Writing (in fact, listen to the radio show I did on this very topic)
o Google + Hangouts or Skype — Do you have an audience who needs some ministry and a personal touch? They can be all around the country and you can bring them all together using Google+ Hangouts or Skype to do a bible study, a teaching, or just pray together!
o Youtube or Vimeo is a great way to share short videos and snippets of your speaking or teaching.
I’m guessing some of you might feel a bit overwhelmed with all of these ideas, but take some time to pray about them and see which ones are a good fit for you.
Let me encourage you to get crazy, get out of yourself, and take a risk! Come up with some creative, fresh ideas to get yourself in front of the people who need to hear what God is speaking through you.