Creating the Ultimate Buzz
A guide to preparing for release day
Creating a buzz for release day can make a huge difference on how your book performs. For avid readers of your genre or those subscribed to your updates, they’ll find you naturally as they search for new releases, but you really want to capture those who won’t and really bump those sales in the all important first few days. So here are a few tips and tricks to help grab attention.
Don’t start too early. A month is about right. Too early and you’ll either annoy people or they’ll forget about you, too late and you won’t reach your maximum audience.
Consider where your audience is. If you’re not a first time author, hopefully you have an idea where your readers hang out. If you are, do some searches, find blogs and forums that cater to your genre and track them down. I’ve found historical readers spend a lot of time on Facebook but don’t necessarily participate on pages whereas contemporary romance readers will. Twitter is considered to be better for those in NA and YA genres.
Don’t spam. Just because your readers are in a forum, don’t spam them. Consider other ways to reach them—interesting articles related to your genre, snippets from your story, or even consider writing a short story linked to your book and putting it on sites like http://www.booksie.com/
Create awesome graphics. Teasers are a great way of hooking people in. Make them stand out with beautiful images. Gimp.com is a great free program for creating teasers. Keep them short and sweet for maximum impact.
If you haven’t already, add your book to Goodreads or track down a librarian who will. Encourage your readers to add it to their To Be Read list by offering an incentive. I like to run a giveaway in which one of the entry options is to do this. You don’t have to offer Kindles and expensive prizes—handmade swag, printed bookmarks and even things like vintage jewellery can be very popular with readers.
Book a blog tour. This is one of the easiest ways of getting the word out and many tour providers offer great prices to suit all budgets as well as arrange reviews for you. If you can, book one for your release date. Ask your author friends for recommendations and do check out previous tours carefully as the quality of service can vary drastically.
Find reviewers. When you get your ARC, track down some reviewers. If you can have some reviews up on release day, your chances of getting more sales are much better as readers won’t be taking a chance on the unknown. A good source of reviewers is The Book Reviewer Yellow Pages.
Consider a Facebook event. Set it up a month beforehand and plan lots of fun games and giveaways. Not only does this introduce you to new readers and create a buzz about your release, it offers ongoing opportunities as readers will often want to friend you or find out more about your other books afterwards.
Research paid advertising. I highly recommend email lists as a great way of reaching new readers. Some can be very pricey—like Bookbub but there are others, such as ebooksoda, that are very cheap but have less of a reach. Book cover advertisements tend to be cheaper as they are less effective but I can highly recommend sites like Digital Book Today and the ereader café for a variety of options. Remember that these ads are not just about selling your book but creating an awareness of your name. It may not directly impact sales but it will help get your name out there.
Network. If blog tours aren’t your thing or you’re after a specific audience, reach out to fellow authors in your genre to ask if they will host you. It can be as simple as a blurb spotlight or an interview or guest post. Many authors will be happy to host you if you can write a relevant guest post that is sure to interest their readers.
One last handy tip—be excited! Readers will pick up on your enthusiasm. Tell them why you can’t wait for your book to be out. Explain how much you adore a certain character or why the setting means so much to you. It’s all about convincing the reader they will be missing out on so much if they don’t read your book. Here’s wishing you many sales!