Monday, June 17, 2013

How to Promote Books and Win Fans

by Jason Kong, @storyrally

Most fiction writers hate marketing their books.

You have to tread the line between awareness and overhyping. Because you have a vested interest in selling your work, others sometimes assume you're just out to make a buck.

Book promotion doesn't always have to be so unpleasant.

If you have published books and an online platform, then you also have a following. You have readers paying attention because they value your storytelling.

Instead of plugging your books all the time, why not recommend those of your fellow authors? It's a promotion opportunity you can feel good about.

The genuine endorsement

You know what this is like.

Remember the last time you read a novel that really grabbed you. You had to tell a friend, right? It's about finding that person who would enjoy the book as much as you did.

You weren't driven by a commission or reciprocation. The intention was to spread the joy, to make someone else's life a little better.

A book recommendation without expectation is a special kind of promotion. It had nothing to do with who wrote the book, and everything to do with whether the recipient would benefit.

So how does that translate into a professional setting?

Good feelings all around

Other authors are not your competitors. Maybe that was true once upon a time, but not anymore.

You're no longer fighting writers for a spot on the shelf. Digital media and self-publishing means the available space for books is now stretched to infinity.

Touting that you're the only author worth following is self-serving, but hardly true. Fiction isn't a commodity. Everyone has room to like more than one story or more than one author.

Writing, especially good writing, takes a lot of time. If you have a communication channel with your audience, then how are you rewarding their attention between projects?

When you come across a good story in your genre, use social media to share a good word. Make recommendations because you're confident enough in your ability and generous enough in your motivation.

With that mindset, you won't have less fans. You'll have more.

Jason Kong helps fiction writers with their online marketing. Subscribe to get free insights here.