Book Marketing During COVID-19 by Judith Briles

Book Marketing Forward … It’s a Wide WIDE Virtual World!

Oh-oh … the book launch or event you were planning this month has been turned upside down. A no-go. What are you going to do?

Libraries and bookstores are closed temporarily. You are in a self-imposed, self-quarantined environment in your home—what’s an author to do for book promo?

Authors “get” what working virtually is about. At least, some of it. My Friday Coaching group gets it—we meet on Zoom at 7 a.m. If you are working on a book cover or interior design, you aren’t hanging out in the designer’s office—you are getting samples and files via emails—virtually. My individual clients get it—they learn quickly that I will connect with them via Zoom or Skype. I want to see faces while I’m speaking with them, working with them and advising them. Some of these calls can last four hours!

The Internet has been your freeway for years now. Your post on social media—Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest—you name it. The Internet is your marketing town hall, something I’ve said for years.

No matter what you do, make sure you let viewers and listeners know that your book is available for sale and where it can be found. Create a customized link to make it memorable and easy. I use Bit.ly and TinyURL. With both, you will be able to view the number of click-throughs when people go to your book page. Now, the next thing you need to do is make sure your book page is compelling and pulls the reader in. You do want to sell books, yes?

Podcasts and webinars open your voice and wisdom to thousands around the clock. You’ve learned from others—why not flip the switch and you be the creator?

Now it’s time to tweak your laptop and Internet skills. Grow them. Live author events, in-person events with face to face gatherings are “on hold” for the time being. The brick and mortar favored locations are “temporarily closed” as are conferences and social gatherings. What has happened is temporary … what you learn over the next month in your skills and interactions will only expand your influence and presence. A good thing.

Do something different … how about creating an online book signing? 

How about doing a virtual presentation—make sure you include a registration link in your invite—as you announce to your friends, fans, fill in the blank, that you are doing a reading from your new book. YouTube streaming, Facebook live … or invitations only via an email blast to your personal lists; or an open invite where you post it on your social media platforms. For the platforms that have “events” pages, use them to post it out.

If you are a member of other Meetup groups—ask the organizers if they will make it an EVENT on their Meetup page.

Do a Google search for online book groups in your genre
Online platforms like Zoom, Skype, Facebook Live, Google Hangouts are suitable for discussion groups across time zones. Suggestion—have a signup form, meaning you capture their email address and then do a post-follow-up with the group. The meeting would be free—but, I would add a string attached. All in the club get your book. Prior to the start—send out a greeting and including some questions they may like to consider discussing.

How about starting a Meetup Group?
There is a cost to organizing one, from $9.99 and $23.99 a month, depending on location and the subscription model of choice. As the organizer, you can organize up to three separate groups. This allows you to organize up to three groups with unlimited members. Meetup currently is testing to lower the monthly fee … and adding in a registration per person fee of $2 for anyone who signs up for any of the group’s activities.

How about a virtual book signing party?
What?  How do I sign books when I’m not physically there? Well … there’s a twist. Those of you who have your books up on IngramSpark can tap into its feature: IngramSpark’s personalization. It will generate a special link you give your new fans where a “pre-signed signature and message” is sent to each buyer. Very cool. 

How about being featured on a podcast with you as a guest speaker?
Search on Google for podcasts that specialize in your genre or expertise. Pitch to them … remember it’s about what their listeners can take away. In the Opt-in piece on my home page, I’ve got boatloads of ideas on how to pitch to the media… get it HERE: https://thebookshepherd.com/

How about being featured on a webinar with you as a guest speaker?
If you are invited to be part of a webinar, do it. Or, how about creating your own?  Create a webinar on a theme that supports either your expertise or your book. Or, collaborate with others and be on a panel or be a solo presenter. If all the participants on collaboration are committed, they will be reaching out to all in their circles. The result: lots of emails are gathered. Agree ahead of time with all the speaker participants that they are shared … so each can build their email list.

Many of the video conference companies have free trials—usually up to 30 days. Try them out and see if you are a fit. I use GoToWebinar.com and Zoom.com

Ending thought: don’t make social media postings all business
Since we are all hunkering down … lighten up some of your posts. Share some fun. I’ve been in the kitchen—played around with new recipes last Sunday, making up a new quiche with fewer eggs …

 

I took a picture of it and posted it. It was what John and I would have, along with cranmosas, as we gathered virtually with a dozen of our friends for a virtual brunch. I’ve posted photos of the finches returned while there was still snow on my back deck. Your friends and fans want to know what you are up to. 

 

Your turn … what can you do to connect with your fans and future fans? It might be informational. It might be fun. But it should be something.

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and author of 37 multi-award books. She’s guided over 1,000 authors in creating their books, earned in excess of $3,000,000 in speaking fees based on her books and gathered over $2,000,000 in onsite book sales at her speaking gigs. Her book, How to Create a $1,000,000 Speech flips a difficult topic into a simple and easily comprehensible plan. If you want to get into speaking, this is the guide that will be the game-changer to success. And, if you want to know more about Judith’s life, her book of “hope” is When God Says NO-Revealing the YES When Adversity and Loss Are Present. You can get it HERE

Listen to The Book Shepherd’s weekly podcast: AuthorU-Your Guide to Book Publishing.

Check the Events tab on The Book Shepherd for Judith’s annual Speaking Unplugged, Book Publishing Unplugged, and Book Marketing Unplugged

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