Let’s face it: marketing your novel is a tedious thing to do. You blog, you post on social media, but you’ve probably been doing it for so long and you feel like it’s not getting you anywhere. My advice to you?
But it’s not just about posting on social media for a half hour a day, posting everywhere you can think of about your book. I realized that, after posting so many hashtags and getting only a couple extra likes here and there on Instagram and Twitter. You have to post the right hashtags.
You have to think like a reader: if I’m looking for the next best book, what will I search for? How do readers come across new books and discover they want to read them? I personally stick to Classics and books that are popular today, except for when my cousin and best friend Melissa recommends a book to me.
Melissa is an avid reader with a collection a library would be impressed with, and she has a taste for some great finds. So when she tells me about a book she’s reading, I usually add it to my ‘want to read’ shelf on Goodreads.
A lot of other readers learn about new books the same way—from word of mouth, typically by friends, or people they have conversations with about a book they’ve both read, like book clubs. They also read reviews by others and if the review is good, they might be inclined to try that book out too.
I’ve found that one of the best ways my book The Lerewood is getting attention is through reviewers. I’ve made that my top priority in marketing my book, trying to get as many reviews posted on Amazon and Goodreads as possible. More reviews equal more traffic, and more attention.
Recently I posted a giveaway for a free signed copy of The Lerewood on Instagram. It got a bunch of likes, and the photo got a lot of comments from readers who wanted to win the book. After leaving the contest open for a full month, I chose my winner. She ended up living in Australia, and so I paid to ship my book across the world to get a review from a book reviewer who has over a thousand followers! Soon after I chose my winner, I started getting messages from other reviewers who were interested as well and wanted to know how to get a copy of my book. I sent my book to another reviewer in exchange for a review, and she posted the photo on her Instagram. She also designed a custom book mark to match the cover! In the comments, someone even wrote that they read the book as well. I couldn’t believe it, considering this was the most attention The Lerewood has gotten!
Giveaways are another great way to get attention for your novel, but you have to use the right platform. I mentioned that a few months ago I posted a giveaway on Instagram—in total the photo got forty-five likes and fourteen comments. I also posted giveaways on Goodreads, Twitter and Facebook. On Goodreads, seven hundred and ten people requested it (from the last giveaway on Goodreads, five hundred and forty two people requested it). On Facebook, the giveaway post only got three likes after ‘boosting’ the post (227 people reached), and only one new page like. On Twitter, I got ten new follows after posting about my giveaway. One of the many tweets I wrote got one like. The winners from Facebook and Twitter never even messaged me back about their free book. In conclusion, if you’re going to do a giveaway, Goodreads is definitely the best place to do it. It can be difficult to get attention on other social media platforms, even if you’re giving your book away for free.
But I still solidly believe that by getting more reviews, I’ll slowly build the followers I’m looking for. For the rest of the year, my goal will be to contact reviewers and bloggers every day and try to get them to read and review my book. Think about it; when you’re on Amazon and you come across a book with hundreds of good reviews, does that influence you to buy the book too, rather than if it had only a couple good reviews or none at all?
It may cost a lot of my own money, but I think it’ll pay off in the end. I want The Lerewood out there and known rather than making a lot of sales. That way when I write my next book, I’ll already have a bunch of fans excited for my next work.
“The wood was pitch-black. Lingering in one spot did him no good and fear came quite easily, so Uallas found it best to walk again. He couldn't see a thing except the foliage, which seemed to cast an eerie glow. Even in the darkness, the trees acted as lamps, giving off the tiniest hint of green light. The light was so faint, it barely provided Uallas with guidance to see ahead. He could see only the trees that stood closest to him. He felt like the trees had the power to direct him to safety, but they wanted to torture him. They took away his senses and only granted him the vision they wanted him to have, and it was just enough to see the trees that stood like creatures with souls, creatures that watched him with rugged eyes deep inside their trunks. They wanted to scare and threaten him. The man could swear the trees were glowing, and only the trees that led to Ilere would glow, leading him right along that path without his knowledge. Somewhere, there could be a pathway coated in darkness, but it would be the pathway to safety and freedom. Uallas did not trust the trees. He did not like them staring at him.”
~Excerpt from Chapter 4 of The Lerewood
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Here you can find news on The Lerewood and what I'm up to.