Once the market research has been done and the target audience identified and localized, it is time to begin the promotion per se. Promotion can be divided in three stages:
2) Book launch
Today, we will explore part of the pre-publishing stage.
Ideally, the pre-publishing should begin the day pen is put on paper (or fingers on keyboard, these days) to begin writing the book. Yes, that is right, pre-publishing promotion begins long before the book is ready, that is the key to success.
If the market research has not yet been done, now is the time to really start. Let’s imagine a book retracing the travels of a red sock in an alternate universe. This is a sci-fi book with a twist of absurd. So the author will want to build or join communities interested in sci-fi, or in alternate universe, or in socks 🙂
The first tool to build such a community is to create a blog revolving around these topics. Not around the book, around the selected topics. That will build the author’s credibility.
By the way, this does not steal as much time from writing as it might seem at first glance, as writing post about these topics can be done in parallel to doing background research for the book itself.
Once the blog is up with a few posts, meaning the author has something to offer to the community, it is time to bring traffic to the blog and to engage in conversation with the target audience.
How does one do that?
This is where the ubiquitous “social networking” comes in handy.
For practical purposes, let’s divide these in groups
c) Social networks per say
Nowadays there are forums for everything. To find them, simply run a search in Google for your main topic, say “alternate universe” with forum next to it as shown below. Out of the 2.3 million options, there must be one or two that fit the general line of interest of the author. Then it is a matter to join the forum and participate in discussion. The plus side is that it might bring brilliant ideas that can then be incorporated into the book.
In addition, there are forums designed for writers, the best known and most efficient being Absolute Water Cooler and Kindle Boards where fellow authors are at the ready to give and receive help in any topic one might think of. It also gives its members the option of adding links in the signature that appears each time the author makes a comment, thus leading traffic to blog, Facebook, YouTube or Tumbler page as takes the author’s fancy.
Another good place for writers to build a community is GoodReads where, purely by friending fellow authors, one might learn a few tricks about promotion methods, and friending readers interested in the author’s genre or topic will create a ready-made target audience when the book finally gets launched. Also Authors Den gives the possibility to connect with readers and build up a potential readership.
Once again, running a search on Google about blog dealing with the chosen topic will yield numerous options. For social networking, blogs with a running flow of comments are best suited, as it enables creating relationship with fellow commentators.
The added benefit of posting comments on blogs is that most of them allow commentators to put a link to their blog or website, thus raising its visibility. Most of these links are “no-follow” meaning Google will not count them as backlinks (an essential tool to raise the position of your blog in search engines) but many other search engines will.