Here we go. The social networks are already built, the book is launched and now it is just a matter of keeping the ball rolling. Or is it?
Well, yes and no. Let’s see… Today, we will look at the immediate aftermaths of the book launch and tomorrow, we’ll get more in details about general ongoing book promotion.
Links to review gained from ARCs and to interviews on podcasts, radio show and TV shows are up and running, and of course, the latter also have been posted on YouTube and MySpace, even in the absence of network there, as every drop of traffic or exposure contributes to creating large lake.
Now it is time to maintain the momentum.
A) Within existing Social Networks
The first thing to do is to be well mannered towards both readers and blog owners of the blog participating in the blog tour organized before the launch and visit the participating blogs to comment on their post and to participate in the discussion in the comment section. This also applies to blogs posting reviews about your book. Not only is this a show of good manners in the virtual world, it also enables potential readers to connect with you, and feel they know you on a personal and thus raises the odds they will buy the book.
Raising traffic for the blogs hosting the blogtour by advertising in through your forums and other social networks and on your blog is not only beneficial to the host blogs, but also to the author as it reflects positively on the author’s personality. That is, provided this is done through expressing gratitude to the host blogs, rather than bragging about being invited there J.
Also, as soon as the book is out, add a link to your book, with a picture where possible, to your signature in the forums you are active in. That will raise awareness about the book every time you post a comment or a thread in these forums. Though posting a link to your book page or to the blog where it is sold directly might save you the percentage of royalties collected by Amazon, it also implies that it will not be counted in the numbers of sales from Amazon and will therefore not be included in their popularity algorithm. As visibility on Amazon is directly linked with the numbers of sales, it is best to keep that savings’ tactic for a time when popularity on Amazon is already firmly established.
B) On Amazon
Speaking of Amazon, not that your book is available there, it is high time to open an author’s page, where to introduce yourself to potential readers and add a link to your blog, so they can easily get to know you better.
As a yet unknown author, potential readers have no way to evaluate whether they will like your writing style. So, offering to download a few chapters for free enables the potential reader to get a taste. If he likes it, and wants to know what happens next, he will be sure to buy the book. If he does not, you might just have saved yourself a bad review. Never forget that what is on the Net never falls through it, it stays there forever, so a bad review on Amazon is extremely detrimental, much more than the damage from a disappointed reader who feels he has to vent his anger at having paid for something he deems worthless.
Then of course comes the pricing conundrum. What is the ideal price? Lots has been written about, the prevailing opinion seems to be that the most efficient pricing policy is to give a low price $0.99 or $2.99 for a limited period of time, so as to show you value your book while enticing potential buyers and then, when the number of sold copies has pushed your book into a visible slot on Amazon, raise the book price. Repeat the maneuver when the book’s visibility drops. Some are also studying the effect of price on the “also read” popularity, have a look at our guest post about ebook price strategy on Amazon for more on that topic.
Monthly posting on your blog about evolution of book sales numbers are a very popular item in terms of generating traffic (albeit mainly from authors hungry for this rare info about what they can expect when they put their book out there, or about how other authors already published are doing), but it is only practicable for self-published writers who have direct access to their sales figure and it runs contrary to Amazon Terms of Services, hence it includes a risk of being banned from Amazon, so it is a method to be used with caution.
This word of caution concludes today’s post. Come back on Monday for more tactics for the long run ongoing promotion of your book.