Increase Visibility for Your Book, Part I & II

Book News Publicity

During 2016, I decided to explore ways to increase visibility for our books.  I looked at different marketing options and chose four to try: presentations, Facebook ads, e-mail lists, and contests. I’d like to address these options in more than one post as there is so much to share!

Presentations.  First, I did presentations in a local store and at a writer’s group.  I spoke about self-publishing (the topic of my book), and had books available for purchase at both venues.

  • At the local store, publicity included a small article in the newspaper and an appearance on the early morning news hour.  I gave a half-hour presentation on the basic steps of self-publishing. Unfortunately, the presentation was the week before the Fourth of July weekend and attendance was lower than desired.  However, books were purchased and the store ordered more copies.
  • At the writer’s group, publicity was targeted to their e-mail list and included details about the book and my credentials.  I gave a two-hour presentation on self-publishing expanding each of the basic 13 steps of self-publishing.  As a result, in spite of the poor winter weather, a large group gathered and many books were sold.
  • Conclusion:  Presentations are a great way to engage with an interested audience and let them see your expertise and personality first-hand.  Most writers will agree that if readers can meet the author, they are more likely to buy the book than if it’s just sitting on a shelf.

Facebook Ads.  I tried Facebook ads for books in two different genres.  I took the time to broaden the audience scope to include both readers specific to the genres and those in the periphery of the topics.

  • I experimented with placing the ads on different days of the week, and found during the work week to be slow in views or responses; Friday night through Sunday are more active Facebook times for someone likely to read a book.
  • I used a basic photo of the book with a brief comment and a link to the book’s website.
  • I did not use testimonials or reviews.
  • I did not spend more than $25 per ad campaign, and found the results less than rewarding.
  • Conclusion:  After viewing and clicking through on several Facebook ads, I found the ads that ran for at least 7 days and repeated after a couple of weeks were more successful.  The current consensus from publishing experts about Facebook ads is mixed.

Next week’s post will talk about E-mail Lists followed by Contests the following week.  See you then!



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