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By The Bookollective Team, Jul 20 2017 09:53AM

Written by Aimee Coveney


Many authors assume that if you take a traditional publishing route that you would receive a marketing service to get your book ‘out there’, so for some it is a shock when that assistance suddenly stops. Self-published authors have nearly always had to achieve this themselves or employ the help of a professional, but what works in today’s market and why? For years marketing professionals have turned their focus online to digital marketing as well as continuing traditional local and national media such as print or radio. The reason for this is the transition of where readers are finding information and the rise of eBooks. If you’re thinking of creating a strategy for your digital marketing, here are some tips on where to start and how to build long-term visibility.


A Professional Website

Author websites have been neglected for years due to the rise of free platforms such as social media and blogging channels. More authors are once again realising the importance of a central place to include their information statically, which is under their sole control and allows them to target their own reader with content and visual brand. Free platforms are equally important for other reasons, but you have little say over the way your content is shared, displayed or whether it remains visible.


Selective Social Media

Social media has long been considered a springboard for independent authors to make sales, interact and stay visible. It is however a long held debate as to whether it’s more beneficial to have an account on all major platforms or fewer. It is my professional opinion that it’s unrealistic for most authors to maintain more than several accounts effectively whilst living a life offline and making time for writing. It may be a quick process to post online, but social media offers so much more, and when researched in more depth, they can prove far more effective.


The demographic of each social media platform is very different and if your primary aim is to reach your readers, it is vital to consider which profiles they are more likely to be using and the genre of your work. Below is a simplified list to get your started.


• Twitter is a fast-paced platform for instant news and content sharing, which makes it ideal for browsing and connecting with users. Authors have maintained a fantastic network across Twitter for years, as have readers, book bloggers and the publishing industry. A typical user of Twitter is more internet savvy and below the age of fifty with an equal split of genders.

• Facebook has the benefit of a fairly even demographic of user, both in gender and age, attracting over eighty percent of eighteen to forty-nine year olds. It also has a wide location use, enabling authors to reach a worldwide audience with any number of genres.

• Instagram has a reputation for a younger audience and that is still true, though a rising number of over thirties have begun to influx the platform. There is a dominance of female users and combined with an increasing book community, it is ideal for genres targeting young adults and women.

• Linkedin’s identity lies typically with business professionals and as an author it’s ideal to have a profile and can be used effectively by writers in all areas. It is very simple to update your profile with new work and media attention to keep professionals in the industry up-to-date with your success.

• Pinterest has one of the largest gender splits of all social media, with a huge female base. Traditionally it followed a similar trend to other platforms, starting off with a younger demographic and has gradually built a more even platform across eighteen to sixty-nine year olds.

• Snapchat; the youngest of these platforms is a fast-paced, bite-sized way of sharing material and is highly popular among younger generations, with older users only just beginning to tag along. One advantage snapchat offers authors is its daily engagement rate, with many users spending time on the app multiple times a day.

• Goodreads is the major player in book orientated social media, offering direct engagement between writer and reader. This makes it ideal, if not vital for all authors to use. Its user is statistically more geared towards women, but does offer a demographic of users across a wide age range.


Book Bloggers

Reviews are key for both sales and pride as a writer and one way to gain increased exposure is to approach book bloggers either directly or through professional representation. Book bloggers are passionate individuals who provide honest reviews and share your work across their established platforms. Most have submission criteria and waiting lists, so it’s always worth the effort to research and remember that they offer this service for free. Having representation through your publicist or publisher is sometimes a quicker route to bloggers, as they will have built up a trust of providing quality books and arranging successful blog tours.


Interviews and Articles

Using the topics and angles of both your book/s and personal life can make ideal features for online magazines and media outlets relative to your audience. You may gain a better route to editors through a representative, but it is possible to submit ideas directly after some investigation into their guidelines. Building up a relationship with these organisations can also mean future material is published with ease. The type of media used can vary and provide an author with a wide range of material to use across their promotional platforms, including written articles and podcasts.


Netgalley

Much like Book Bloggers, Netgalley attracts serious readers; many of whom have a professional or high scope of influence to attract your future readers. Netgalley can be costly, so it needs careful consideration prior to using, but the rewards can be valuable. Netgalley may even be an option your publishing company or publicist can help with at a reduced rate, but it is worth checking prior success with titles in your genre as popularity varies greatly.


Engaging Your Audience.

It can be hard to resist the temptation to try and do as much as possible with online marketing, however it is more important to focus on where your community is collecting. Online media is a major part of marketing in today’s book industry, however ensuring it’s targeted to your audience is the best way to gain valuable engagement. Be consistent with creating buzz around your work as creating a quality following and building your online brand takes time. Becoming disheartened if something doesn’t work immediately can be a hasty mistake. Taking notice of your online analytics can also help you decide the best route to take in the future.


This article was originally published in Writing Magazine, May 2017.




By The Bookollective Team, Mar 31 2017 09:43AM

Bookollective have decided to turn the tables to continue to help our growing community. As well as supporting authors and their books, we have a fantastic team of book bloggers (The B Team), who we work with on blog tours and reviews. Our design and digital marketing expert, Aimee, wanted to recognise them within the industry and will be interviewing some of our blogger team from time to time to showcase their blogs and what they do for the book market.


Today we are speaking to Linda from Books of All Kinds. Linda has reviewed a number of our books and we love how friendly and helpful she has been from the very beginning of Bookollective's collaboration.



Hello Linda! Can we first ask what inspired you to become a book blogger?

I have always loved books. I remember as a child reading anything I could get my hands on, which stayed with me all the way through University where I studied English Literature. After that I worked in a bookstore which was like heaven for me! So when I decided to stay at home to raise my kids, I still wanted to be connected with the book world and I started reviewing books for an American review site - Fresh Fiction. So after two years reviewing for them I finally worked up the courage to start my own book blog and I have never looked back.


That's amazing! So how do you now decide whether to review a book or not?

If it is an author that I am familiar with and know their writing then it is an easy choice. But when it is from a completely new author or genre for me, then it really all depends on the cover and the blurb. If it doesn't sound like my kind of story I don't want to waste their time or mine reading something that I know I won't like. Although with the exception of horror and true crime, there isn't much I wouldn't read! Lol. I have also built up relationships with some publishers and their publicity staff, so they will get in touch with me about certain books that they know I will like, which means I don't even have to make a decision, they know me so well.


So you really do judge a book by its cover?

I have to admit that yes, in some instances, I do judge a book by its cover especially when it is an unknown author to me. The cover has to draw me in so that I will read the blurb, and then decide whether or not I want to buy the book. I definitely think authors, but especially self-published authors, should invest in a good cover artist.


As a cover designer, that's just what I like to hear! Do you have a favourite book of the year so far?

That is an awful question - it's like asking me to choose my favourite child!!! So I am going to cheat and name a few from different genres that have really gotten inside my head so far this year: Sirens by Joseph Knox, The Returning Tide by Liz Fenwick, The Silent Wife by Kerry Fisher, The Mercury Travel Club by Helen Bridgett, The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel. Oh the list really could go on and on. I want to name so many!


Is there something you wish authors knew about your blog or blogging?

My blog is still really a baby in the blogging world (only 10 months old) and it is getting busier and busier, which I am so excited about. I review all genres with the exception of horror and true crime, feature guest posts, author interviews, spotlights, pretty much if you are an author/publisher and have an idea for promoting your book, get in touch. I always share my reviews on Amazon UK and Amazon US, Goodreads, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, etc. And when I love a book that I have reviewed, I always buy another copy because I want the author to be able to make a living and keep writing more books! But I do want to add, on behalf of myself and my fellow bloggers, we do this for free, and we spend a lot of time and energy on our blogs, so please keep in mind that we cannot read every book that we are offered.


I think that's really important for authors to keep in mind. Do you have any advice for authors looking for successful blogger reviews?

My advice is contact a blogger well in advance. Most of us have review schedules that fill up really quickly and it happens a lot where an author will get in touch and want me to review a book in the next week or two, and I will have to decline because my schedule is booked up a month in advance. So get in touch early. Check out the review policy on the blog first to see if they are open for reviews and what genres etc they cover, and address the blogger by name as it makes it much more friendly and personal. And be aware it might take us a while to get back to you but we will (one day I had 285 emails!)


Thank you so much for answering our questions, Linda! So finally, do you have any plans for your blog in the future?

My only plan is to keep spreading the love of books and hopefully people will continue to enjoy my blog. I recently found out that I had over 50,000 views and 22,000 actual visitors to my blog since it started which really blew my mind! So I hope that this will continue to grow and help authors sell their books. I would like to thank my fellow book bloggers who are such an AMAZING group of people and always so supportive and helpful with advice and sharing blog posts. I have never felt so included and I have made so many wonderful new friends through blogging, including the talented Bookollective team, so thank you all x


Visit Linda's book blog at www.booksofallkinds.weebly.com


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Esther

 

Favourite book:

To Kill A Mockingbird 

by Harper Lee

 

Best tip for authors:

Tell me your life story. It's the personal ups and downs and how you've overcome them that sometimes help us pitch you and the book.

 

Publishing career highlight:

My first byline in The Mirror and ghost writing a newspaper feature for a client that saw her get a phone call from the Defence Secretary saying how impressed he was.

bloggers

Our aim for the Bookollective blog is to provide honest and informative articles to help everyone within the industry and book world. Our team will regularly contribute articles, but we will also invite guest bloggers. If you would like to guest blog for us, get in touch via the contact page.

 

You can also find out a little more about our team below!

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Aimee

 

Favourite book:

Pride and Prejudice 

by Jane Austen

 

Best tip for authors:

Good design is good business; it builds your brand and conveys professionalism. As an author, your book is your business; don't let your hard work down with poor presentation.

 

Publishing career highlight:

Getting my first award for cover design! It's always an amazing feeling when you're acknowledged for doing something you love.

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Helen

 

Favourite book:

The Tiger Who Came

to Tea by Judith Kerr

 

Best tip for authors:

You are unique and so is your book, so create a unique publicity campaign that suits you. Most importantly, don’t quit - I always tell my authors that writing their book is actually the ‘easy’ bit, promotion takes patience and determination.

 

Publishing career highlight:

I was proud to be selected as a finalist in the Publisher’s Publicity Circle Awards for one of my paperback non-fiction campaigns, but my career highlight has to be winning the title of Young Business Person of the Year at the Inspire Business Awards.

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