Whether you’re an author who’s recently released your fantasy book or a publishing company looking to drum up a little interest in a new title, you’re probably at least somewhat interested in promoting your book online. It’s a good idea, too! And there are several ways you can make use of social media to promote a fantasy book online.
What You'll Learn
Do your market research
No matter how you distribute or market your book, you’ll want to work online. There are so many interdependent relationships between online endeavors. Many authors find a website is their home base, allowing them to connect with visitors, post updates, review other people’s books, and sell their own.
There are a number of ways that authors and publishers can take advantage of their online presences when it comes to promoting books. In addition to starting blogs and adding blog posts to relevant categories, many authors and publishers begin to build mailing lists, where interested parties can sign up for more information about releases. Or you can work with other writers and authors, who may be interested in cross-promotion. Depending on the social media platform you decide to use, play around with the advertising tools to get an idea of how you can best target your audience. Don’t just take your book sales at face value — at this point, you’re not just hawking a product. Think about it as a concerted effort to build an audience for your book that will continue to grow after sales are made.
Establish your web presence
Make sure there’s a place for readers to find your website online, and that it clearly links back to your social media. Many readers will look first for the book’s website when they want to see more information about your book or see how it looks in print. This is particularly helpful for selling physical books, but you want to make sure you have a buy link direct to your publisher’s or Amazon page in order for digital customers to buy the book. If somebody is viewing your site, they probably like your book, so make it incredibly easy to purchase and have those buy buttons big and easily accessible. Make it easy for people to buy the books they want to buy, from a company they already enjoy.
Put your author website on your business card, and on any other pieces of physical collateral you distribute. Because you’re likely unaware of how much information about you people are scrolling past in the digital world, make sure they have a way to navigate to your contacts on email, phone, and social networks. From there, they can not only get to the other social networks you have a presence on officially, but they can also find you on the unofficial sites you might frequent. If they see that you’re active and entertaining there, they’ll be more open to your book.
Build your author website, now
It’s time to get your own website. It’s one of those tedious tasks that’ll make you sigh, and no matter how quickly you do it, the point of it will probably seem completely unclear. But that’s exactly why you need to do this as soon as possible! When you have a website, even if it’s just a basic one, people browsing out of curiosity can go through it and learn more about you as an author. They can get to know you better, find out your blog posts and social media handles, and be able to easily read more of your books, should they want to. It builds an “author brand” if you just throw a few pages of information together quickly, and once you do it there’s no going back!
Write a compelling author bio
There are some things you don’t forget. Your first kiss. The presidential election of 2008. And how Ed Sheeran pronounced “certain” on “BBC Radio 1’s Breakfast Show.” Your name is probably on that list in a few places, too, including your author bio. Even if you write under a pen name, your name is front and center for online promotions, a press release summary, and your selected author photos. To be fair, we writers put a lot of thought into the writing process. However, we often forget to spend a bit of time on the marketing side of writing. While an impeccably crafted novel can solicit an army of social media fans and garner general interest on its own, it’s easier to promote your book and avoid rookie mistakes when you take some time on a rock-solid bio. Developing an author bio might feel like an unnecessary step, but it’s crucial in shaping your image, leveraging your experiences, and impressing future fans.
Build relationships within and outside the fantasy genre
A key to a book’s online promotion is connecting with like-minded people who will want to read your book! Whether you’re independently publishing or working with a publishing company, expanding the number of your online followers will lead you to discover words that help you promote a book online. Guest-post on a related blog. Follow authors who write books similar to yours on Twitter and retweet their posts. Don’t be shy about seeking out opportunities to advertise your book! Recommend it to your friends and family members who join social media networks. Create author pages on Amazon and Goodreads, even if you self-publish, and talk about when a book will be released and how to get involved with the book as it gets closer to its release date. Publish writing samples on Wattpad and Commaful. Planning for a fantasy book more than six months in advance is a good idea — use forms from your publishing company to contact bloggers and small publications about promoting your book.
Once your book is out, the most important thing you can do—after thanking everyone you can think of, of course! — is to keep the momentum going. That might mean booking a few appearances or even going on tour, and whatever route you go, you’ll need to lay a couple of these online promotion tactics out on the road ahead of you. After all the hard work you’ve been putting in, it’s well worth it.