It’s an exciting time to be an author, especially as we’ve just entered NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). But whether you’re attempting to write a novel in a month, or you’re just plodding along, trying to finish the book you started writing earlier this year, it’s never a bad idea to consider adding in some book promotion elements that you can tie into your book marketing once the book launches.
Speaking of book launches, if you’re getting ready to publish, I’d love to help you discover your book launch options and chat about your book marketing goals!
You’ve probably all seen things like product placements, where a box of Kleenex is strategically placed and someone reaches for it, saying something like: “Would you like a Kleenex?” That’s some great product placement. It subtly mentions the brand, in context of the movie. Hallmark movies does this a lot – and if you look for it, you’ll start seeing it in more places. It’s smart marketing, not just for these products, but for your book promotion, too. Because carefully crafted angles can create opportunities for some really fun—and useful—book marketing strategies down the road. Let’s take a look at a few, and brainstorm some new potential book promotion angles along the way.
One of the easiest ways to build a book promotion angle into your book is to set the story seasonally. The Christmas season is a good example of this, thanks to many of us taking our cue from Hallmark, dozens upon dozens of books that tie into Christmas are flooding the shelves. But there are many more holidays to pick from if a Christmas-centric book isn’t your thing. Consider Valentine’s Day, July 4th, Memorial Day, or even a summer-specific setting. All of these can make great angles for your book promotion. Plus, don’t forget about January-New Year New You tie ins, for those of you writing about a protagonist who needs a fresh start.
Specific Situations and Causes
I’ve worked with authors who write in great characters who are facing very specific challenges. Like recovering from an illness, or have some sort of handicap. I’ve also seen authors write about domestic abuse, but then never use it in their book promotion. An example of this might be promoting those books during specific awareness months. And there are awareness months for a huge number of causes from Juvenile Diabetes to Domestic Abuse, Breast Cancer to Autism, and more.
If you wrote about any particular topic like this, you probably have some personal tie to it. Maybe it feels strange to use this as a book promotion angle, but it shouldn’t. If you wrote this into your book to raise awareness, why wouldn’t you want to target a specific awareness month, or group? Some years ago, I worked with an author who wrote a book about a young man who battled epilepsy. Her personal tie-in was that her brother struggled with this, so she felt passionate about raising awareness on this topic. We went after specific awareness groups and wound up getting a lot of great book promotion because of it!
People and/or Jobs
We have an author who has written an entire series of books featuring military heroes. Her book promotion covers her market (romance) and the books are also set during specific holidays, but she’s also going after these specific markets around the military, like Veteran’s Day. Honoring those who served. Whatever the job, maybe you have a character who is running for Mayor (although by the time you read this, another Election Day will already be here), but there might be another fun opportunity to weave a sidebar story about this into your book promotion. We’ll look more at additional character stories in a minute!
Besides the obvious holidays, there are also many unique days like Peanut Butter and Jelly day, Get Organized Week! or Fire Prevention Month that you could potentially tether your book promotion to. And while these may seem a bit too obscure, you could have some fun, even in a blog post about a particular character. For example, in a recent series we are promoting there are a number of people in the small town it’s set in who run eateries. What if, on National Cheese Pizza Day, the author rolled out some really fun ways to dress up your cheese pizza, and branded it to a specific restaurant she mentioned in the book? Bringing a book to life using these kinds of angles may not change the trajectory of your entire campaign, but they do become fun anchor points for your book marketing. (If you’re looking for lists of these monthly observances, I post about some fun ones each month!)
And speaking of recipes, years ago I worked on a book called Cookin’ for Love. The protagonist was a cook book author and, at the end of each chapter, the author included a personalized recipe. One was called Orgasmic Cookies. We ended up getting recipe cards printed up and a bakery local to her agreed to make them so we could send out one cookie with each book that was requested. Now, with all of the visual marketing out there on book marketing sites like Pinterest and Instagram, you could really help to drive some attention to your book. No, you aren’t selling a cookbook, but whenever I’ve used this tactic in book promotion campaigns, it’s always gone over extremely well.
Bringing Characters to Life
One fun thing, in particular with fiction, is that you have the opportunity to really bring characters to life. I mentioned the recipes and focus on various jobs, or other book anchor points. But what if you turned your book promotion attention to different ways to bring characters to life and sharing that with readers in your books? This is particularly fun with eBooks.
One author we worked with who wrote a series set in a small town and featured one character in each novel, really pushed this when she’d create things like wedding boards on Pinterest when a character got married. Another idea is fun gender reveals when a character becomes pregnant. With eBooks, this becomes an easy thing to do. You can update links in your book and bring characters to your website – maybe via a blog post where you share some fun sidebar stories (we’ll talk more about character stories in a minute). This is a really great crafty way to keep readers engaged with these characters via some well-placed book promotion. Consider, as you’re writing your novel, what you might want to do here. Even if you aren’t writing a book series, this is still a really fun thing to do!
Additional Character Stories
This may not be something you can write in, per se. But as part of your book promotion have you ever considered creating a space for some sidebar stories with popular characters? We worked with an author who wrote a detective novel and then, on his blog, created additional short stories that the detective would solve. This gave the author some fun blog content, but also gave readers a reason to check back with him, too!
Ultimately, these baked-in book promotion ideas are a lot easier to build into your story than you may think. Not only are they a fun way to get a solid leg-up on your book promotion efforts before you even finish your novel, but they might just help make your storyline more well-rounded. Plus, you might already have a solid start without even realizing it! So make a list of some of your top characters and settings, and look through these seven book promotion ideas. Baking in even just one of these book marketing tie-ins will give you a great place to kick off your own book marketing.