4 Book Marketing Tips to Engage Your Readers
Converting and keeping readers engaged is a lot like a relationship.
Just going through the motions with your book audience won’t get you very far. If you want to take things to the next level—a purchase, followed up by another, and another—you need to master the art of engaged marketing.
What is Engagement?
To stick with the relationship metaphor, engagement is flowers or tickets to the game. It is also authenticity and candor. Engaging your readers is giving them a reason to stick around and further explore your brand and your books.
Satisfying your book audience is great. Create positive experiences that they don’t find with other booksellers and you will most likely make a customer for life.
So how do you use engagement to create an outstanding customer experience? By delivering value.
Value can take shape in a variety of ways. It also takes a little experimentation. Authors and publishers who want to engage their book audience need to put themselves out there and go a few steps beyond traditional book marketing to create true value.
The following book marketing ideas are a good place to start:
1. Engage with Free Books
This is one of the best ways you can appreciate any potential reader. Everyone loves free stuff. There is a whole school of thought behind giveaways and how they work to increase customer engagement and conversions. Plus, there’s a lot you can gain from free giveaways, such as capturing leads & increasing traffic. Here are a few ways to get started:
- Capture Leads by offering a free chapter of an upcoming new release when a reader signs up for your newsletter
- Increase booth traffic at a publishing conference by giving away a supplement to a known best-seller
- Drive online traffic by posting promotional codes for a free book on your website or through social media
Getting a free book is a truly enjoyable experience. Your book audience will remember and appreciate your generosity.
2. Engage with Signed Books
Few things are more wonderful to readers and book fans than the intimate experience of obtaining a signed copy.
It is no surprise that author signings are some of the most popular book events for readers. Publishers and authors who take time out of their busy schedules to hook up fans with a personalized version of their books are scoring big points in the outstanding customer experience column. A few ways you can offer signed books are:
- Through a landing page on your website
- Creating contests on your Social media accounts
- Sending a targeted email campaign to select readers
Whether a signed book is for collecting or to provide an enhanced reading experience, it’s a level of appreciation your book audience will always remember.
3. Engage with Social Media
Use your social media accounts to provide value-add content and make your audience feel like they are part of your inner circle. Value-added content runs the spectrum, from your blogs to industry news to posts in community forums.
Avoid constantly pushing out your sales driven-content. Post content your book audience will find useful and entertaining. A few examples of how to best use social media are:
- Offer behind the scenes access on Instagram, posting a photo of the cover artwork for an anticipated new release, or a short video clip of an author interview
- Make your readers part of the conversation with a poll on Twitter, asking which book in a series was their favorite.
- Give a glimpse into a best-selling author’s writing process, using Facebook Live to conduct a Q&A session with fans
- Invite reviews of a new release on your Goodreads page.
4. Engage with Your Brand
By brand we don’t mean a cute logo or catchy name. In the world of book promotion, brand means your personality.
An engaging brand offers a true air of authenticity. In your book promotions, try to maintain a consistent voice—one that is friendly and relatable, enthusiastic and fun.
Get to know your book audience. Demonstrate an interest in their lives. Examples of how to do this are:
- Insert a “reader of the month” section into your newsletter, or provide the latest comments from your social posts
- Create handouts or signage for conferences that are witty and attractive, often considering the specific theme of the show and audience
- Have fun with your website content by creating a sense of belonging with interactive videos & visual displays
You can’t expect readers to engage with you if you never make an attempt to engage with them.
Be Engaging and Sell More Books
These are just a few ideas of how you can go above and beyond with your book audience. As a publisher or author, you are in charge of managing relationships with your book audience. Like every relationship, you need to put in the time and effort to get the most out of it.
So be engaging. Be courageous in defining your relationship with readers. Reward your book audience with freebies, kindness, and authenticity and you’ll keep them satisfied and capture every potential sale.