~ Sankalita Roy
It was done quite unknowingly by me when I first saw my photo on a book cover, it was an out-of-the-world experience as I shared it on my social media platforms. It created quite a buzz as the people in my friend’s circle came to know about my book. They came out in my support when my book got released because knowing is what helps people to give a helping hand to you.
It might sound scary but the more people know about your book and its release before its completion, the more they will know about its existence. It creates a buzz, an excitement amongst your circle that gradually spreads out to other readers.
So, don’t fall into the trap of letting the world know about your book at the last moment, generate buzz about it, but how are we going to create a buzz even before we release the book? Let us investigate these seven strategies that can be used to create a pre-launch marketing campaign for your book:
1. Give your audience an easy way to join
The best way to build an email list is to make it easy for the audience to join you.
Every time you make a media appearance, serve as a guest blogger, post on social media, and provide a link to the people to sign up for your email campaign. The most logical place to do this is your website address. Keep it simple and make it easy for people to remember them and the place to sign up should be obvious.
There is another option that people who sign up for your email campaign be provided a bonus, like a free chapter of your book that is unique and the readers won’t find anywhere else.
2. Media appearances
You can create buzz by highlighting your media appearances. Plus, when that same video is approved by the media, it generates further buzz. These media appearances include videos and links to your email address that will help people learn more about your book and generate your credibility as an author.
It is better to appear on other websites as guest bloggers, or podcasts or collaborate with other influencers on social media platforms to gain the attention of the audience who are most likely to read your book. No matter how niche it may sound. A small audience reading your book is better than the riches who are more likely to skim over your article.
It is important to keep in mind that your aim is not to be a best-seller in one go, it is about building a community of audience who are going to support you. This is because as new authors, our work is to build our brand through our work, not fitting ourselves in strategies where people may not feel confident like buying your book.
3. Connect with your audience
Who doesn’t love a connection with the person they see through their Facebook/Instagram posts? Almost everyone, am I right? But how do we build a connection with the audience?
Take your audience behind the scenes of your writing journey. Share with them a day in your life as an author or any events related to your writing journey such as a book signing session or public speaking in a college campus. Reels work best in this regard. Add a newsletter to provide them with updates. If you want you can also ask the audience about their preferences regarding your upcoming book. Make them a part of your writing journey. You can also share the blurb of the book cover to let the audience guess what the book is all about. If you want you can also share emojis of your book title to let the audience, come up with the name of the book. As a result, the audience knows about your book, and it builds their curiosity and interest towards your upcoming release.
You can also create a founder’s list to let your audience know about the middle scoop and build loyal followers to dig deep down into your writing journey.
4. Design a teaser campaign
A promotional teaser works best for a teaser campaign. You can choose some objects that are related to your book to let the world know about your book release. It includes glimpses, clues, and expectations before launching your book. It helps to reach a wider audience and builds excitement about your upcoming book. Provide information with little of it to build buzz around your book.
5. Designate a hashtag
Hashtags are the best way to help the audience find your book. For example, if I type #writersofindia on Facebook, I will come across posts that are used by people with this hashtag. Once I was working as a compiler at a company, where the project head advised us to use #writersofindia to find the maximum number of writers on Instagram and Facebook in India. Similarly, you can also create a hashtag that is easy to remember such as the title of your book or the topic on which your book is based such as my book, Some Unbothered Truths, whenever I post stuff related to this book, I write hashtags such as #someunbotheredtruths#sankalitaroy#childhoodpoems#adulthoodpoems and so on.
6. Organize a countdown to build excitement
Countdowns are the best way to build excitement around your new book. It not only creates excitement but also builds reminders for your audience to buy your book. You can easily build posters for your book countdown every day using Canva. All you have to do is to build new graphics for each day with its name changed and constantly expose information around the launch of your book.
7. Develop consistency across all social media platform posts
While posting across all social media platforms ensure that you post the same thing across all the social media accounts. For example, if you work with a top photographer always do so. If you write in big bold black fonts on social media, do the same across all the social media platforms. This will keep the social media branded and it would feel like everything is coming out of the same place.
8. Post constantly that too at the right time
Posting constantly is important but what is more important is to post across social media platforms at the right time. Say if your target audience is most active at 7 p.m., then you should post at 7 p.m. As a result, your post will not only reach your target audience but it will also spread to other people across social media platforms. However, to post anything on social media, it is better to make it post-worthy that is to make it attractive, and genuine and don’t forget to engage the audience. While scrolling through our Facebook, we sometimes see that one of our friends has commented on a certain post that reaches us. Thus, it is better not to underestimate the power of posting along with the day and timing.
Like, you can post something important on weekends because most people are at home relaxing and scrolling their phones, consequently, they would pay more attention to what you have just shared.
9. Jump into conversations
It is always good to take small steps rather than large steps when you are trying to build your target audience. The thing that matters is your effort to genuinely address concerns you may want to work for the welfare of animals, You may choose to share some of the stories surrounding dogs and cats on your social media platforms to bring a buzz about your book.
It is good to keep the audience in mind and share more information when they request you to do so. Thank them when they comment on your post. Engage with the people who are engaging with you. Don’t forget to bring your authenticity while engaging with your audience, they are the ones who are your real supporters.
As I have checked other authors’ social media platforms, do not forget to thank the audience when your page has 3K,4K or any other milestone number of followers. Celebrate all the significant dates like Christmas, and Teacher’s Day to allow your audience to reach you.
10. Engage your users with contests
This is one of the plans that I have in mind for my third book named ‘My Pets Raised Me Right’, so to create a pre-book launch buzz, I will organize a contest where I will share a video about the title of my book and why it is so, then I would ask the audience to share their own stories with a minute video. The best five stories will be shared on my Facebook page and Instagram page along with the hashtag #mypetsraisedmeright#sankalitaroy. Each winner will be given a signed copy of the book.
These contests encourage the hype and increase the excitement around the author’s book.
11. Don’t neglect calls for action
In marketing terms, a call to action or CTA is the part of your content that encourages your audience to take specific action as a result of your instructions. Straightforward examples include, ‘call now’, ‘buy now’ and ‘learn more’. In a digital marketing context, it often leads you to other sites to complete the action. This can be linked to Amazon and Flipkart where your book is available.
This call to action cultivates brand awareness and positive associations in the end your audience needs to take some sort of action for your brand's success.
A call for action taps into human psychology, igniting our curiosity, our predisposition for anticipation, and our understanding of the behavior and reward exchange: for example, the contests that I have discussed with you earlier.
Do not forget to make them look beautiful and stand out from the rest as you want to make sure that your users stop their endless seas of scroll when they see your post and calls to action, You stick out for the right reasons.
One such example can be asking your audience, say the book reviewers, to like and follow your page and tag two of their friends in the comment section to let them reach your page and learn more about you. As a reward, they would be offered a free signed copy of your book to review.
Hope these tips help but there is another important thing that you must have come across through research which is pre-ordering the books you must be wondering why, so here is your answer.
As new authors, it is often a daunting task to build your target audience but surely and slowly, you are going to do it. It is never easy for me to let the entire world know who am I, what have I achieved so far and how my work is. It will not be easy but it is not impossible. I remember going to Kolkata Book Fair 2023 where my anthology named Kolkata Diaries Volume 3 is available but no one is willing to buy the book because we are not as famous as the authors who have reached great heights. Moreover, why should people why your book when they don’t know who you are?
To build trust and spread your work through word of mouth takes time, sometimes your websites help you to reach the target audience but to pre-order the book campaign is a bit foolish according to me. Authors like Jay Shetty also had a pre-order book campaign for his book named Think Like a Monk but we are not Jay Shetty. Sometimes, pre-ordering your book takes time and effort which is mostly useless even with the print-on-demand option and limited number of books published.
Creating a buzz around your book is effective only when it is done in the right way at the right time. Remember that and go ahead with your ventures.