Top 10 Book Promotion Tactics

This post, from Graham Storrs, originally appeared on his site on 2/6/2010. 

A survey of book promotion tactics was conducted by The Savvy Book Marketer in December, 2009, and is reported today. It asked a number of authors what their book promotion strategy would involve in 2010. You can check the method and the outcome there. I just want to look at the list of tactics they came up with and try to get a feel for how appropriate they might be for marketing an ebook. The list, most popular at the top, is this:

  1. Social networking and social media
  2. Blogging
  3. Seeking book reviews
  4. Seeking testimonials and endorsements
  5. Press releases
  6. E-zines or email marketing
  7. Radio and television talk shows
  8. Speaking or teleseminars
  9. Article marketing
  10. Book signings

There are some obvious things to say about this, so let’s say them first. The people surveyed clearly included a lot of non-fiction authors. So I can eliminate items 8 and 9 as not really relevant for a novel. I can also eliminate 10. With an ebook, there is nothing to sign, and, for that matter, no reason why a bookshop (the traditional venue for such things) would let you in the door. So that leaves:

  1. Social networking and social media
  2. Blogging
  3. Seeking book reviews
  4. Seeking testimonials and endorsements
  5. Press releases
  6. E-zines or email marketing
  7. Radio and television talk shows

1 and 2 are no-brainers. Anybody with a book to promote in any format and little or no money to spend, will be all over the social networks and blogsphere.

Seeking book reviews (3) might also seem obvious but it isn’t an avenue that is open to ebook writers in most genres. Where ebooks have been popular for years – in erotica and romance – there are dozens of popular and authoritative review sites on the Web. In all other genres, book reviewers will almost never review an ebook. Only rare exceptions exist among the popular review websites and online magazines. I am unaware of any exceptions among the major offline reviewers. So we can scratch that one. Over the next decade, as it becomes normal to release ebook-only novels (and as more reviewers buy ebook readers!) this will change. But in 2010, ebooks just don’t get reviewed.

Read the rest of the post, which includes commentary on the rest of the list of promotional tactics and how they apply (or don’t) to ebooks, on Graham Storrs’ site.

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