The Big Day is fast approaching. The final edits are in, the cover looks great, and the blurb has been polished to perfection. Phew! As the numbers on your “Days Until Release” countdown wind down, it’s time to ramp up your marketing activities!
In order to help you brainstorm new release marketing strategies, we’ve gathered 17 of our favorite examples of authors and book marketers promoting new releases.
Social Media Headers
Facebook cover photos, Twitter headers, and other spaces for images are more than just ways to make a page aesthetically pleasing — they can be used to develop your brand! If you use the space strategically, social media banners can be effective ways to set the tone for a book or hook readers into a series.
1. Harlan Coben’s Twitter header
What we love: An effective promotion should command the reader’s attention, and Harlan’s Twitter header design does this well. This punchy banner draws the eye to all of the critical information: first to Harlan’s name, then to a simple-yet-powerful review, and to his upcoming release.
2. Danielle Walker’s Twitter header
What we love: This Twitter header embraces the concept of “show, don’t tell.” Because the graphic must fit the dimensions determined by Twitter, space is a precious and limited commodity. Danielle’s banner opts for photographs and images, rather than words, to deliver a plethora of information about the book’s contents.
3. Liane Moriarty’s Facebook cover photo
What we love: This Facebook cover photo features three different covers and dates for Liane’s novel, organized by country. The graphic delivers release information to readers from three different regions, without looking cluttered or oversaturated with information.
4. Lily Brooks-Dalton’s Facebook cover photo
What we love: Ever get a review so positive that you wish that everyone could see it? Lily spotlighted a glowing review of her new release in her Facebook cover photo so that anyone who happened upon her page wouldn’t miss it.
What better way to engage readers than to actually speak with them? Q&As are an opportunity for authors to connect with their biggest fans, and increasing their reach to readers worldwide. They give readers insight into who the author is — not only as a writer, but also as a person.
5. Lalita Tademy’s Facebook Q&A
What we love: Before this Q&A session, an event was created to make sure that readers were aware of the opportunity to speak with Lalita. The great thing about Facebook event invitations is that guests who RSVP receive notifications reminding them of the event as the date draws near!
6. John Green’s YouTube and Snapchat Q&A
What we love: Fans sent questions directly to John Green’s Snapchat account, which he later answered in a video on his YouTube channel. For the tech-savvy author, putting a twist on the traditional online Q&A is an innovative way to keep readers engaged. The Snapchat–Youtube combination for this Q&A also allowed John to reach readers on two diverse digital platforms.
7. Stephanie Burgis’s Reddit AMA
What we love: Stephanie Burgis hosted an AMA, or Ask Me Anything, on Reddit, a large online social news forum where users vote on and share content. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, where Q&As only appears on the feeds of followers, an AMA on /r/books is visible to a wide range of the site’s users, regardless of whether they have opted in to receive an author’s updates. This strategy allows authors to engage with both existing and potential readers!
8. Kristen Ashley’s YouTube Q&A
What we love: For this Q&A session, Kristen Ashley cleverly teamed up with a vlogger friend by guest-starring in a “cocktail hour” on her pal’s YouTube Channel. She then embedded the video in a blog post. Tag-teaming Q&As not only provides additional exposure for the interviewee and interviewer, but also allows an author to prep questions they’d like to answer beforehand.
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that all people want free stuff… and you can leverage this when marketing a new release! A strategically-designed giveaway can result in a surprisingly high return on investment.
9. Mary Alice Monroe’s giveaway
What we love: This giveaway asks readers to provide proof of a preorder to enter to win a prize. We love that every entry to this giveaway directly adds to Mary Alice Monroe’s sales numbers!
Also, the fact that the prize comes from a shop in Charleston, South Carolina — the setting of the new release — is a nice detail that makes this giveaway extra-memorable.
10. Mark Dawson’s giveaway
What we love: Mark promises to send readers two free ebooks in exchange for a subscription to his newsletter. This kind of giveaway is clever for two reasons: First, when readers subscribe to his list, Mark can send them an alert when a new book is released. If they love what they’ve read so far, they may buy the latest book at full price!
11. Jay Kristoff’s autograph freebie
What we love: This simple bonus offer is enticing to any reader who’s interested in an autographed copy of Jay’s book. They may be more inclined to jump on this offer because there are no steps required of readers, except to make the purchase!
People like to try before they buy! Giving readers a sneak peek of the latest book’s content can be a strategic way to not only generate buzz, but also drive preorder sales for those who enjoyed the sample they read.
12. Barbara Freethy’s excerpt
What we love: This suspenseful excerpt pulls readers in immediately. It surfaces enough questions to leave them hungry for more — Why is she in the water? Will she survive? What puzzle was her great-grandmother alluding to? — but also enough context to help them feel connected to the story. The links to preorder the novel are visible and easily accessible from the page.
13. Lysa TerKeurst’s excerpt
What we love: Getting to read five chapters before the book is released to the public is a tantalizing offer to readers who are on the fence about preordering! This can be a great giveaway strategy for authors who prefer not to give away full copies of their book or other prizes.
Including “limited time” language urges readers to snap up this offer now, rather than waiting until later to purchase the book.
14. Erin Watt’s excerpt
What we love: Beginning 14 weeks prior to Broken Prince’s release date, each week Erin Watt released an image overlaid with a quote from the novel. The “countdown” style of the posts is reminiscent of the adrenaline-inducing Times Square ball drop on New Year’s Eve!
Also, Facebook is a great medium because the readers’ ability to comment, like, and share multiplies the post’s reach with every engagement and also allows readers to interact with others who share in their excitement.
Peeks Behind the Scenes
Just as watching pizza baking through the oven window builds the anticipation for that first cheesy bite, updating readers on a book’s progress can generate excitement as the release date draws near. You can keep the novel on readers’ radar by communicating progress updates on major milestones, such as when a draft has been completed or when a book has been moved to production.
15. Brandon Sanderson’s progress update meters
What we love: Fans of Brandon Sanderson’s various series don’t have to look far to see the headway he’s been making on his books — the progress bars, which are updated regularly, are the first thing you see when visiting his website. Readers can not only follow the drafting, editing, and publication process of a novel they’re interested in, but can also discover other works in progress.
16. Lauren Blakely’s tweet
What we love: This short, simple tweet is the bite-sized bearer of exciting news. The photo of a typed-and-clipped manuscript is a fun, visual way to help readers feel like they’re right there with her in the process.
17. Michael Koryta’s tweet
What we love: Tweeting a photo of himself with copies of his books was a personal way for Michael to let his readers know what he’s been up to since the book’s release. A little touch of humor also doesn’t hurt!
Have you tried any of these methods? What are some ways that you’ve successfully marketed your new release?
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