8 Book Promotion Strategies You Can learn from Best-Selling Romance Authors
Romance is one of the most popular and beloved book genres. In 2017 alone, nearly 21.5 million books in romance were sold. What’s even more impressive is that the romance market is only growing. Every year, more romance books get published, purchased, and enjoyed.
Here are some tips and tricks to help you promote your own romance book and reach the masses.
Collaborate with Other Authors
Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Connie Brockway, three best-selling authors of historical romances, wrote two books together as a team. The YA fiction, What If It’s Us, is another product of collaboration between authors, specifically Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera. By writing a book together, each writer is able to share their network and expand their reach. You naturally get 3x the reach when you have 3 authors, each with similar-sized audiences.
Co-writing isn’t the only way to help or get help from another writer, though. Collaborating with other authors by shouting out each other’s books can also be beneficial. For instance, on his website, Nicholas Sparks recommended other authors’ works, such as Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove and Terry Kay’s To Dance with the White Dog. It’s also common for authors to tweet each other’s books out or promote each other’s email newsletters to reach more writers who all love romance.
Who doesn’t want a good deal? Many authors and publishers offer bundles to entice readers to buy not just one, but two or more books. Grabbing the bundle is usually less expensive than getting the books individually.
Maggie Dallen does this for some of her book series: “The Bet Duet,” “Briarwood High,” and “Dashing Lords.” Award-winning author Lisa Kleypas also offers bundles for her book series like “Friday Harbor,” “The Hathaways,” and “The Travis Family.” Different authors collaborate to complete collections as well. These collections are then sold into bundles, or boxed sets.
To do this yourself, find other authors in your genre that have similar audience sizes. Promote a bundle (or anthology) that will allow you to get each other’s audiences and help your readers get more content for less money.
The bigger the bundle, the more distribution you’ll get, and the better the deal you’ll receive.
Oprah helped a number of books become bestsellers just by recommending them in her TV show. To an author, her stamp of approval can be life-changing. While most influencers don’t have as much reach as Lady O, many can drive significant sales and reach for your romance book.
Bookstagrammers like @nightreads, @bribookishconfessions, and @bookbellas may only have around 10,000 to 20,000 followers, but they get a decent amount of engagements every time they post about romance books.
Find influencers that are followed by your target audience, whether it’s romance TV show accounts or book Instagrams and then reach out. Make a big list and reach out so that you can compare pricing and reach. Many influencers also won’t respond, so make sure you create a list of at least 100 influencers to reach out to so you get an accurate sense.
Get Featured on Fiction Podcasts
Fiction podcasts often involve book discussions, excerpt readings, and author interviews. Listeners are actively looking for new books to read, making them a perfect place to promote your book.
When Maggie Tokuda-Hall got her first novel published, she participated in a podcast episode of the book review site Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. Dr. Chuck Tingle, Alisha Rai, and Lorraine Heath are also among the writers who got interviewed for the site’s podcast.
Create a list of podcasts that you think fit your book and audience, and reach out! Make your outreach interesting and personalized. Before going on the podcast, make sure to listen to previous episodes to know what to expect before going on the podcast.
Give Author Interviews
When authors like Nicholas Sparks and John Green have new releases, expect them to get interviewed on TV or for a magazine. As a first-time author, you’re probably not getting interviewed on The New York Times, but you can still take advantage of author interviews to reach users. Take Martha Waters. As of this writing, she only had one novel under her belt, but she already scored interviews with BookPage, The Booklist Reader, and Hasty Booklist.
Start with smaller blogs, sites like Wired For Youth, which is relatively small and easy to score interviews on. Then move on to bigger and bigger sites once you can show some successful interviews.
Advertise on Facebook
Giveaways are among the common marketing strategies. On its Facebook page, Avon Romance announces giveaways and encourages pre-orders in exchange for signed copies. Harlequin Books, on the other hand, offers discount coupons on special holidays. There’s also a dedicated portion for deals where you can find discounted and even free books.
Tap Mailing Lists
Build your mailing list! Mailing lists are among the best tools for driving sales. Create a mailing list on your website. Give perks like discounts, giveaways, and advanced information on releases via email.
Publishing Multimedia Content
Great cover designs help books get sold. It’s proof that you can tap other media to promote your book.
Avon Romance, for instance, uploads their so-called audiograms on its Facebook page. Basically, audiograms feature an image of the book cover accompanied by audio of the blurb being read aloud. You can also find book teasers on the Facebook pages of HarperCollins. These two publishers, along with Harlequin and Berkley Romance, post messages from and interviews of their respective authors as well.
However, the most viewed book teasers and trailers are on YouTube. Epic Reads is one of the notable channels that upload such content. The channel also features free snippets of audiobooks and talks starring emerging and popular authors.
It doesn’t have to be videos, though. On platforms like Commaful and Tumblr, authors can use gifs as well. On her website, Shari L. Tapscott also has book soundtracks that feature songs that aren’t officially tied to her works, but she felt like the music resonated so much.
How To Support Your Favorite Author
Do you have an author you love who you want to support? Authors are always looking for ways to get their book out there and are ecstatic when you help them promote their books. Here are a few easy methods that anybody can do to help their favorite authors build their audience:
- Share a testimonial on social media: A positive shout out to your friends on social media can go a long way. Post why you love the book.
- Review on Amazon and Goodreads: Positive reviews on Amazon drive books up the rankings.
- Let the author know how much you love them: Writing can be a lonely and tough journey. Not everybody is extremely successful. Some don’t know how many people actually love their works. Tweet at the author. Send an email to them. Let them know how much you love their work.
To sum it up, when you’re promoting a book, collaborate and innovate the way other romance authors are doing so.
Guest Blogger Bio
Hayley Zelda is a writer and marketer at heart. She’s written on all the major writing platforms and worked with a number of self-published authors on marketing books to the YA audience.
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