There’s nothing better than a great campfire on a cool summer night. Maybe fireflies are also winking as tiny red embers lift into a gentle breeze. The tinder snaps and pops as an older kid pokes the flames, and maybe an adult helps a younger child guide a marshmallow into the fire for roasting, soon to be married to a graham cracker and chocolate square in a delicious s’more.
All of this happens because someone knew how to build the fire. One way of doing that is the teepee method, where kindling is placed in the middle of a fire pit and logs are arranged – leaning on one another for support – in a cone shape above them.
Today, I’m going to share with you a handful of strategies that you can arrange in a similar fashion to get some white hot sales traction, which is an achievement on par, for a dedicated author, to a magical summer night.
The book promotion ideas I’ve included below serve as a game plan that you can repeat multiple times throughout the year. I recommend following this outline at least once per quarter. If your book marketing plan includes multiple titles not in a series, you should rotate through them. If you have multiple titles in a series, follow the same roadmap for each title, in order, at relatively close, predictable intervals to build exposure and maximize on your minimal time and investment.
Schedule a limited time discount Amazon book promotion.
Yes, we’re starting with an eBook promotion. Discounting your book for a few days at a time is a solid author marketing strategy when you’re prepared to support it properly. That’s where most authors fail. They don’t support their own book marketing efforts enough and instead end up wasting time and achieving lackluster results. Success doesn’t happen in a vacuum, so no single strategy is going to make you rich or ruin all your other hard work – but you must be willing to take your book promotion ideas to the next level – and since I’m spelling this out for you, I know you can handle it.
Set up Bookbub ads to support your limited time discount.
Too few book marketing companies design their campaigns to cross promote their own efforts, and I definitely don’t see enough authors doing this. Any author can run a Bookbub ad when marketing a book, so plan to run them on the days your book is discounted and be sure to note the discount price in the ad. This part is crucial.
Run a Goodreads giveaway in prep for your limited time discount.
Goodreads giveaways are a small investment, but I strongly support working book promotion sites that are really used by readers (because many aren’t) into your overall book marketing plan. Goodreads is the best. But remember, run your Goodreads giveaway as a lead up to your discount days and make it clear to participants that a discount is coming up soon. This will require some delicate language to make sure you respect Goodreads guidelines and protocols, so make sure that you follow the site’s directives.
Submit your limited time discount dates to multiple book promotion sites.
As already mentioned, there are a number of book promotion sites, but many cater to authors almost exclusively, and their reader engagement is minimal, so when you’re spreading the word about your discount, spend your time wisely.
Do some research on discount eBook sites and newsletters, and you’ll have a go-to resource for the future. Check their social media; see if they share stats on how many subscribers they have. What are their guarantees, if any? Some have free book promotion services and some charge a small fee; do smart research one time and you’ll be set for the future.
Make multiple announcements to your networks.
A newsletter list is still important in today’s publishing market, and if you don’t have that, work on creating, at minimum, a personal network you can email. Most authors have professional social media accounts, or again, at minimum, personal ones.
Successful book promotion takes regular, engaging communication with your network because they’re the ones who are most likely to recommend you to others. Don’t waste this opportunity.
You should send an email and post on social to announce that a discount is coming up in a couple days, then email again on day one of the promotion, and then email a final time on the last day of the promotion. You can do more than this if you think your network is up for it, based on how often you contact them and post already. Use your best judgment – but err on the side of telling them more often than you think you need to – most of us are timid with the people we know, but that’s counterproductive.
And don’t forget to ask your network to forward or share the discount opportunity with their networks and friends – remind them how much you count on their support and take this as another opportunity to remind them to review the book on Amazon if they haven’t had time yet.
This is why these book marketing strategies work.
Each of these book promotion ideas is solid on its own, but at the end of the day just doing one or two won’t give you marked results. This plan is a way to use multiple strategies with the same goal in mind, in the same, short time period. A bonus is that this game plan also requires minimal effort, minimal prep time, and a reasonably small budget.
For those of you on a strict budget with multiple books not in a series, I suggest executing this as outlined for your strongest contender, your title with the most positive reviews with your largest potential buyer market and skipping the Goodreads giveaway for your lesser-known titles. Same goes for series authors on a tight budget: run this plan as outlined for book one and maybe two and skip the higher priced Goodreads giveaway for the other books.
The biggest takeaway from this is to support your efforts. A good rule is to support everything you do by at least two other efforts, and more if you can work it in. When you do that, you have a solid and structured book marketing plan that can bring you the warmth and light and magic of a carefully tended campfire.
So get out there and gather your tinder! Good luck!
Penny C. Sansevieri, Founder and CEO of Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a bestselling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. She is an Adjunct Professor teaching Self-Publishing for NYU. She was named one of the top influencers of 2019 by New York Metropolitan Magazine.
Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most innovative Amazon Optimization programs as well as Social Media/Internet book marketing campaigns. She is the author of 18 books, including How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon: 2021 Amazon Ads Powerhouse Edition, Revise and Re-Release Your Book, 5-Minute Book Marketing, and Red Hot Internet Publicity, which has been called the "leading guide to everything Internet." Her next book From Book to Bestseller is due out in Summer 2021.
AME has had dozens of books on top bestseller lists, including those of The New York Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal.
To learn more about Penny’s books or her promotional services, visit www.amarketingexpert.com.