Writing a book is not easy. Finishing one is a major accomplishment, but it doesn’t stop there—you still have to get people to read it. In the Internet age, online marketing is one of the most convenient ways to get word of your book out to potential readers. The Internet is an accessible advertising platform, but utilizing it is not a walk in the park. What makes for effective online marketing? Digital marketing experts have come up with answers, and it’s not just about posting promos and spending money on them blindly.
Consumers (including potential readers) are already bombarded with tons of advertisements every day. Photos and videos are commonplace, so what catches the attention of these consumers? It’s skillfully written copy. A line or two of interesting words can convince your potential reader to take a look and be further persuaded to follow you. Eventually, this can become a purchase—another satisfied reader.
So what constitutes good promo copy? We’ve collated some basic tips to get you started with online book marketing.
Points of View and Characters: Know Your Audience
Any writer knows that you can’t please everyone, but you certainly can please a certain group. The Internet is already filled with a lot of clutter from millions of people talking about their lives, and businesses trying to sell their products. Even the literary marketplace is already filled to the brim with publishers and authors competing for readers. The only way to be noticed in this platform is to go after specific audience groups. Consider the following:
Put yourself in the shoes of your audience. Generally, people go for things that satisfy their wants and needs, so talking about your book’s features will do little. Think about the kinds of questions that your books will answer. For example, your book is about a girl dealing with the death of her beloved puppy. Your primary audience will likely be people who are similarly dealing with the loss of a loved one.
You can also look at authors who are in the same genre and have similar styles. Chances are their readers will also enjoy your work (you may even get to be friends with these authors!).
Note that you can have multiple audiences, but you shouldn’t be trying to reach all of them with one copy. Devise strategies and content for each one; each keyhole has a different key.
Plot and Style: Keep It Short, Sweet, and Simple
Writing effective copy is different from crafting stories. Promo copies necessitate succinctness and specificity cranked up to eleven. There is usually only a sentence or two to work with, so word economy is tantamount. You better not be using this short frame to try making every reader of one genre look at your book—it has to be far more specific than that. Fail to do this and your promo copy will end up in the trash bin of posts that have been dismissively scrolled over.
For starters, don’t go for something like, “This is the book that will change your life.” That’s way too broad, and nearly every book is like that depending on the reader. As much as possible, avoid describing your book with overused and hypersensational descriptives such as “riveting” and “titillating.” It helps to relate with the audience and talk about what they need; use simple words to promise them simple benefits.
For example, your book provides tips for overcoming stage fright. “This book will give you everything you need to overcome stage fright” promises too much and gives too little detail at the same time. Instead, try “Afraid of the spotlight? Get easy advice from someone who has conquered stage fright.” It starts with a relatable issue and then builds on helpfulness and credibility. Focus on what’s unique about your book and use it to write short but juicy copy that will interest your audience.
Setting: Choose Your Platform
From social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to search outlets such as Google and BookBub, authors and publishers have a variety of platforms they can use to reach their desired audiences. Having ads across multiple platforms is advantageous but only if they are all as effective and necessary. It is often best to start with one or two and succeed there before moving to other relevant platforms.
Think about their online preferences: Do they consume e-books? What apps are they on? Which formats of digital advertisements are popular among your audiences? Once you have this information, decide which kind and how many ads you’re going to run.
Keep in mind that the length and details of your copy will vary whether you’re writing a headline or a newsletter. In the former’s case, it has to be short and sweet, but for the latter, you can get into more detail about the book’s plot and what it offers. Play around with available platforms and run tests to see which is effective for your book and audience.
Theme: Key Takeaways
It’s a challenge to go from writing what’s in your head to writing to get inside someone else’s. Remember to consider who your audience is and to make your copies simple and specific. Targeted marketing ensures that your ads don’t get lost in the clutter of identical and mundane promo copies out there. Choose the appropriate platform for your ads and keep trying until you find the perfect fit.
Lastly, keep in mind that book promo copies are not an avenue for you to show off your writing prowess. It’s a chance for you to show readers why they should pick up your book.
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