Marketing Across Formats: Free your Book!
Regular contributor, Ben Cameron explores how and why you might choose to publish your work – and undertake marketing – across a range of formats.
Do you remember the good ol’ days, when life was simple and a book was a bunch of words printed on paper? If you wanted something to read you would trundle down to your local bookshop and the assistant would tell you all about the new books that were published that week. Well, those days were less than ten years ago and they were not necessarily all that good. Your book may well never have seen the light of day – unless, that is, you effectively won the lottery and got noticed by a large publisher – and readers were only a tiny portion of the population who would actually go into a bookshop. And the worst thing? If you did get your book published in one country, it would be unlikely to ever be read in another.
Now your book is no longer bound (in more ways than one) to the printed page. It can be an ebook or an audiobook. It can be interactive or intimate. It can be a big beautiful object on your coffee table or you can keep hundreds of them on your phone. Your readers may be in London, New York or Kathmandu and they can let you know on Facebook or Twitter exactly how much they loved your masterpiece. This is the age of opportunity, so let your readers experience your book however and wherever they like.
Now your book is no longer bound (in more ways than one) to the printed page. It can be an ebook or an audiobook. It can be interactive or intimate.
New formats open up new marketing and publicity opportunities. For ebooks, the website netgalley.com has become the go-to platform for publishers and publicists to promote books and generate reviews. There are several excellent websites that review audiobooks such as audiofilemagazine.com and booksforears.com. For every format you publish you need to run a new publicity and marketing campaign to take advantage of the differing opportunities.
Here are a few marketing and publicity tricks to try:
– Stagger the publication of your formats with several months in between if you want to spread out the time that you devote to marketing each format. It is easier to manage one format at a time if you have another job or are working on the next book.
– Promote each format across all types of media: Newspapers, magazines, radio/podcasts, TV/videocasts and online/blogs. The specialist reviewers are out there.
– Make the most of each format by including mentions of your other books in each of them and be sure to list every format with a link to buy on your website, on marketing materials as well as in the books themselves.
– Be sure to look out for news tie-ins to your book every time that you promote a new format.
– Shout about all of your book formats on social media; make it clear why each one is special and be sure to contact people and companies that cover each one individually. Make availability a marketing point.
Your book is so much more than words on a page; it is an outpouring of your research, imagination and skill. Your readers lead busy lives and need to be able to access your book in the most convenient way possible to them. Help them to find and read what you have to say and remember that additional formats can lead to additional opportunity.