Welcome to Part 3 of "Building An Author's Promotional Package," the final and thrilling conclusion! In Part 1, I talked about writing your book description. Part 2 covered images and quotes. Today, I will talk about two more things you should include, one you can include and one that, in my opinion, is not necessary but is a damned great idea (because I thought of it, you see). Onward!
Once you've told people all about your great book, shown them how cool the cover looks and shared what others have thought about it, you want to get them to a place where they can buy it or at least stay connected with you. This means links. These are some of the links that you can provide:
1. A link to a static page dedicated to your book. This can be a page on your website (like this one for Short Stories) or a blog post about your book. If you book isn't out yet, you want this to be the go-to page where you will provide links to all the various places people can buy the book once it does come out. If your book is out, link to this page but I would also recommend providing links in your promotional package to the most popular stores.
2. Your blog, if you're not linking to it as mentioned above.
3. If you have other books out, your Amazon profile page.
4. Social media links (your Facebook and Twitter accounts, for example).
5. Your book's Goodreads page.
6. Any other places your book is mentioned/featured/reviewed.
Try not to go overboard on links, or people may not know where to start. I'd keep the number around eight, definitely under ten.
V: A COMPLIMENTARY COPY
The people who are hosting your book announcement on their blog/website are doing you a huge favor. It would be good form to give them a complimentary eBook copy of your book in return. But this is not purely altruistic. There is the possibility they will read the book and like it enough to post a review for you. This will be especially important early on, when your book is new. It is also a good idea to get your complimentary copies out at least a week in advance so they have a chance to read it before the official release.
VI: BOOK EXCERPT (OPTIONAL)
You may, in your promotional package, include a thrilling excerpt of your book. However, this will tend to make the book announcement rather long-looking, and people may skip over it. I would instead recommend that you post an excerpt on your own blog/website and provide a link to it in your promotional package.
VII: SOCIAL MEDIA BLURBS
Okay, this is the damned great idea: social media blurbs. What are those? A little while back, I realized that a lot of people are willing to tweet/announce my book when it comes out. The people who are hosting you on their blog/website are especially willing to do this. So I decided that I would try to make doing so a bit easier for them and, in the process, increase the likelihood that they would do it. A social media blurb is simply a pre-written message advertising or announcing your book. Instead of having to write something and copy and paste the link themselves, your friends and fans can just copy and paste these pre-written blurbs. I recommend making some for Twitter, adhering to the 140-character limit, and some for other social media sites, like Facebook, where you have a bit more room to work with. If your book is already out, you can link to the most popular stores. If not, you can link to the static page for your book. I recommend providing 4-6 for each type of site so they have some variety. Here, for example, are the Twitter blurbs I will provide in my promotional package for Short Stories:
Read SHORT STORIES by Michael K. Rose: “…the purest form of literature…” http://www.michaelkrose.com/short-stories #SciFi #Kindle #Nook @MichaelKRose
Michael K. Rose’s SHORT STORIES is “…as rich as a bottle of Montrachet 1978…” http://www.michaelkrose.com/short-stories #SciFi #Nook #Kindle @MichaelKRose
Get SHORT STORIES, #SciFi author Michael K. Rose’s new release. “Prepare to be immersed!” http://www.michaelkrose.com/short-stories #Nook #Kindle @MichaelKRose
#SciFi author Michael K. Rose’s newest release is available for #Nook, #Kindle & in print. Get it here: http://www.michaelkrose.com/short-stories @MichaelKRose
Michael K. Rose’s SHORT STORIES is “…as tasty as a generous cut of Wagyu beef.” http://www.michaelkrose.com/short-stories #SciFi #Kindle #Nook @MichaelKRose
New release by @MichaelKRose, “...an insightful, compelling writer with a talent for nuance and timing.” SHORT STORIES: http://www.michaelkrose.com/short-stories
So what elements do we have in common? First, my name and the title of my book. Those are obvious. We also want the link, which you can see is my website page dedicated to Short Stories. Most of them also have a short quote from reviews that I have previously solicited. Finally, I have tried to include two Twitter-specific things: appropriate hashtags (such as #SciFi, #Nook and #Kindle) and my Twitter username so I can see when people post these and thank them.
A social media blurb for Facebook or similar sites could look like this:
Michael K. Rose, author of SULLIVAN'S WAR, releases SHORT STORIES: "If there is an author new to the world of publishing that I would place next to Ray Bradbury, Edgar Allan Poe and Isaac Asimov, it has to be Michael K. Rose." Get your copy today! http://www.michaelkrose.com/short-stories
The great thing about the social media blurbs is that you can include them in email announcements about your book and send them to acquaintances. So even if someone isn't hosting you on their blog/website, they can still copy one of these and paste them into their social media account. If your book is not out yet, be sure to ask those you send these to to wait until it is or you may end up confusing a lot of people. Alternatively, you can have some "Coming Soon!" social media blurbs to tweet beforehand, and blurbs like those above for after the release.
This brings an end to "Building An Author's Promotional Package." There are, of course, many things you can do and many different ways you can arrange the elements of your own promo package. I'd love to hear your thoughts/reactions in the comments section below. I'd also like to know if you have any great ideas of your own!
Finally, I would like to again say that Short Stories comes out on June 29, 2012. I am actively looking for bloggers who are willing to post a release announcement for me. If you are interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with "BLOG TOUR" in the subject line.
Michael K. Rose