Lisa T. Bergren is the author of over forty books, and the latest is the Grand Tour Series, beginning with Glamorous Illusions and continuing on with the newly released Grave Consequences and the upcoming Glittering Promises. When she’s not messing around on Facebook or Twitter, she’s usually researching or writing her next project. She lives in Colorado Springs with her husband and three children. You can find her at LisaBergren.com, Facebook.com/LisaTawnBergren, and @LisaTBergren.
By Lisa T. Bergren
So you’ve shouted the news about your new release on Facebook, Twitter, and your author web site as well as covered it in your author newsletter. How else can you get the word out about your book?
Form a Website/Blog Loop
In 2012 I released a YA series and after another author read Waterfall, I was invited to take part in an ABA-oriented scavenger hunt, in which I hosted a YA author and yet another hosted me. We formed a loop of about 30 stops, and it was so successful, it’s been oft-repeated and gone on to incorporate more than 100 authors, with three separate arms. Now everyone wants in, but you can’t always take part.
What readers loved was that they both gathered clues for a potential prize, but also learned about new authors they’d never heard about. What writers loved was that readers who had never heard of them, now had, and were buying their books.
So I brought that same concept over to my Christian-fiction pals, and we formed a loop last summer and fall, and will do so again this May. Each hunt has brought me at least 1000 new visitors to my web site, and gotten at least 900 to focus on my name, title and cover for a minimum of a minute. You just can’t buy that kind of advertising.
Do you have 6-10 author friends with published works? Consider rallying the troops for your own version of our scavenger hunt! Figure out the dates, get firm commitments from all involved (if you have a broken link, you’re in deep weeds), and then get your party started! Speaking of parties…
Throw a Twitter Party & Invite Your Author Pals
In conjunction with the last hunt, I had my first Christian Fiction Twitter party, which was fairly successful. It’s hard to judge how many took part, because many see the Twitter stream but don’t jump in to comment. I’ll try it again this summer, and do more build-up to hopefully get more engagement. But let’s face it. If you’re into Twitter at all, there’s a voyeuristic aspect that’s kind of fun. If someone’s dialoguing with another, you can click on that person’s stream and put the conversation together. It’s almost like listening in. And readers get a special thrill over listening to authors talk to one another. It’s like being given entry to a secret club. Why not give them that thrill and talk a lot about one another’s books? They’re listening. Even cooler? Use a unique #hashtag and readers can continue to discover that conversation for months to come! Speaking of conversation with friends…
Cultivate Friendships with Book Bloggers
Let me introduce you to your new BFFs: Book Bloggers Who Already Adore You. They won’t think of your new coziness as usury. They’ll think of it as mutually beneficial. J You’ve likely been sent 25-100 free copies of your newly published books. These weren’t meant for your grandma and her buddies at the retirement center. These were really meant for you to give to influencers--people who will influence others to all flood the bookstore or online retailer and buy your book. Now if your grandma is one of those, give one to her. But then move on to book bloggers!
PLEASE NOTE: There are more and more book bloggers all the time. Savvy women have discovered that if they commit to blog, books will come. What you want to find are those book bloggers who both have some decent traffic and engagement on their site, but also LOVE YOU AND YOUR WRITING. You’re looking for the kind of blogger who would, honestly, promote your book, even if they had to go borrow it from the library to read/review. The kind of blogger who talks, and people listen. Know of one…or ten? Send ‘em a free, autographed book. Consider offering another as a prize if they do a special post or interview with you, which you can, in turn, link to on your Facebook author page (you have one of those, right? No? Get thee to the Book of Face immediately and create one!)
AN ADDITIONAL NOTE: If you’re an indie-published author, many book bloggers refuse to review you. I know. It stinks. But there are some who will—and it’s even better if you can send them an e-file rather than go through the expense of posting a paperback. Check the blogger’s guidelines to find out if they’re open to indie- or self-published works so you don’t burn that bridge you’re working so hard to build.
So there are a few ways to take publicity from lonely to a corporate experience. Bring in your friends and have fun with it!