I recently read the revised and updated version of Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) that Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman. As I’ve been known to do, I thought I’d share my thoughts about how some of the book’s advice could be applied to book marketing.
First, you may think of your book as content and wonder why you’d even want to use more content to market your book. There are several reasons (see page 23), including to attract new readers, raise awareness of your book, generate buzz about your book, share information, and make it easier for readers looking for your type of book to find it.
Using content to market your book can also build a sense of community, which might motivate your readers to tell others about you and/or your book. Which in the preceding list of what content can do for your book marketing will depend on what book marketing stage you are in. If you are launching a new title, generating buzz may be better, but if it’s been out for a while, sharing information and fostering word of mouth may benefit you more.
As I’ve encouraged you to do before, and other authors have encouraged you, Content Rules also advocates focusing on the customer; in your case, the reader. Think about how you might attract readers to you rather than pushing your book on them.
One practical idea you might use for book marketing is to use content to authentically polarize readers and get them arguing about a way to interpret your story, a character, or a metaphor contained. They will have to read the book to form an opinion.
As Content Rules‘ subtitle suggests, there are many options when it comes to creating content related to your book. If it’s a heavily researched book, use that research to create blog posts, or maybe even a non-fiction e-book (if the original book is fiction). Create a list of questions book clubs might use to discuss your book. Use parts of your book you didn’t end up using as bonus short stories. For Taming the Twisted, I created a mini-story about how my fictional family got to Camanche as a bonus and created a map overlay with street names in 1860 and now to orient people in the setting. Think outside of the normal, content box and get creative. Have you created unique content related to your book? Feel free to share in the comment section below.
Source: Chapman, C.C. & Handley, Ann. 2012. Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) that Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, NJ.