Many authors are wondering about the protocol for book marketing and promotion right now.
Should you do what you’ve always been doing?
Should you do things differently?
Or should you just put a hold on all of it?
Here’s what some are recommending
I’ve researched what colleagues are recommending and authors are doing. What follows is the first few paragraphs of their content with a link to the original piece.
Click on each article title to read more.
Earlier this month, I recommended here that you encourage your audience to read more while social distancing. My blog post includes downloadable social media images you can share. It’s never too late to follow that advice. (more)
In this article on the Author Marketing Experts site, Penny Sansevieri writes:
Now is the time to focus on how to market a self-published book while so many of us are home and looking for something to keep us busy. Entertainment needs are at an all-time high.
Also consider this: most (if not all) TV shows and movies have had to stop production – so new content will be in high demand.
If you’ve been holding off figuring out how to market a self-published book because you feel there’s too much going on, I would encourage you to reconsider that. Smart authors are out there promoting their book – even if their in-person events have been canceled, they’re opting to do other things instead. (more)
I love that book publicist Fauzia Burke and I were in sync with our article titles. She writes:
If you’re an author with a recently published or upcoming book, it’s time to regroup and assess the impact Coronavirus will have on your book promotional plans. Even if you’ve had to cancel scheduled events or planned media or promotions, there is still plenty you can do to help your book succeed.
Most book tours at this time seem ill-advised. Even if you are willing to travel, you likely will not get much of an audience. TV, radio, and print media will be focusing on the news of the day, which is changing by the hour. By all accounts, the Coronavirus spread will get worse before it gets better, so you can expect this to dominate the news cycle for weeks and weeks.
So what can you do as an author? Plenty. (more).
In this New York Times article, debut novelists talk about how their plans have changed. The article begins with:
For many first-time novelists, years of hard work (and often solitary time) culminate in seeing their book come into the world: going to festivals and bookstores to read sections aloud and connecting with readers face to face, inhabiting with others the worlds they built. But with social distancing guidelines discouraging gatherings of more than 10 people, publishing a debut has changed in ways that authors couldn’t have foreseen just a few weeks ago. We spoke to several debut novelists about their books, their plans to promote their work and their days during this unusual time. (more)
In this 10-minute YouTube video, Derek Murphy advises against using the outbreak as a clever marketing ploy to sell books. He says:
I’m nervous about this video but thought I should share a few big things:
1. Amazon is giving away 2 months KU
2. Amazon’s warehouses have stopped imports; print on demand books won’t ship as fast.
3. Don’t try to use the outbreak as a clever marketing ploy to sell books (you’d have to be REALLY clever, and you could get a LOT of free visibility if done well… I might make a list of “best YA fantasy books to read during your social distancing quarantine” or something… but this could just as easily backfire and destroy your career so… be sensitive and careful. (more)
What speaks to you?
Does any of this resonate with you? Do you have a better sense of what you might or could do in the coming weeks?
I’ll leave you with an example of what I did over the weekend to support books and authors in general.
My family is usually watching college basketball and crowing (or complaining) about our March Madness bracket status at this time of the year. I decided to use that as a jumping off point for a Medium.com round-up article on the best basketball books — as recommended by the experts.
Perhaps you can do something similar with a topic related to your book. I hope that “Coronavirus: Best basketball books to read while you’re missing March Madness because of COVID-19” gives you a few ideas.
(For more on authors and Medium.com, read, “How authors can use Medium.”)
Are you doing any book marketing right now? Why or why not? Please tell us in a comment.
Like what you’re reading? Get it delivered to your inbox every week by subscribing to the free Build Book Buzz newsletter. You’ll also get my free “Top 5 Free Book Promotion Resources” cheat sheet immediately!