The key to the success of any entertainment-based project or platform is getting your audience engaged. Be it a book, website, or some other creative endeavor, if your potential audience doesn’t know it exists, they can’t engage. Read on for ideas on how to engage existing and new audiences.
Recruit a book launch team.
Looking forward to a future book launch? Build a team of enthusiastic readers to help you. Reach out to your audience and mine and ask them to apply. Offer them special access, bonus items, etc., in return for them spreading the word about your book (Michael Hyatt has some pretty cool ideas about recruiting a launch team).
Involve readers in your process.
A great way to generate excitement about an upcoming book is by involving the readers in some form of your process. Let them name a minor character or pick a character trait for a certain character. Cendrine Marrouat let her audience choose the photos that she composed poetry to go with for her book.
Host an “ask the author” session.
Host a Q & A session on your social media platform with the most engagement. To boost the effectiveness, pair it with a giveaway, where you choose one (or more) participants to win a prize. Here is an article from Penguin Random House on creating a Facebook Q&A session, but remember, there are a ton of platforms out there which you could use to do a livestream Q&A. Do your research and choose the platform that is best for you.
Conduct a contest.
The contest should be in some way related to a book or project you are promoting. You could have followers respond to a writing prompt, send in photos of an item related to your project, or complete some sort of scavenger hunt. Winners get a prize (a digital copy of your book, a gift certificate, something related to your project, the options are limitless). Here is a great article on hosting a creative contest that promotes your book. These ideas could easily be applied to other projects (like a podcast!).
Create a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram giveaway.
For this type of giveaway, followers interact with the post to be entered. Usually, you have a set of interactions they must complete, like:
- Follow me
- Like the post
- Leave a comment telling me about your favorite mythological creature
- Share this with your friends
Just remember, each of these platforms has their own guidelines for giveaways. Be sure to research those and follow the rules! Here are a few tips on using social media for contests or sweepstakes.
Create a webinar related to your project or a process or part of your project.
This is a great way to promote your project while giving back to the community. Here is a great article on how to create a webinar.
Host an AMA on Reddit.
Similar to a Q&A session, this “Ask Me Anything” post on reddit.com harnesses the power and popularity of Reddit. Here is a great article on creating an AMA.
Host a Q&A with one of your characters.
Similar to the ideas above, except that your followers get to ask your character questions.
Host a book launch party.
On the day of (or days leading up to) your book launch, hold a digital party where the audience gets various bonuses, prizes, and deals, such as:
- Create and giveaway a reader’s guide (for your books, for books that you read and loved, for…).
- Include a competition or some form of a giveaway or sweepstakes.
- Offer discounts for previous books you have written.
- Create a guide to your digital book tour (all the blogs or websites you have recently contributed to or been interviewed by).
- Offer bonus material (a short story, a short “how to,” etc.) for those who purchase your product on a certain day(s) or at a certain time, or in a certain way.
Here is a great article with steps to creating a virtual book launch party.
Participate in an author hop.
Team up with other authors in a massive giveaway and rally new followers. I participate in an author hop on Instagram. Not only do I see an increase in my audience, but I also get to know some fantastic writers!
Looking for more promotional ideas? Check out this fantastic article, The Ultimate Book Launch Guide: 33 Ideas Any Author Can Use, By Jared Dees. Best of luck with your project!
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