Marketing Strategies for Book Authors

I have a friend who is a fiction writer. We were talking today about ideas for promoting a book she is writing. She writes in a variety of genres, but the book in question is in the ‘chick-lit’ category – at least that’s what she calls it. I came up with these suggestions:

Blog – This one is pretty obvious. She already bought her name as a domain and I set her up with a WordPress blog. The focus of her blog will be on the world of a fiction writer, with news about her projects and signings, etc. I recommend she actively write about the book and drop hints and teasers about the story to build interest.

Book Website – She also bought the name of her main character as a domain. These types of books tend to result in a series of novels, with fans of the character becoming built-in audiences for each new book. For starters I recommended she make this a sales site and offer free advance chapters to people who sign-up for her mailing list. Later she can make it more of a fan site with a discussion forum and ancillary products and content.

Forum and Group Recruiting – I recommended that she start looking for forums and discussion groups with fans of this genre as well as fans of similar books. I told her to offer a sample chapter for people who join her mailing list and to mine that list for possible advance readers who would help generate buzz for the official release.

Blog Recruiting – My suggestion here is to find a number of bloggers who write about the genre (or even specific book series that have a similar tone) and recruit them to become advance readers. Feeding them advance copies of chapters and checking out how often (and what) they write about the book. Following up with those who are vocal fans will help with generating buzz for the release.

Those were some strategies that came up in our conversation. If you have done this type of marketing before, leave a comment and tell us what’s wrong or missing from this list.