Well isn’t that the question on everybody’s lips these days?
Of course Angelina’s lips want to know the answer too!
The small problem with this question is that it assumes that there is a “best way” for a book to be promoted.
The question doesn’t take into account the uniqueness of each and every book which is the crux of how you promote a new book. It’s akin to asking “What is the best way to fall in love today?” without thinking about what the person wanting to fall in love is like, and what the person they are looking to fall in love with is like too.
(Okay, that analogy was horrible and didn’t quite get the point across. Give me another chance?)
You NEED to be starting with your reader. Why would someone’s interest be piqued when they see your book? Why would they want to read your book? Why would they spend they money on your book? And WHO are these people? WHERE do they spend their time and WHAT do they spend their time doing?
Every book is different (duh) and has different themes, messages, and readers. So start with these things and work backwards. Don’t try to do what everyone else was doing. YOUR book needs to be the center of your promotions. Sounds so simple doesn’t it? Not many authors grasp this point, so well done you.
Spend time really thinking about who will enjoy reading your book. Take a pen and sketch out the profiles or two or three different people. Go into a lot of detail even if it feels strange to do so – what they do, what they like, where they live, where they spend their time and money. Where do they shop, do they have kids, are they affluent, poor, what TV shows do they watch?
Once you have a clear idea of who your readers are – and there might be two or three different types of reader – you want to go where they go. Promote your book there. THAT is the best way to promote a new book today – by first working out who to promote it to and then being where they are. Otherwise you’ll be singing to an empty church.
Note: This question was originally asked and answered on Quora.com, a site where people ask anything and everything! (Seriously, the top question up there right now is
“If people evolved from apes, why are there still apes?” Now YOU want to know the answer right? Oh go on then, have a look –> http://www.quora.com/If-people-evolved-from-apes-why-are-there-still-apes)
Laura Pepper Wu is the co-founder of 30 Day Books: a book studio. She has worked with a variety of authors to successfully promote their books, including many Amazon best-sellers. Laura is the author of wedding non-fiction guides and book marketing guides 77 Ways to Find New Readers for Your Self-Published Book and Fire Up Amazon!
Laura also runs Ladies Who Critique, a critique-partner finding site. When she's not working at the studio, you can find her walking her dog, "yoga-ing" or at a coffee shop in Seattle.