*Update March 2013: The Kindleboards are now called the Kboards. I have changed all of the links in this post to point to the right section, but if any of the links are broken, try changing kindleboard –> kboard in the URL, and please do let me know!
A couple of weeks ago, an author asked me about using the Kindleboards as part of her book marketing strategy. It is a strategy that I’ve never used myself, but I know some authors have had success “working the boards”. It seems that if you have the time, energy and persistence, then it can be a good way to a) network with other authors and look out for cross-promotional opportunities and b) interact with potential readers.
I set out to see if I could make any sense of how this strategy would work, and spent a morning setting up my profile and looking around. I have to admit to finding both the navigation of the site as well as the instructions given to create a profile and signature pretty confusing. After doing some Googling, as well as playing around with it myself, I gleaned the knowledge and tips posted below that I hope simplify the process for others.
While I’m unconvinced that the amount of time needed to spend on the boards would be worth my while (I already spend a little too much time on social media), I know that for some authors this might be good information to have, and may be preferable to using Twitter or other social networks. If you’re a fan of forums, certainly check the site out to see if it’s a good fit for you.
Tip 1: There are two “sub-forums” of the Kindleboards that you should know about/ bookmark:
The Book Bazaar: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/board,42.0.html
The Book Bazaar is a great place to interact with readers, and you can get involved in conversation and introduce people to your book this way.
The Writer’s Café: http://www.kboards.com/index.php?board=60.0
The Writer’s Café is good to learn about publishing and promotions, but you won’t meet readers here. If you want to do some cross-promotions/ author interviews etc, here is a good place to find people.
Tip 2: Write your first forum post before trying to anything else. Once you’ve done that, you can then modify your signature (to give your book exposure), but not before.
Write your first post here: Introductions and Welcomes board. Here’s how:
– Go to Introductions and Welcomes
– Click on ‘New topic’ on top right
– Write a quick intro.
Tip 3: Now that you’ve written a post, you can now edit your profile, modify your signature and upload an image of your book to your signature:
a) Edit your profile here: http://www.kboards.com/index.php?action=profile
– On the left, you will see Profile Info. You can edit your profile by clicking on ‘Modify Profile’.
b) Modify your signature so that it shows up at the bottom of your posts (and gives your book some exposure) : http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,46766.0.htm
c) You can upload an image of your book in your signature by:
- Going to http://www.kboards.com/link/
- Search for your book by writing title into the search bar
3. Click on Make a Link
4. Copy and paste the link given to you
5. Then go back to your profile and click on ‘Forum Profile Info’ (http://www.kboards.com/index.php?action=profile)
6. Paste the link into your signature, below a tagline of what your writing is about.
You can also upload a pic of yourself on this profile page.
Now you can join in conversation on the Kindleboards and your book cover, author profile pic, and a short blurb about your book will show up every time you post.
Tip 4 – Find stuff to talk about
List out some topics or themes that are at the heart of your “author brand”. Aim to become an expert in those themes, and start/ join conversations that relate to them.
Try jumping on the boards every day for 20 minutes or so, get involved in conversations and see if you like it. Be sure to monitor your time though… as with social media, forums can be a huge time-suck! http://www.kboards.com
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.