Alright, we talked about increasing discoverability on your promotional site. Basically, ways to make your book show up more. The major thing to consider is that most retailers push up books that are selling, reduce visibility of work that isn’t. It’s why things like the 30/60/90 day cliffs exist (new books sell better); and so Amazon has created algorithms to help reduce things visibility on a regular basis to keep overall sales higher.Now, we’ll tackle the discussion about ways to increase non-retailer site visibility.
Guiding PrinciplesWhen you’re considering how to increase visibility, there’s a few guiding principles for where to spend your precious time. In particular, what you want to consider is…
Reach indicates how far your message will reach. This varies depending on the media or source, but basically, you’re looking to see how many a tweet, a Facebook post, a Youtube review, etc. will reach.Suitability on the other hand indicates the kind of people you’ll reach. As a simple example, it’s not much use pushing your bread cooking book to people with the celiac disease. Or to push horses to urban pedestrians.
That being said, let’s discuss the various ways you can increase your discoverability on other websites or locations.
Here’s a quick listing of just some known retailer sites here.
You’ll find that new social media sites, new social methods of communication (zoom and clubhouse) will pop up regularly. Keeping an eye out for these communication methods and if it suits how you prefer to communicate can help.
In general, most of these social media sites work best if you communicate in the ‘language’ of that site. Facebook can be more promotional, but it also does well with memes, with ways for you to personalise yourself.
Instagram has a vast number of Instagram Book Reviewers who love romance and pretty books. It’s heavily image laden, with various types of images working for certain groups. Shelfies, book stacks, short promo videos, etc.
Tik Tok has made itself well known for its crying book reviewers, discussing YA books that they love. However, other authors have done well carving out tiny little niches about things they know.
And so on, so forth. One of the biggest things to consider is researching how people are communicating and whether it works for you.
Something to consider is that certain mediums just aren’t very good at expanding your reach. For example:
– Twitter only gets you so far if you have 400+ followers. Unless you are good at writing (or have a specific niche of research) carved out, you’ll find it hard to gain a lot of sales.
– Your personal FB is probably very limited as well. After all, even if you have thousand of friends, how many of them read in the genre you write in. And that’s assuming you have decent reach.
Book Reviews (Blogs, Youtube, heck, even Instagram, etc.)
Book reviews by bloggers, booktube (Youtube bloggers), Instagram pages, etc. All of those are common and known methods and can help your general visibility.
ARCs going out via Netgalley are another method to raise your visibility, but they’re a little different in that your ARC copies via Netgalley can go to librarians, individual booksellers and the like. It might not make your book particularly publicly visible unlike book bloggers or booktube or the like.
One thing to keep in mind when you’re reaching out for such things is to do so politely and to realise that the final review you might get is not what you want. Sending out ARCs to Netgalley might get you a review on a blog, but if you write in a niche genre that has specific expectations, it might not garner you a good review if said reviewer does not understand those expectations.
However, a review on the right (big) review blog in your genre? Even if it has a few thousand readers (only); this might generate you a decent number of sales.
On the other hand, the paid blog tours that are around? Well, the vast majority of those bloggers probably don’t have a lot of reach at all, and might not target your genre. Quantity is definitely not quality in this case, so you have to be careful about such blog tours.
It’s the same thing with doing author interviews. While they can be fun, remember that reach might be a major issue for many of these. The heyday of physical blogs have disappeared, while things like Instagram, TikTok, etc have grown.
Traditional Media Interviews
Is this viable? Yes. How viable depends on where you’re located and what you’re writing. This is more a trad pub thing, though depending on the size of where you live and how well you interview or interact with the media, this can be a major component of your reach.
Local newspapers are often easier to contact, local radio stations or the equivalent of the national talk show areas. These days, podcasts can be quite powerful as well in this same area as radio chat.
TV – local TV – is much more difficult since books are less viable. However, something to note is that there are often media list or calls for subject matter experts. Help a Reporter (HARO) is one such method, though often your local city will have an equivalent list. This might or might not be publicly available, which is why a local PR agent might help.
Or just pick up the phone / go to some events and talk to said people.
One advantage of such PR methods is increased reach. However, one of the problems is the lack of suitability in the vast majority of people targeted. It’s worth noting, that in many cases, the media will also be looking for suitability for their readers too, so unless you have something new or unique, it’s hard to get their attention.
Medium and Substack, places like that are all another way to increase your visibility. There’s some issue with getting yourself seen, but many such locations that allow you to write your newsletters, your articles and make your words seen by others.
It’s not necessarily about your fiction, depending on what and how you write. But again, this can increase your visibility and might help with book sales depending on your author brand (a vet talking about veterinary practices who writes about animals or other things like that).
In general, non-fiction often works best in this area. Poetry, I’ve noticed, can do okay too.
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