Perhaps you’ve been there. You need a book on a particular topic. Let’s say: dealing with tyrannical toddlers (oy!). So you head to Amazon or your local bookstore. You search and peruse for half an hour, yet walk away emptyhanded. Why? All the books look great, but nothing convinced you to pull the trigger.
The next day at work you overhear a coworker beaming at “what a great morning I had with my 3-year-old!” She goes on to relay all the great tips she learned in a parenting book she’s reading and before she can finish, you’ve already ordered the book. Price? Cover? Who cares? She says the book works so you’re buying it!
What happened here? That parenting book received the most valuable marketing available: word of mouth.
In his book Sell Your Book Like Wildfire, marketing guru Rob Eager offers great advice on garnering word-of-mouth marketing. We’ve combed through his tips and summarized them for you here:
Give your book away for free
Yes, that’s what we said. And not just one chapter. Everyone is giving away one chapter. We’re talking about taking a portion of your material, repackaging it and giving it away for free. Doing so whets the appetite of your audience, engenders their gratitude and gives them an easy way to pass along your content (and name) to their friends. Here are a few ways to do this:
- Condense your main points into a “challenge” for your readers to participate in. For example, “30 day weight loss challenge,” or “21-days to a more peaceful home,” etc. Offer the free download on your website or social media.
- Offer your entire book for free on Amazon as an e-book for 30 days. Sound crazy? Rob Eager says:
Look at the issue this way: If you offer your book for free, get a few hundred people to read it, and they generate word of mouth, you just built a fast-growing platform of nearly a thousand people—at almost no cost… In contrast, let’s say you give your book away for free, but very few people read it or tell their friends. That’s still a blessing, because you found out that our book isn’t very good without taking a huge risk.
- Offer a free resource as a companion to your book. Based on the type of book you’ve written, consider if you can create a study guide, podcast, recipe booklet or printables to go along with your book. Give away this tool via your website, conference booth and social media.
Utilize your biggest fans
Are you noticing that your work is attracting not just passive readers, but active fans? Perhaps you’re receiving increasing numbers of emails, social media comments and great attendance at public appearances. If so, it’s time to mobilize your biggest fans to become your biggest marketers.
But don’t worry that you’re unfairly taking advantage of these readers. This only works if you truly reward your fans for their word-of-mouth efforts. So how is this done? First, invite your readers to join a special club. You can do this through emails, newsletters, social media and your website. Explain that you will be asking them to do different marketing tasks, in exchange for some fun perks.
Then periodically send out an email blast asking them to:
- Post a review of your book on Amazon
- Mention your book on social media
- Give your book to key leaders and influencers
- Host a book club
As your fans do these tasks, reward them by:
- Giving away free merchandise
- Offering special discounts
- Giving them inside access to you via local meet-ups or online Skype sessions
At Certa Publishing, we know that there is no better marketing than a passionate reader who loves to talk about your book. We hope that these tips will help your word-of-mouth marketing to grow so that more readers are introduced to your message. Contact us today for help with any of your marketing and publishing needs!