When I first started blogging three years ago, I witnessed firsthand the power of the blogosphere promotion.
If you’ve been around as long as I have, you may remember the massive community machines that pushed books like Kiersten White’s PARANORMALCY, Elana Johnson’s POSSESSION, Beth Revis’ ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, and Lisa & Laura Roecker’s LIAR SOCIETY out into the world.
There were twitter wars, contests, vlogs, prizes, and blog hops galore and it seemed as though everyone and their mothers were a part of the festivities, all sincerely excited for the fellow blogger who made it into the big leagues.
In just a few short years, however, self-publishing and small publishers have made book launches and releases so much more frequent! Instead of one book-release a month, or every few months, to support and celebrate: there are now several book launches throughout the blogosphere a week.
More and more writers are taking the leap into self publishing. Small publishers are putting together their ebook releases a lot faster than traditional. Established indie writers get a groove going and are able to come out with four, five, even six books a year!
And, of course, we as a community want to offer support and positivity to those authors however we can.
The problem is, the magnitude of book promotions happening every month makes it hard for any one book to really achieve the recognition it might have gotten three years ago. You know the old adage: ‘saying everyone’s special is another way of saying no one is’? Contests, free books, interviews, bloghops, etc…they may still spread the word, but I fear they’ve lost the originality and enticement they once held. Promotional posts are getting less and less comments. Contests are earning less entries. The buzz is feeling more and more forced.
We've got to face it- blog-blitz enthusiasm has wained:(
In the last year or so, I’ve come to the conclusion that having everyone post about one book or the author all at the same time gets old for readers fairly fast. I don’t know about you, but when I’ve seen the blurb and the cover once, most often my mind is made up about whether it’s a book I’d like to read based on genre, premise, characters, and yes- if it’s a writer I’ve been following or an author I’m friends with, that definitely counts for something too! That said, I’m afraid the repetitiveness of the run-of-the-mill blog tour often defeats the point, since a reader is more likely to pass over blogs that are re-sharing the information or have the same theme as a million other blogs that week.
So where does that leave authors hoping to promote their new releases? If blog tours are losing steam, how else can an author create a buzz? I’ve come up with a list of things I’ve seen working these last few months despite the recent decline in enthusiasm for ‘another new release’.
* Cover reveals taking place on one major site, and only one site, with authors asking for a twitter, or facebook mention and prizes to be one. (like an arc;)
* Vlogs are still cool ways to promote, especially if they’re unique or funny. They aren’t over-done (yet) and it helps build a connection between the potential readers and the writer behind the book.
* Book trailers. I actually like seeing a book trailer for an upcoming release featured on a bunch of blogs at the same time, as long as the actual posts have a different theme (ie- don’t just focus on the trailer or the blurb for the book) I like to be surprised and have the choice about whether I click on the trailer or not, so it’s not the same as a regular blog tour promo. And having the actual posts differentiate makes the reader less likely to skip them over.
* On that note -Related bloghops with a fun theme still work, imo. Is your book about a character making a big-fat mistake and the consequences? Invite everyone to share their biggest 'oopsies' and how they overcame. Got a futuristic theme? Create a blog hop where everyone shares their dream-gadget. Setting a theme that relates to your book gives bloggers a chance to do what they do best, all while second-handedly promoting your new title.
* Promoting your book only AFTER release. I’ve actually seen this work for a lot of authors recently. Instead of the buzz created before hand, it’s like BOOM! The book is HERE! Positive reviews speak so much louder than the blurb or cover or a bunch of people promoting your book weeks before hand. The option to BUY is already there, so it doesn’t get pushed to the back of the reader’s mind like ‘oh, yeah, I should think about ordering that when it comes out.’
Do you feel like blog tours are slowly losing their promotional power? What other forms of promotion would you recommend to modern-day authors? Author friends out there, what do you think has made the biggest difference in sales for you when it comes to promotion?