Another Creative Book Promotion Idea

Mark Lawrence, a U.K. author with a new book coming out in August, came up with an interesting idea to garner attention for his upcoming book. He decided to hold a fun contest.

Book Holding Contest

His contest titled “Holding up Books for No Reason” asked people to send him a picture of themselves holding as many print books as they could. All the books had to face forward and the holder could not use a solid support to help.

Mark asked people to submit a picture, which he would put on his blog and judge them. The winners received a book as their reward.

This simple little fun contest garnered Mark mention in some book publications. Why? Because it was fun and unique. This added publicity also served to help spread the word about Mark’s upcoming book.

Do you have a new book coming out? Consider what fun contest you can hold to grab some attention.

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Do Blogs Influence Purchasing Decisions?

Which influences your decision to purchase a book more: an advertisement or a review?

A recent Technorati study (Technorati’s 2013 Digital Influence Report) found that blogs hold a lot of influential power on purchasing decisions of consumers. In fact, blogs ranked third (behind retail sites and brand sites) in impacting consumers decision to purchase a product.

Consumers report that blogs rank higher than Twitter for shaping their opinions and higher than Facebook for motivating purchasing decisions.

Technorati REportIt appears consumers consider blogs to be trusted sources of information. This may be because bloggers tend to be very honest and sincere in their review of products. They frequently talk about both the negative and the positive aspects of a product, making them a trusted source of information.

Any publisher who has used Christian Small Publishers Association’s (CSPA) BookCrash blogger book review program can attest to the frankness of bloggers. Bloggers are brutally honest in their opinions of a book. One blogger will love a book and just gush accolades all over their post, while another blogger will dislike the same book and lambaste the book in their blog post.

What does this report mean for spreading the word about your books? It means to be successful at influencing people to purchase your books on the Internet you need to incorporate blog reviews (or blog tours) into your marketing strategy for your books. For, when bloggers like your book, this influences people to buy it.

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New Genre for Books

I have not yet seen a section for this new book genre in a bookstore or a library. However, I think that it will begin to appear within the year.

New Adult

The latest genre of book types to gain popularity is the New Adult category. This new category, is a spin-off from the Young Adult category.

Booksellers recently found that Young Adult books were by-and-large being purchased and read by adults. The Young Adult category, aimed at youth 12+ years of age, has been appealing to a wide audience.

To better address and reach this older age group reading Young Adult books, publishers have begun to introduce New Adult books. These books, aimed at the 20+ crowd, contain more mature themes and are meant to appeal to this age group’s needs.

The term, New Adult, was first coined in 2009 by St. Martin Press, but did not catch on until recently. Although bookstores and libraries have not yet designated shelf space for this genre, Goodreads reports that the number of readers identifying, reviewing, and rating New Adult books has spiked in recent months.

If you are penning or publishing a book for this 20+ crowd, consider giving your book the New Adult genre label. Doing so may appeal to the younger adult age group you are trying to reach.

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Are You Phone Smart?

Do you own a smart phone? If your answer is yes, then you belong to the majority of adult Americans. Forty-five percent of all Americans own a smart phone and just about two-thirds of adults aged 18 to 49 own a smart phone.

Girl With Mobile Smart Phone

Not only are smart phones becoming commonplace for cell phone users, they are also becoming an increasingly popular way for people to access their email, the Internet, and to read ebooks.

If you produce books, what does this trend means for you? What do you need to do to not get left behind when people use their smart phones to read their emails, log on to the Internet, and read ebooks.

I believe publishers and independently published authors must do three things to ensure their material is friendly to smart phone users, and thus not lose ground in marketing with the growth of this technology.

1. Make sure your website is mobile friendly.

Test your website on a few smart phones. Does it load quickly? Is it easy to navigate? If you find there are problems, then you may want to either create a mobile site, use a plug in that automatically makes your website mobile friendly (for example, WordPress has a free mobile plug-in for WordPress sites at http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wptouch/), or simply switch to a one-column webpage which is easier to navigate on a smart phone.

2. Make your email templates mobile friendly.

With the increase of reading email messages on smart phone devices, publishers need to make sure that the templates they use to send out email messages to their email lists are also mobile friendly. Again, test your templates on a few smart phones to find ones that read well on these screens.

3. Make your ebooks mobile friendly.

Almost one-third of people who read ebooks report that they read ebooks on their smart phone. Most smart phones users have ebook reader apps. These ebook reader apps do a fairly good job of rendering ebooks in a readable format on a smart phone screen. However, here again, you should test your EPUB and Mobi files to make sure that your ebooks view well on smart phones.

These three simple tests can help you make the necessary changes you need to remain effective and viable in our society’s on-going digital technology shift.

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