The world of marketing is changing at a significant pace.
Seeing a great review of your book in a prestigious newspaper might be the dream for most authors, but, not withstanding the ego-boost you’d get from seeing 5 stars in a publication like The New York Times, it’s not the only way to get a huge amount of exposure.
Let me explain:
Take the New York Times – or, if you’re UK based, The Guardian. Each paper sells somewhere around 1m copies each day. The chances of getting a review as a relatively unknown author is extremely low.
Now look at YouTube. There are around 5000 channels on the popular video sharing site that have in excess of 1m daily followers. Your chance of talking to someone with a newspaper sized YouTube following who’d review your book? Much higher.
Okay, so a YouTube review might not be the kind of the exposure you’re looking for – but hopefully you can see my point. Digital media opens huge possibilities for people who want to market their book – and there is an almost unlimited number of sites that would review your work.
In fact, I’m going to be bold and say that based on the pace an average person could work at, there is an unlimited amount of sites. You’ve got tens of thousands of sites with hundreds of millions of readers – if you do happen to get through them all you can call me to tell me I’m wrong from the private island you’ve bought with the money your bestseller has brought in!
How to bloggers and influencers work?
If you’re not already familiar with the terms, the 21st century has firmly cemented ‘blogger’ and ‘influencer’ as legitimate job titles.
Essentially both are people with some authority knowledge about their chosen field – and there are lots of people who’s knowledge and influence could be used to promote you book. They don’t just have to be people who review books for a living – they could be people who have an audience who crosses over with the demographic your book is aimed at.
Writing for teens? Why not have a ‘gaming’ blogger promote your book?
Writing romance? Why not talk to people who blog about holidays and recommend you book as a perfect holiday read to hundreds of thousands of people?
The possibilities are endless.
Getting in touch with bloggers and influencers
Now, you’re not the only person who’s going to be getting in touch with these people in the hope that they’ll promote something – so you’re going to have to stand out in a crowded inbox.
My business has been built around doing exactly this though – so I can give you some tips on how to cut through the noise this person experiences and maximise your chance of getting that all important mention, link, review or promotion you need.
- Write good subject lines
The subject line is the first thing a person’s going to see of your email – it’s also the last thing they’ll see if you don’t do a good job of it.
Don’t be tempted to try to catch their attention by writing in upper case or with lots of exclamations – this sort of ‘trick’ is actually pretty standard so a real subject line is going to stand out a lot more. Consider something genuine and concise, like:
“I’ve written a book you might like”
“Please could I send you a copy of my book?”
People don’t like to be hoodwinked into doing anything, so the truth is always better than a ‘tactic’.
- Do your homework
When a person opens your email they’re going to hit delete immediately after if it’s addressed to ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ or ‘Dear Blog Owner’ – or similar.
As such, you’ll want to work out who’s going to be reading the email. You should be able to find this information out with a little research – using Facebook or LinkedIn can be helpful here.
A name isn’t going to be enough though – I like to find out a little more about a person before I get in touch, try to establish:
- What their site or blog is about
- What ideals, values or principles they have or promote
- The tone and method they like to communicate with
- Some general details about them as a person
If you have some or all of this information you can make a genuine recommendation based on what you know about them and their audience.
What’s more, you’re taking advantage of some fairly sophisticated psychology here. By explaining that you know a little about what this person does or their audience – you establish rapport by showing some empathy. A person is far more likely to reply and work with someone they think is like them or understands them – over and above someone who’s just coming with a thinly veiled marketing proposition.
- Don’t ask them to reply
While we’re on the topic of empathy – you can take things a lot further by omitting the “I look forward to hearing from you” or “Let me know what you think” from the end of your email.
The reason is fairly simple – by adding these things you’re imposing yourself on the person’s agenda – even in a passive way. More often than not, the person will feel slightly aggrieved that you expect them to reply – and thus, won’t reply.
If on the other hand you explain to a person you don’t expect them to reply – you’re more likely to get a reply!
Think about what this communicates:
“I understand you’re busy with your family, blog and other work commitments – so there’s no reply needed – I just wanted to extend the offer!”
You’ve gone from expecting a reply – to communicating that you understand this person – and as such, the person is more likely to reply because they’ll warm to you and the way you communicate.
Now, you will still get a lot of no replies –but don’t let that put you off. In fact, you’ve positioned yourself well for a follow up.
Next time you’re in touch (whether that’s on social media, the phone or via email again) you can remind the person that you’ve emailed before – and in doing so, there’s some familiarity and a small hint of a working relationship there. Neither of these things will hurt your chances of getting a favourable reply.
Keep following up until you get an answer – and remember, don’t worry if it’s a ‘no’ – the internet is an endless pool of blogger, website and influencer opportunities!
This post is contributed as Guest post by Tom Buckland.
Tom Buckland owns a marketing company that specialises in helping individuals and businesses connect with influencers, bloggers and websites. His company, Ghost Marketing, has connected with thousands of influencers – helping his clients promote a huge range of products across the internet.