Friday, June 7, 2013

Authors Shifting from Book Store Signings to Virtual Campaigns by Jennifer Hudson Taylor

We have an interesting conversation going on my  Facebook Author Page. I've asked readers if they ever attend author book signings and why or why not. Most of the comments favor "no" because most book signings are too far away. A few said they would drive a long distance only if they really like and want to meet the author. Then there are the various ideas of what is reasonable distance 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours.

On my writing loops, I've "listened" in on a few discussions among authors who are booking fewer and fewer book signings. Most reasons are obvious ranging from the cost of travel and book stores closing to more readers are buying ebooks and no one bothers to show up. Is there any wonder that authors are looking for more ways to reach readers where they hang out in a cost efficient manner that won't break our near nonexistent budgets?

For most, the answer has been building a blogging or podcast platform and feeding it through network connections via social media. When new books come out, authors launch promotion campaigns and go on blog tours ranging from interviews, guests posts to book review spots. Others hire publicists such as Litfuse for Facebook Parties and Upon the Rock Publicist for Twitter Campaigns, and a host of others for blog tours. Some simply post online announcements and hope for the best.

Online bookclubs are becoming a popular way for authors to promote themselves and their books, such as Yahoo Groups, ACFW, Goodreads, and The Bookclub Network.

Of the following online activities, which ones have you tried and would you do them again? What promotion efforts have you done that are not listed or mentioned? Share with your colleagues!

  • Online Bookclubs
  • Facebook Parties
  • Twitter Campaigns
  • Blog Tours (book reviews, interviews, guest posts)
  • Social Media Announcements 
  • Virtual Book Signings

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