This is not an exhaustive list on things you can do to promote your pre-order, should you choose to do one. These are a couple of ideas I’m using. If you have any ideas you can add, please share them in the comments. The more ideas we have, the better. :)
Make a Page For the Pre-Order Book
This can be through a Book Launch page or a page on your blog or website. The idea is to have the cover image, the description, and links where someone can buy the pre-order. If you can add something unique or fun to the page, even better. This page can be the central hub to direct people to your upcoming book.
Like I said, you can do this on your blog or website just as easily. If, however, you would like to sign up for a book launch account, here’s the link. (I love this tool a lot because it simplifies all the information I need to post about my book. Plus, it will allow for a video and an email sign up if you want to use those features. I don’t do those, but some people do.)
Use the Back Matter of Your Already Published Book to Advertise the Pre-Ordered One
This is especially powerful in a series. If you have Book 1 out, you can do a link to the pre-order for Book 2 at the end of the Book 1. There are several ways you can do this. One, you can link to your book launch page (or a page on your blog or website) where you have the book info, cover, and links to pre-order the book. Or you can do a direct link right there to each of the places the book is on pre-order.
The reason I like to direct people to the book launch page is because I have the characters chime in on that page to say what they did or didn’t like about doing the pre-ordered book. So even if the reader decides not to click the pre-order button, they might still enjoy looking at the page.
But you do what’s in your style. We all have our own unique approach to how we can make something interesting. Maybe you want to do a video talking about your book or a special scene to give them a preview of the book. Get creative and see what works best for you. Even if they don’t pre-order the book, maybe they’ll remember it and pass along the information to someone else.
As a quick side note, when I was at a writer’s conference, a couple of readers told me they love seeing a book cover for the book that is next in the series. There is something about seeing the cover that makes them want to click the link to check it out. So when you’re linking to the pre-order, I suggest having the book cover image with it, if you know how to put one in. If not, then your link will take them to it anyway.
When On Social Media, Use Fun Posts to Talk About the Upcoming Book
My favorite form of social media is blogging. I asked my readers half a year ago what kind of posts they enjoyed, and a lot of them enjoyed updates on what I’m working on. I thought for sure this bored them, but some actually like it. So once in a while, go ahead and mention how your current work in progress is coming along. Then, while you’re doing that, add the link to the pre-order page or give the direct link they can pre-order the book. I like to do this will the book cover to stamp the visual cue in their mind. So when they see the cover, they’ll automatically know, “Oh yeah, that’s the book with Character X in it … or That’s the book where X happens.” This is why I like to have the book cover before I even start writing it. Because then when I mention it on Facebook, Twitter, or my blog, I can attach the cover with it. (Don’t worry. You can always update a cover. Nothing has to be set in stone. Just let people know it’s a new cover reveal. I have yet to have anyone jump on me about this.)
Other fun things you can do to promote your pre-order books are….
- Letting Your Characters Tell The Reader What They Think of the Book They’re In (This is my example if you care to check it out Note I use the book cover image with the caption under it to let people know if they click the link, they can go to the pre-order page.) This is where a character can write a letter to you or the reader.
- Character Interviews. This is an off-shoot of the above, but it will be a place to get your characters to reveal something fun and interesting about the book that the reader might not otherwise know about. In this one, you can also use multiple characters and let them banter back and forth between each other. It’s always fun when characters don’t get along.
- Inspiration for the Book. This is where you share how you got the story idea, came up with character names, how you decided on setting, etc. It can be anything you want.
- What you Learned While Writing the Book. Maybe your audience really enjoys something specific about history, and you want to share some new tidbit of information you found while researching it.
- Video Where You Share Something Special about the Book. You can always do a video and upload it to You Tube and share it on all the social media places you belong to. It can be inspiration for the story or something you learned while writing it. Or, if you’re inclined, you can dress up as the character and tell the reader what you’re thinking of the author or the story or the other characters you’re stuck with.
- Share some pictures of what the characters look like, where they live, or some object that is important to the story. I could see this being big on places like Pinterest or Instagram.
Ideas 1-6 can be done on any social media platform. I like to make the blog post and link that to Facebook and Twitter so it goes out to all my main social media platforms. You can do it this way or link it directly to the social media platform of your choice.
Only Bluntly Come Out with your Pre-Order Announcement Once In Awhile
Don’t spam with the pre-order info. Yes, I do think when you first get the pre-order up, you should announce it. Maybe do it a couple of times in case someone missed it at first, but space this out so it’s not coming up all the time.
After a while, though, it’ll be ineffective and people will block it out. I suggest using the pre-order link that will go directly to your pre-order page or the link where the book is on pre-order at. That’s another reason why I love the pre-order book page. You can use multiple retailer links on those. That means you just have to link the book cover to one place, and people can go to the retailer of their choice from there.
You can be discreet with the pre-order page by using the following techniques:
Use the book cover as a widget to the side of your blog and link that widget to the pre-order page. (To see what I mean, you can check out my blog. Look at the right side to see the book covers. If you click on one, you’ll go to the book launch page I set up for it.)
When you make a blog post, have the cover of your book at the top of your post (when you are mentioning your book) and have the cover link to the pre-order page. Use the caption under the book cover image to let people know they can click the link to find the page. (I just used this technique in this blog post. I also linked to this above when I posted #1 under fun things you can do to promote pre-order books. So check the book cover image and see what I wrote under it.)
Have a pre-order page on your blog or website for all your pre-orders, so people can go to it if they want. In addition to this other stuff, I do have such a page on my blog and website.
It’s okay to use multiple avenues to promote the pre-order. I think the key is not to mention it all the time in your Twitter, Facebook, or blog post feeds. Just as you wouldn’t want to keep saying, “I have this book for sale. Check it out” all the time, you don’t want to do this with pre-orders.