Effective Book Marketing Step 2: How to Encourage Your Readers to Share Your Books (or Content)
One of the Best ways to sell your books? Through your Fans. Why? Because when someone reads your book and connects with it on a deep level, they want to share it. This is something that you should encourage as a writer.
How do readers find new books? How do you find new books? If it's not through your favorite author, the most common alternative is through a friend's recommendation. You want your fans to recommend your book to their friends so that you can build your fan base and sell more books.
Here are a few ways to encourage your fans to share your work with others:
1. Just Ask
While readers are excited about great new books and want to share, sometimes they need a little encouragement. Putting a call to action in the back of your book, something like, "Love this book? Share it with a friend!" You could also offer an incentive like a signed, free copy to any reader who follows through.
If it's content like a blog post or podcast you'd like them to share, just ask them too in an email or in a call to action at the bottom of your post.
To gain traction with your social media posts, ask them to like, comment, and share. Then make sure you're building a connection with them by liking their posts and commenting.
The point is that your fans aren't mind-readers, and they might not know how much they can help by just sharing.
2. Offer Incentive
There are all kinds of things you can offer as a writer that readers would enjoy. Think about when you read a book and love it. What kinds of things would you like in addition to the story? A prequel short story? Behind the scenes content like deleted scenes or author commentary? Pictures of the characters? A signed copy?
What can you offer your fans that is compelling and that you can deliver in a timely manner? What adds life to your book and value to your readers? Make a list of these if that helps you and then pick a few to test out with your fans to see what they like best.
Note: Always offer something different than your Reader magnet. For instance, if you've already offered particular bonus content for subscribers, it's not the best practice to offer that content as incentives for sharing.
Resource: Bookfunnel - Allows you to give a link whereby someone can download your book for free.
3. Do a Giveaway
You can offer a giveaway yourself and encourage sharing by offering extra entries. Alternatively, you can set up a giveaway for your fans to offer to their audience.
Giveaways are a great way for your fans to give to their fans. It's an opportunity for a win-win for you both because you're getting exposure to a new audience while they're offering something of value to their audience.
If you don't have your own book to offer, you can offer a few books that you like in the same genre that you write in. (This helps ensure you're getting exposure to the best groups of fans who are more likely to enjoy your book.)
Resource: Convertkit - Allows you to set up a landing page where people can go to sign up for your giveaway. Collects email addresses for you.
Resource: wanttogoviral.com - Allows you to offer extra incentives for additional actions. For instance, if you want people to share your giveaway in exchange for an extra entry, you can set that up here and link it to your Convertkit landing page.
4. Make it Easy to Share
You want to make it super easy for people to share your content and broadcast its/your existence. The easier it is, the more likely people will be to do it.
It takes a bit to get people from browsing to action and then when they get to where they'd post about you. And then when they get there, often they're not sure what to say about you or your book.
Create links to social media for sharing to alleviate this.
Resource: Share Link Generator - Allows you to create pre-filled tweets, facebook posts, pins, emails, etc. so that when you ask people to share, all they have to do is click and post.
The more you get your name and work out there, the easier you can collect true fans who are eager to share with their friends. The potential for growth is exponential, and when you give your fans reasons to share, they can get you into circles you might not otherwise have gotten into or even known about.