Book Marketing Tips & Tricks

The secrets to forum marketing for authors – how to promote your book online

Tips on how to successfully promote your book in online forumsmockupshots-monicamartinez14900-mock-00193

Online forums offer a huge opportunity for writers and poets to share their work, expertise, and advice with others as well as engage with readers and authors. Many online communities are dedicated to specific subjects where people go to seek information, share their experiences, opinions, and offer advice. These forums allow people to build community, engage and learn from each other on issues that are important to them.

 By being active in a forum, you are positioning yourself as an expert and are allowing for your content and book to be discovered by people who are actively seeking information (or even books) on the topics related to your book.

Here are our tips on how to use forum marketing to generate awareness and buzz for your book:
 
1. FIND THE RIGHT FORUM.
The key to forum marketing is finding the right community in your niche. You want to narrow your list to a handful of forums and then commit to being active on a few. Here are some tips on how to narrow your search:
·        Look for forums that have at least 1,000 members and 10,000 posts
·        Make sure the forum gets at least ten to fifteen new posts on a daily basis
·        Ignore forums that are overrun by spam
·        Avoid forums hosted by your direct competitors

Here are a few suggestions for you to check out:

 

·        Writing Forums
·        Published Authors Forum
·        Canadian Forums and Canadian Content: for news and politics
.        Maple Leaf Web: For all things Canadian
.        Reddit: Find a subreddit for your genre or subject related to your book
 

2. CREATE A PROFILE. Pick a username that is on brand with your name, the name of your book or your genre. Include a good head shot where you can see your face. In your bio, include that you are an author and the name of your book, along with a few lines about what the book is about. That way anyone curious about who you are, may check out your bio and discover your book. 
 
You’ll want to also include your website and perhaps, social media handles. Some forums also allow users to include their own website in their signature file. Forum signatures are text or graphics that are attached to the end of all your posts. If you are in a forum that allows for this, then definitely take advantage of it!
 
Seniority is important in forums as well as the level of activity. Effective forum marketing is a long-term strategy. Think of it as a continuous activity rather than a quick advertising blast. Don’t let the idea of being new to a forum discourage you. You will have a lot of opportunity to engage in discussions, build relationships and establish credibility.
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3. CHECK THE COMMUNITY GUIDELINES. Some forums have clear anti-spam guidelines, or won’t allow links or any kind of business promotion. Make sure you are aware of these rules so you don’t undo your efforts in building good relationships.
 
Even if forums allow for self-promotion, you don’t want to by spammy. Avoid saying “buy my book,” or blatantly self-promoting. Rather, you want to engage in meaningful discussions over a period of time and then at some point, it may be appropriate to mention your book or that the advice you are giving is part of your book.
 
4. INTRODUCE YOURSELF. Many forums encourage new members to introduce themselves. Your introductory post can include a brief description of your expertise and why you joined the forum. Let other users know that your main goal is to contribute to and learn from the community. Do not make any marketing pitches in your first post.
 
5. ADD VALUE. They key to successful forum marketing, and really any content marketing, is to always be adding value. Whenever anyone asks a question is an opportunity for you to dazzle them with your insightful answers. By backing up your advice, responding quickly and keeping your answers objective, the community will start thinking of you as a trusted expert. When you get direct inquiries for recommendations, you may then mention your book without turning people off.
If you need help marketing your book, give us a call at 1.888.415.1541. Get your free guide to self-publishing here.
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