by Janice Thompson
So, you’ve written the book of your heart. Now you need to get the word out. How do you do so without appearing pushy? Easy! One thing I’ve learned over the course of seventeen years in the publishing business: Readers love to be involved in the process. They enjoy the interaction and the feeling that they’ve somehow played a role in your book (or marketing). So, how do you capitalize on this? You’ve got to tease them, drawing them in as one would tempt a kitty with a bowl of cream.
Here are my top ten ways to please would-be readers with a social media tease:
1). Post a chapter-ending, cliff-hanging line from the book you’re promoting.
EXAMPLE from my novel, Hurricane, about the Galveston hurricane of 1900):
Mouthfuls of saltwater choked Henrietta. She clutched at anything and everything as she fought to keep her head above water. The current pulled her under again to face the darkness. The salty water stung her eyes and nearly blinded her. She squeezed them shut. Another thrust sent her topside, gasping for air, screaming at anyone who might be listening. “Help me! God, help us!”
The weight of the children roped to her pulled her in every conceivable direction. The speed of the thunderous current picked up, pulling her under once again. She gave herself over to it. She felt herself being pulled out, out, out….Out of the window and into the night.
2). Hold a contest to name a character in your upcoming story.
EXAMPLE: I did this with my upcoming novel, Picture Perfect, sequel to the ongoing Weddings by Bella series from Revell. My readers were already familiar with the characters and I held a contest, letting them name the children in the next generation.
3). Post a question that can only be answered if they read the book.
EXAMPLE: What do Galveston Island, wedding cakes and Italians have in common? Read Fools Rush In to find out!
4). Post photos of the real people who inspired your characters. This is especially fun if the “real” people are famous.
EXAMPLE: Hooked on Downton Abbey? Sybil Crawley-played by Jessica Brown Findlay-was the inspiration for my leading lady in Queen of the Waves.
5). Post the opening line (or “hook”) from your book.
EXAMPLE from The Wedding Caper: I’ve had an aversion to Tuesdays ever since the day my husband robbed the Clark County Savings and Loan.
6). Promise the reader something, (particularly if it appeals to her stomach)!
EXAMPLE: Reading Hello Hollywood will leave you hankerin’ for a hero. . .er, gyro!
7). Share a funny story about the book’s cover.
8). Tie the tease to a real event of place in history.
EXAMPLE: Want to know more about the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, setting for The Shining? Check out my historical, Wedding Belles to discover secrets about the infamous hotel!
9). Create a group on facebook.
EXAMPLE: Take a virtual cruise aboard the Titanic with author Janice Thompson by joining Queen of the Waves for the month of April, 2012! Together, we will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the great ship.
10). Invite readers to a virtual party.
EXAMPLE: When Picture Perfect released, I hosted a “Bing and Bob” party (in a webinar format). Bing Crosby/Bob Hope music played in the background as webinar participants played Irish-themed games and talked about their favorite Irish foods. I also gave away door prizes-ten copies of the book-as the party progresses.
You can do it, authors! Please. . .with a tease!
Janice Hanna Thompson has published over 100 books for the Christian market, including romantic comedies, historicals, cozy mysteries and more. She lives in Spring Texas near her children and grandchildren. When she’s not writing, Janice spends her time baking and decorating cakes and cookies. You can find her at www.janicehannathompson.com, on Facebook
or on her baking page, Nina’s Cakes and Cookies.