The first question is, what is viral marketing? As an author, we can define it as:
When websites, blogs, and reviewers are talking about and passing on information about your book without your influence.
Pretty great when it happens, but it rarely does. Surprisingly, there are a few specific things you can do to make it more likely that your book will get in the right hands and be talked about. Here are a few tips to make your book \”go viral\”.
#1 – Court Controversy. Don’t hide from the controversial parts of your book; highlight them. The number one reason that people share something online is not interest, excitement, happiness, or sadness – it is anger. Don’t be afraid to highlight the portions of your book that will make some people angry. After all, if your writing does not make someone angry than its probably not making anyone very happy either.
#2 – Avoid Average. Play to the extremes, both with the content of your book and the marketing. The worst fate for a book is not that it is hated and reviled by some. The worst fate is that nobody cares about it. Push your book to one side or the other of the spectrum and you will have a greater chance of generating buzz.
#3 – Love On The Little Guy. You have a very small chance of getting your book in front of influential bloggers. They receive a dozen books a week and most of them sit unopened, simply because of time constraints. Instead of wasting time and energy trying to get a famous blogger to review your book, send copies to smaller blogs that your dream blogs follow. If your book shows up on four or five blogs that a larger blog regularly keeps track of, they will be requesting a book from you rather than the other way around. Remember: contents filters up on the internet (from the small to the big), not down. To find out who you should be looking for, check out our Tips on Becoming a Top Reviewer.
#4 – Bring Out The Benefits. Don’t talk about the details of your book, but the benefits. Try and connect with the emotions of a potential book buyer, not just their intellectual side. Tell them what your book will do for them and how it will improve their life, health, or pocketbook, don’t try to sell them on the details of how you do this.
#5 – Respond To Readers. Call your readers or reviewers on the phone, add to the message boards, argue with those who get your concept wrong, and always engage. Some authors act like once the book is published, then it is on its own and free to succeed or fail at the market’s whim. Don’t fall into that trap; engage anyone and everyone who takes the time to write about and talk about your book.
For some books, controversy probably won’t work. Excitement and interest will help you spread your message almost as effectively. The first rule of thumb for an author is to not try and please everyone and all of the rest of these rules follow. If you write for everyone, it will be boring for anyone who reads it. Write for a specific target market and don’t be afraid to be questioned. Most authors are writing to get their message, their idea, out there and change lives. Questions and discussion will only help spread the message.