Do you ever feel that promoting a book can be an uphill struggle? That everything you think of is bound to fail, and that you lack the knowledge to really stand out to readers and convince them your book is worthy of attention?
We’ve all been there. Especially when you’re just starting out, it can be difficult to know what to try and how to go about it. There is so much conflicting information out there. It’s difficult to cut through the noise and understand which book promotion methods will work for you.
One way to go deeper than most, and gain an effective understanding of the core principles of book promotion, is to understand the basic psychology of marketing. By knowing the psychological principles of why book promotion is or isn’t effective, you go beyond mere methods.
After all, methods and tactics always change. If you only know how to do something, and not why it works, you self sabotage. You’ll always be forced to learn the newest tactics.
However, when you know why something works on a deeper level, you can adapt it to new situations. Here are some effective psychological principles underpinning book promotion.
Connect Emotionally, Not Logically
One of the key mistakes in marketing is to focus on presenting logical facts.
On the surface, it might seem sensible to provide factual information about the thing you are trying to market, such as your next book, after taking the time to write it. If people know some information, aren’t they more likely to be interested?
When tested, it’s actually been shown that people respond better to emotional marketing than logical marketing. If you can make your audience feel something strongly, they are more likely to respond well.
So how does this impact our approach to book promotion?
If you are writing in a fiction genre, you want to ensure that aspects such as your book blurb, book description for online stores, and marketing copy in general, are all attuned to the primary mood of your genre.
If you’re writing mystery, you want to create a sense of intrigue. Romance, a sense of excitement and warmth. Horror, a sense of fear and dread.
There’s nothing worse than a dull and factual description for an exciting genre book. By instead making your potential reader feel the emotion of your story, they are more likely to check out the whole thing.
Create A Sense Of Relatability
When you are writing key characters for your book, it’s vital to ensure they are likeable and relatable to your readership. It’s a lot easier to become immersed in a story if we like the characters and care about their success. This is why writers take so much time to choose the character traits for their leads. Making a character seem unlikable or unrelatable is a quick way to make a reader uninvested in a story.
Interestingly, it’s also important for authors to seem relatable to their readers. If the reader feels a sense of connection and kinship between themselves and the author of a book they love, they are more likely to become a dedicated fan.
There are plenty of examples of this principle in action. Think about how JK Rowling’s humble background is often emphasized in media pieces. How well known Stephen King’s love of the Red Sox and rock music are.
When readers see a common thread between your lives and their own, it creates a sense of liking, which has been shown to be a core component of influence.
You can use this principle to your advantage in the photos you choose for your book promotion campaign, the author bio you put out, and the responses you give in author interviews.
Just be sure to be genuine. Show your authentic self, and people will authentically relate to you. This is a key part of the process of turning readers into fans.
Make People Feel At Home
When you look at the most prominent modern fanbases, you will notice a commonality between them – a powerful sense of community.
Thanks to the prevalence of social media, it’s easier than ever before for people to connect with fellow fans, no matter where they happen to be in the world.
If you are able to create a sense of community which people can belong to, you stand a far better chance of establishing a lasting fanbase who will be eager for your next book.
Some of the most popular books of the modern era are textbook examples of how to achieve this. Think about the rivalry between love interests, resulting in fan ‘teams’, when Twilight came out. Think about how people consider themselves to be members of the different Hogwarts houses among the Harry Potter fandom.
So what are some practical ways you as an author can foster this sense of community and belonging?
Be sure to use social media first and foremost. You can consider using hashtags related to your book, creating a controversy such as two strong main characters, running fan competitions, having some sort of tribe of allegiance aspect to your stories…the possibilities are endless.
Anything which allows readers to remain immersed in the world of your books, even when they’re not reading them, is conducive to a passionate fandom.
After all, what’s more fun than being among passionate fans of something you love? Create this unforgettable experience of community for your readers, and your books are sure to benefit.
A Little Psychology Goes A Long Way
You don’t have to be a master of psychological marketing to boost the success of your next book. Just a basic understanding is often more than enough.
So remember to move people emotionally not logically, to create a sense of relatability, and to foster an atmosphere of community.
Not only will these principles effectively promote your book, they deepen your readers’ joy at the same time. What could be better than that?