Mid-Week Book Marketing Tips: How To Be A Multi-Media Author and Stand Out From The Crowd

Guest Expert: Joanna Penn

As authors and writers we focus on text based marketing because that is what we are good at and comfortable with. However, all other authors focus on the same thing and if you want to stand out from the crowd in marketing your book, then you could consider multi-media options.

Here are some ideas for turning your book marketing into a multi-media extravaganza.

Audio: Record a chapter of your book as a downloadable audio. Some authors create full production audio versions of their books for free, such as podcast novelists Scott Sigler, Tee Morris and Philippa Ballantine. While this can create you fans over time, it is a lot of work but you can start by recording a chapter with basic equipment and in very little time. Get a microphone and use free recording and editing software Audacity to create an audio file. Embed it on your blog for people to download, or add to a podcast.

Audio: Record an interview of you discussing your book. You could also record an interview about your book. This could be an interview with media, another blogger/writer or just a supportive friend. You can use Skype for free calls and the brilliant Pamela for recording through Skype. People love to hear information from writers and many people look for audios to consume while they exercise or do household chores that mean they are not at the computer.

Touch: Create a branded product that relates to your book for giveaway or to sell. You will have your physical print book but this gives fans a chance to participate and also creates its own buzz. Author and podcaster Mur Lafferty did this with bar glasses from Keepsie’s Bar for her novel ‘Playing for Keeps’, and JC Hutchins released Beta Clone T-shirts for 7th Son trilogy.

Video: Record a video interview of you discussing your book. Video technology is getting easier all the time. You can use a cheap Flipcam/iPodNano or use your mobile phone to get straight onto YouTube now. You can also record directly onto YouTube with your computer webcam. Slick book trailers take a lot more work and effort but people love the authenticity of hearing an author speak directly so just make some video and get it out there.

Video: Record a video about your writing influences and how you actually wrote the book. For many people, hearing an author they enjoy speaking about their life, their writing routine and influences is fascinating. Far more interesting than the specific book story itself. You might be surprised at how popular this is even if you are just writing your first book. Many readers want to write so are interested in how to get there themselves.

Blog Tours: Instead of submitting just text for your blog tours, create specific videos or audios for the blogs you are visiting as per the above ideas. You could also include a text transcript or highlights which will help for Search Engine Optimisation.

Interactive: Create an online game or interactive experience that goes with your book. This works particularly well for children’s books and can be a simple downloadable idea or a complex online world to play in. Check out children’s book ‘Dream Raider’ for ideas as they have jigsaw puzzles, word search, competitions and more.

Interactive Multimedia: Create an iPhone app with multi-media. Author Philip Pullman just published the controversial novel ‘The Good Man Jesus and Scoundrel Christ’. While the title alone will get him plenty of marketing opportunities, his publisher also released an iphone app which combined the ebook, audio book and video of the author speaking all in one easy to purchase iPhone app. iPhone apps are now within the reach of self published authors too so do not have to be prohibitively expensive.

Those are just some ideas for multi-media marketing with free or cheap tools online. The limit is no longer the technology, only your imagination!


Joanna Penn is an author, speaker and blogger. Get your free Author 2.0 Blueprint and How to Be an Author Workbook at http://www.TheCreativePenn.com. Connect with Joanna on Twitter @thecreativepenn or Facebook

Photo Credit: nickwheeleroz

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  1. Chetan DhruveChetan Dhruve

    Joanna – thanks, this is very useful. I’ve been planning to add audio and video content to my website, but have always wondered if the effort was worthwhile. It just seems so much easier to write (I know that’s the easy way out, given we’re all writers here!). Out of curiosity, out of the total number of people who visit your site, how many (as a rough percentage) listen/view audio/video?

    Thanks a ton!

    Chetan

  2. info@janesedixon.com'Ja'Nese Dixon

    Joanna,

    Thanks for the tips. I used most of them on my current virtual book tour. I’m interested to see how it affects my website traffic and book sales.

    Ja’Nese

  3. cliffball_2000@yahoo.com'Cliff Ball

    I keep going back and forth on recording my book using Audacity. It’s good to know there are author’s out there who record their own novels though, so I feel a little more encouraged. All of these suggestions, thanks by the way, are about the only things I haven’t done, so I guess it’s time for me to get to work!

  4. lisa@ninetydegreesmedia.com'Lisa Angle

    Thank you for encouraging authors to include multimedia. I’ve recently been helping authors get the word out about their books through video. Multimedia really is the way to go with PR these days.