We’re already halfway through 2022. It feels like we are finally (fingers crossed) crawling out of this two-and-a-half year disruptive pandemic. Book publishing has been forced to evolve due to paper shortages, supply chain backups, shipping containers filled with books sitting in ports, and those who decided not to go back to work, creating even more disruption in places of business.
But people still have stories to tell, advice to give, books to write. And boy, is this ever the time to write, publish and promote YOUR book!
The book PR business has been busier than ever, and we’ve noticed a few trends, especially in the fiction realm, that we’d like to share:
Trend #1: DIY is on the rise.
Authors are self-publishing their novels more than ever, especially with the help of Amazon/KDP, the one-stop shop for putting your book out into the world. According to Bowker, there is an average of over 2,700 self-published books launched every day. That combined with the traditionally published books also entering the market AND the already full bookstores, makes shelfspace very crowded.
Give Your Cover Some Extra Love. Book covers are getting better. Authors, especially self-published authors, are realizing the importance of a professionally designed cover. We refer a lot of our potential clients to 99designs. We have no skin in the game with them but are really impressed with the covers they’ve produced for our clients (and the clients have been happy too!).
Tip: Limit the number of different fonts and colors, and never, ever put your own face on the cover of your book, unless you are a very well-recognized celebrity.
Trend #2: Influencers are key.
Bookish social media has nearly surpassed, if not already beat out, book blogs for promoting novels. Bookstagrammers, booktubers and BookTokkers have narrowed down their interests to specific genres and are filling the social atmosphere with unboxing videos, TBR stacks, reviews and recommendations (with romance and mystery/thrillers topping the lists in popularity).
Consider Hiring Social Media Help. Whether you’re super active on social media or don’t have time to make creative stories and posts, there is a wide variety of social media strategists who can help you create engaging content and compelling graphics to entice book influencers on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube to share your book with their followers.
Tip: Many of the higher-following influencers charge to share a book on their feed/stories, but there are some amazing influencers who still love sharing and posting about books they love, for free! Search for them using your specific genre hashtags and get to know them.
Trend #3: Book trade reviews are still very important.
As you can imagine, the pre-publication book review trade outlets (Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal, Booklist, Foreword Reviews, etc.) continue to be overwhelmed with submissions. If you’re lucky enough to have your ARCs review-ready 4-6 months before your pub date, submit to these guys for free. They still carry quite a bit of clout with the booksellers, top tier media and librarians.
We can help! When you want to submit your next bestseller to the pre-publication book trade outlets but don’t want to start a full book PR campaign so far in advance, we’ve got you covered! One option we offer to our clients is to spend Month 1 (4-6 months before pub date) creating your press materials and submitting the book for pre-publication review, then going quiet, or even fully dark, for a couple of months until you’re ready to start the full campaign push towards your pub date. It’s worth it to get your book considered by these coveted review outlets.
Tip: Always read the submission guidelines very carefully: 1) Some will accept only digital and some only physical; 2) Some won’t consider a self-published or even a hybrid-published book; 3) Have ALL the required data/information included on your one-sheet when you submit; and 4) Meet the deadlines, or your book might end up in the trash.
The publishing industry is changing, but the PR industry is keeping up. New opportunities are popping up every day in various spaces, so showcase your creativity and chase them down. Be daring with your book cover. Follow and befriend influencers. Approach that coveted book trade reviewer.
Change may be difficult, but keeps your audience engaged, and always gets people excited to read along.
Learn even more tips and tricks about creating success and influence with our Author to Influencer Accelerator. Our unique program not only helps authors take advantage of DIY publicity opportunities but provides a supportive group of other authors and industry professionals to aid their success. The Accelerator is a proven five-step pathway that takes the pain out of promoting your book — and allows you to fly from Preparation to Promotion. Access over 60 workshops and join the private Facebook group!