What was the last book you were really excited to get your hands on?
Think about it for a moment:
- Where did you learn about it?
- How did it catch your attention?
- What made you need to read it?
For me, it almost always starts with an author I already love. Then, I read an update on the author’s blog, or catch word from a friend, or get an alert on Goodreads. It doesn’t really matter.
What matters is, it’s welcome news.
Done right, it feels organic and natural. But take it from someone with 10 years of public relations experience — it almost never is. Building excitement takes planning and effort.
Now, before you blame your beloved authors for knowing how to promote their work — this is good news.
It means you can get your readers that excited for your books, too.
I’ve been paying attention to authors who do this well, and now, as my second full novel is about to hit the shelves, I’m getting my first chance to put my lessons to work.
Here are a few tips from what I’ve observed works best, and how to put it to work for yourself.
1. It starts with genuine enthusiasm
Just because you’ve got an end goal of promoting doesn’t mean it can’t also be authentic.
You know that feeling you get when you’re writing and you’re loving what you’re creating? Maybe it’s because of the myth of the tortured artist, but most of us don’t embrace this awesome feeling enough (guilty as charged).
The authors who build reader suspense really well, ride this feeling for all its worth, and they let their readers in on it.
“Did I just throw a hydra into a major fight scene? You bet I did. Not sure how our heroes are going to get out of this one…”
So pay attention to those moments of “yes!” and share them. Even better, remember them to share more later when the book is releasing.
2. Flaunt your signature flair
How does your favorite TV show get you excited for a new upcoming season?
Your favorite authors are using similar tactics to build your excitement.
Let’s take Stranger Things as an example. In season one, one of the most gripping details was the show’s monster — the demagorgon. In the final episode of the season, the show teased a new monster’s name, a thessalhydra. Now, the teasers for the new season are teasing a strange, shadowy creature through the mist.
So the question is, what do readers love about your books? Milk it.
If you loved Adem’s narration in book #1, I can’t wait for you to see him through Rona’s eyes in book #2.
3. Create insider treasures
Nothing makes a reader feel like an A-class insider like being treated to A-class gifts.
Many authors create incredible extras inspired by their writing, drawn from their characters or worlds. This can be anything from a map of an alternate world to lovely character cards, or a peek behind the curtain at your creative process.
If you create it and present it with love, your readers will feel special for having it.
For mine, I hired an artist with a unique visual style I felt matched the tone of my novels to create a poster for them. I am absolutely in love with the result, and readers have loved it, too.
Excitement is contagious!
Your book releases don’t have to just be about email blasts and promotion discounts. Just like your own favorite authors, you can take steps to build genuine excitement among your readership for your new books.
By sharing your own excitement, paying attention to what your readers love about your work, and crafting unique promotion offerings that make the experience special, you can build buzz that leaves your readers eager to grab your next release as soon as it’s on the shelves.
What gets you excited about a new book?