If you’re preparing to promote your mystery book, these links and pages will get you off the ground connecting with groups and forums likely to embrace your title.
Your mystery book is finished! Of course, this is cause for celebration, but if you have dreams of setting your laptop aside, think again. As an independent author, you’ll be busier than ever marketing and working to promote your mystery book.
Social media offers plenty of promotion opportunities for any author, but as the author of a mystery book, there are specific sites, forums, groups, and users you can target in the mystery genre to make the best use of your book marketing efforts.
It’s important that members feel you are a dedicated participant, not someone solely interested in promoting your book. So you will need to join in the conversations going on in each forum. Once you’ve established yourself, you can let members know of your book, even giving out special offers and so on.
Below are many useful resources. Feel free to share your favorites with us and we will add them to the list.
Facebook is a valuable asset for anyone marketing on a budget. Start by creating an author page devoted to your mystery title. The next – and more difficult – step is getting people to like your page. Do a search and you can find webinars, books, and blogs devoted to how to do this. Facebook has an easy step-by-step guide to help you out with this.
Remember, Facebook has now become monetized, which means that while you can reach a small segment of your Facebook friends with any post, you’ll have to pay small sums of money to reach a larger audience. This is called “boosting” your post: Once you post on your author page, you’ll see a prompt, “Would you like to “boost this post?” If you answer “yes,” you’ll have to decide how much you would like to spend based on how much exposure you’re looking for.
One way to find people who may be interested in your book is to join the Facebook groups that draw readers of the mystery genre. Below are some Facebook groups for the mystery genre.
Mystery Writers of America. The official Facebook page of the Mystery Writers of America contains news and articles from the society. It can help you connect with a larger, established community, but be forewarned: They have stringent membership requirements for self-published authors.
Crime, Thriller & Mystery Reader’s Café. This group was created for authors in the crime, thriller and mystery genres to post books, reviews, promotions and connect with readers. Any off-topic book posts will be deleted and authors banned from the group.
BOOKED – The Crime Fiction Club. This is a group of crime fiction addicts who discuss the fine line between fact and fiction in popular crime fiction novels. Share your favorite books and authors and any insights you have on the topic of crime fiction.
BTS Promotions – Mystery & Thriller Authors & Readers. This group is designed for authors and readers of mystery and thrillers to interact, post their work, and chat about their favorite titles.
Book Heaven. This is a great place to find good books to read and promote your mystery book. You can post as much as you like and include links to your books, blog, website, etc.
Pimp Your Books. This is a place to promote your books and discuss your favorite books and authors.
You’ll have to be clever — and brief — to effectively use this medium, considering the 140-character limit. If you post your book jacket image with your tweet, subtract 25 characters – and you’ll use up more if you link to your website. So think small. (Note: If you are linking your post to another site, make sure to use a link-shortening service like bit.ly. Bit.ly takes a long URL address and reduces it to only a few characters, freeing up valuable real estate.)
It’s always advisable to use hashtags as they can make a huge difference in how many people see your tweet. A hashtag is used to show what the post is about or related to, preceded by the pound sign (#books, #mystery, etc.). Each hashtag has its own Twitter “address” so readers interested in mystery books might simply visit #TrueCrime and look at all of the posts with this hashtag. Using multiple relevant hashtags is one key to a successful Twitter presence. If you’re offering a Kindle deal for your book, be sure to add the hashtag #kindledeals, as many readers look there for inexpensive books.
Here are some relevant hashtags:
Reddit is a community divided into “subreddits,” all prefaced by the letter “r.” This allows you to promote to a wide audience, such as r/books, or to a more specialized community, such as r/whodunit. Each subreddit is basically a chat space focusing on its particular subject. You can initiate a topic or respond to comments already posted. The more people who respond, the higher up the page the discussion goes. Here’s Reddit’s description of itself.
On the right sidebar on every subreddit, you’ll find the page rules and a list of related subreddits. Some pages allow self-promotion, some forbid it, and others have designated times or threads for self-promotion. Here are a few suggestions, but once you start poking around, you’ll find plenty more threads to get involved with.
r/books. This is a community dedicated to lovers of the written word. It’s a good place to start on Reddit, and while there are no direct promotions allowed on this page, they do have a “new releases” section where you can promote your book.
There are two rules for this group:
1. The books must have been published within the last three months
2. No direct sales links are allowed.
You’ll see a number of options on the sidebar, including reddits for: Authors, Writing, and Genres. Sadly, mystery is an underrepresented genre on Reddit. There are next to no mystery writing subreddits, and the ones that do exist are under-populated. Sticking to r/books and r/selfpublish seems to be the best strategy on Reddit for mystery authors.
Pinterest is a site of theme-based bulletin boards where you can find everything from strange animals to hot air balloons to mystery books.
Each board features images of the topic at hand which you can click through for more information. For example, on a book board, if you click on the image of a book jacket, you might land on a review of the book, the author’s website, or the book’s Amazon page.
Pinterest is used for sharing information – too much self-promotion is frowned upon. You may want to set up a board devoted to a larger topic, such as self-published mystery books or classic mystery titles, and allow others to share their ideas. In addition to creating your own boards, search for others where you can share your images (AKA pins) and connect with others in the mystery book community, including:
One last platform to consider when promoting online is Goodreads. Goodreads is a website owned by Amazon that allows individuals to freely search the extensive user-populated database of books, annotations, and reviews. Users can sign up and post their titles, as well as create lists of their favorite book suggestions. They can also create surveys/polls, blogs, and discussions. READ THE RULES BEFORE POSTING! Authors who only post promotions and do not participate in discourse in the community will be ejected.
Cozy Mysteries. If you are a cozy mystery writer, you can promote your book here, but you need to be active in the group apart from self-promotion or you’ll be considered a spammer.
Mysteries & Crime Thrillers. This large group includes many bestselling mystery authors and avid fans of mystery books. It also offers sections for promotions and giveaways.
The Mystery, Crime, and Thriller Group. Visit the “Author’s Corner” where you can share your book and any promotions.
This post was written by Graham Dickson, a student at the University of Colorado Denver majoring in marketing and minoring in German. It was originally posted on the BlueInk Review blog. Republished with permission.
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