If you’re getting ready to promote a romance novel, this post will get you connecting with groups and forums likely to embrace your work.
Your romance book is finished, and while you might like to lay your head on the bedpost and light a cigarette, you’re not there yet. As a self-published author, the reality is you’ll be busier than ever working to market your book and promote your title online (and off) if you’re hoping to make sales.
As you probably know, there are countless online groups and forums hopelessly devoted to the romance genre. As a self-published author, your job is to engage with these communities. It’s important that you don’t try to exploit these online groups exclusively to promote your romance book, but rather become a dedicated participant who contributes to the conversations taking place. Once you’ve established yourself, it’s appropriate to let members know of your book, perhaps even promoting special offers and exclusive deals.
Below is a long list of sites and resources related to the romance genre. Share new ones we haven’t listed in the comments section.
Facebook is an obvious place to start an online book marketing campaign, especially if you’re on a tight budget. It’s best to start by creating a Facebook author page devoted to your romance book. Then comes the hard part: getting people to like your page. An online search will reveal webinars, books, and blogs devoted to how to generate followers, and Facebook has a guide to help you out as well.
Remember, Facebook is monetized, which means you can reach a segment of your Facebook friends with any post, but 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 romance genre.
Romance Macias (8,600 members). Post your books, reviews, blog posts, and links to your site. Keep posts respectful; share, promote, and have fun: posts not related to books will be removed.
Marketing For Romance Writers (6,000 members). Authors and other members of the literary community can post promos, get/give advice, and support others.
Romance Novels Publicity and Book Club (7,000 members). This group’s page in devoted to “Connecting Romance Authors with their Readers!” and asks you to “Introduce us to your Romance Novel here.” The rules are quite specific, so read carefully.
Hot Reads (13,000 members). The site is focused on the discussion and promotion of erotic romance novels.
Paranormal, Romance, And Fantasy Books (3,700 members). Paranormal, Romance, and Fantasy. Here, readers, bloggers, and authors come together to talk about their work and what they are currently reading. A great place to reach a diverse fan base.
Book Heaven (8,000 members). This is a great place to find good books to read and promote your romance book. You can post as much as you like and include links to your books, blog, website, etc.
Pimp Your Books (8,000 members). This is a place to promote your books and discuss your favorite books and authors.
You’ll have to be brief to effectively use Twitter, 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.
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 a post is related to, preceded by the pound sign (#books, #romance, etc.). Each hashtag has its own Twitter “address” so readers interested in romance books might simply visit #Romance or #Erotica 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/romance. 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. And while Facebook reaches more people, it doesn’t allow for the sort of specialization you can find on Reddit. Here are a few suggestions, and once you start poking around, you’ll find plenty more 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.
/r/Romance. Not just about romance books, but romance in general, you can lose yourself in the exploits questions, and musings of the men and women pitching their questions, ideas, and prose.
Pinterest is a site of virtual, theme-based bulletin boards covering everything from bathroom remodels to Italian recipes to romance and erotica books. Each board features images of the topic at hand; clicking on an image brings up more information. On a book board, when you click on the image of a book jacket, you might land on a review of the book, the author’s website, the book’s Amazon page, etc.
The site is designed for sharing information, but too much self-promotion is frowned upon. So, when you set up your Pinterest board, you may want to set up a board devoted to a larger topic, such as self-published romance fiction or favorite classic romantic books, and allow others to share their titles with you.
In addition to creating your own boards, search for others where you can share your pins (images) and connect with others in the romance community. Here are a few that BlueInk recommends.
Another platform to consider when promoting your romance book online is Goodreads. Goodreads is a website owned by Amazon that allows individuals to freely search an extensive user-populated database of books, annotations, and reviews. Users can sign up and register books to generate library catalogs and reading lists or create their own groups of book suggestions, 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.
Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy. This group focuses on discussions and recommendations for paranormal romances and paranormal erotic romance, along with urban fantasy, science fiction, futuristic, and fantasy romance. If you love vampires, werewolves, and hot faerie men, this is the group for you.
Erotica. As the home page says, this “group believes erotica is not vulgar or obscene. It’s art. It’s beautiful and it has a place. We are adults who can understand and read sexually implicit (not explicit) fictional literature and appreciate it for what it is.” The group allows for limited promotion of books, provided you read and agree to the code of conduct prior to joining.
Erotic Enchants. A group for chatting about all types of erotica, “from the tame to the taboo.” It discusses erotic reads of all types, so don’t be shy…
Next stop: Instagram, Snapchat, Vine…
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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