If you’re preparing to promote a horror book, these social media forums will open the crypt and connect you with groups and readers likely to devour your title.
Your horror book is finished, but there’s no rest for the wicked. Scary as it seems, as a self-published author, you’ll be busier than ever spending hours online marketing yourself and your work. The good news is, there are plenty of outlets online available to an author looking to promote a horror book.
Your task is to engage and interact with the people using these forums. But beware! It’s important that the members and administrators see you as a dedicated participant, not just someone promoting a book. Once you’ve established yourself by joining the discussions and conversations, you can let members know about your books, offering special promotions and establishing yourself as a writer.
Here are many useful resources. Feel free to share your favorites with us and we will add them to the list.
Facebook is a go-to resource for any author doing his book marketing on a budget. You’ll want to start by creating an author page devoted to your horror books. Then comes the hard part: getting people to like your page. There are plenty of webinars, books, and blogs devoted to the topic of growing your Facebook following, and Facebook has an easy step-by-step guide to help you out as well.
Remember, Facebook is monetized, which means you can reach a small segment of your Facebook friends with a post, but you’ll have to pay small to reach a larger audience. This is called “boosting” your post. Once you post something on your author page, you’ll see a prompt, “Would you like to “boost this post?” If you answer “yes,” you decide how much you’d like to spend and 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 horror genre. Below are some Facebook groups for the horror book genre.
Horror Writers. This is a page for horror writers, readers, and fans. Self-promotion is allowed, as long as it’s not overdone. (6,022 members)
Horror Writers Net. This group is for anyone who appreciates horror fiction and will add anyone who asks for admission. The group welcomes all writers, artists, reviewers, and fans. (1,328 members)
Horror Readers and Writers. This forum welcomes anyone posting about horror, whether it be books, films, editing, or producing. (1,369 members)
Horror Promotion. this page encourages readers and fans of horror to post their favorite horror books. Authors are welcome to post their links, pages, etc. to promote their books. The only rule is to be respectful: no book bashing or trolling and keep all posts and promo horror-themed please. (1,602 members)
Horror & Paranormal Authors & Readers. This is a page designed for readers and authors of horror and paranormal genres to interact, post their work, chat about their favorites, ask questions, and inspire others. (1,598 members)
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. (9,222 members)
Pimp Your Books. This is a place to promote your books and discuss your favorite books and authors. (13,275)
As you know by now, Twitter limits you to 140 characters, so you’ll have to be brief — and clever — to effectively use it. Subtract 25 characters if you’re planning to post your book cover image, and you’ll use more characters if you want to link to your website. Moral of story: Think small. (Note: If you are linking your post to your author website, 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 on your limited character allowance.)
Whenever you tweet, use hashtags – 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, #horror, etc.). Each hashtag has its own Twitter “address” so people interested in horror books, for example, might simply visit #horrorbook and look at all of the posts with this hashtag. Using multiple relevant hashtags, while not going overboard, is paramount 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,” prefaced by the letter “r.” Reddit allows you to promote your horror book to a wide audience, such as r/books, or to a more specialized community, such as r/horrorlit. Each page, or subreddit, is basically a chat space that focuses on a particular subject. Visitors can initiate a topic or simply respond to comments already posted. The more people respond, the higher the discussion is listed on the page. Here’s Reddit’s description of itself.
Make sure to look at the right sidebar on every subreddit you visit, where you’ll find related subreddits as well as the page rules. Some pages allow self-promotion; some strictly forbid it, and others have special 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 in order to get a feel for the world of books on the site. While there are no direct promotions allowed on this page (remember: you can always see each subreddit’s rules on the right side their homepage), 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/horror. Known as “Dreadit” by its subscribers, this is the premier horror genre entertainment community on Reddit. For more than seven years, r/horror has been Reddit’s gateway to the darker side of entertainment.
r/WritersOfHorror. This is a subreddit where you can submit your horror-themed writing for critique or amusement. Visitors can post requests for advice, links of interest to other horror writers, and AMAs (Ask Me Anythings) with prominent figures in horror literature.
Pinterest is home to a multitude of theme-based, virtual bulletin boards. You can find boards on everything from Mexican recipes to soccer players to horror books.
Each board features images of the topic at hand; clicking on an image brings up more information. For example, on a book board, if you click on the image of a book jacket, that might take you to a review of the book or the author’s website or the book’s Amazon page.
Pinterest is used for sharing information, but too much self-promotion is frowned upon. You may want to set up a board devoted to a larger topic, such as self-published science fiction or favorite classic science fiction books, and allow others to share their titles with you. Join in the fun of creating interesting boards that not only will promote sales, but will also be fun and engaging to others. In addition to creating your own boards, be sure to search out other boards where you can share your pins (your images) and connect with others in the science fiction community. Here are a few that we like.
One last platform to consider when promoting your horror book online is Goodreads. Owned by Amazon, Goodreads allows readers to freely search an 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. You 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.
Horror Aficionados. This is a community that deals in horror literature, movies and all things macabre. There is a section for promotion that also offers suggestions on how to promote your book.
Witches, Weres, and Vamps, Oh MY! This group is for paranormal fiction but gladly welcomes horror as well, but be sure to keep your promos to the “Promotion” section.
Paranormal and Horror Lovers. This is a group for indie paranormal and horror book authors to connect with readers.
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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