If you’re getting ready to promote your science fiction book, this post will get you started connecting with groups and forums likely to embrace your work.
Your sci-fi book is finished! It’s a feat worth celebrating, but if you think you can set your laptop aside for a while, think again. As an independent author, you’ll be busier than ever marketing and working to promote your science fiction book. Social media offers plenty of promotion opportunities for any author, but there are specific sites, forums, groups, and users you can target based on your genre to make the best use of your book marketing efforts.
There are countless online groups fiercely devoted to the science fiction/fantasy genre. If you’ve written a sci-fi or fantasy book, your task is to find these forums and engage with them. Of course, any time you are engaging with a group or forum via social media, it’s important that members first know you as a dedicated participant, not someone solely interested in promoting. Once you’ve established yourself as a contributor and fan of the genre, you can let members know of your book, provide special offers, and promote your title.
Here is a long list of social media outlets dedicated to the science fiction/fantasy genre. Share you favorites and experiences in the comments section.
Facebook is an obvious resource for anyone marketing on a budget. Start by creating an author page devoted to your science fiction book (Facebook has a step-by-step guide to help you with this). Step two is getting people to visit and like your page. Keep in mind that Facebook is now monetized: you can reach a small segment of your Facebook friends with any post, but to reach a larger audience, you’ll have to pay. Once you post something on your page, Facebook will ask if you’d like to “boost this post?” If you say “yes,” a pop up appears, asking how much you’d like to spend. Once boosted, Facebook will send the item to like-minded pages, which is an effective way to reach beyond your immediate circle of friends and readers and get your book on the feeds of people interested in your topic.
One way you can start finding those people yourself is to join the Facebook groups that draw readers of your genre. Below are some Facebook groups for the science fiction genre.
Fantasy & Science Fiction Writers in America. A group of American science fiction/fantasy authors who promote their works and workshop their ideas.
Sci-fi Books. A place where authors can promote their works and receive feedback.
Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors. A group of over 5,000 science fiction/fantasy fans and authors where members can post their books.
Readers and Authors promotions. A group of over 5,000 authors and readers that allows authors to promote their books. Note: this is an all-genres’ book group.
Science Fiction. A group of over 5,000 members dedicated to readers of science fiction/fantasy. Promotion encouraged.
Space Opera. A group of over 5,000 members interested in Space Opera, a sub-genre of science fiction dealing with stories of epic adventure and conflict on a grand scale. Authors can promote their books through special promotion threads.
Science Fiction Book Club. A page with over 45,000 likes where you can find out about the latest in science fiction and connect with fans.
Science Fiction and Fantasy Books Fans. A group of over 3,000 science fiction and fantasy fans, where authors can post their books and discuss current books and other related topics.
SciFi,Horror,Endoftheworld,Truestory.,other,Books,Screen,Music,Writers. A group of over 2,000 members where authors can share their pages, books and ideas.
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. News and activities related to the genre.
With posts limited to 140 characters, you’ll have to be clever — and brief — to effectively use this medium. Planning to post your book jacket image with your tweet? Subtract 25 of those characters. And you’ll use up even more characters if you want to link to your website. Moral of story: 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 on your limited character allowance.)
Remember to 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, #SciFi, etc.). Each hashtag has its own Twitter “address” so people interested in science fiction, for example, might simply visit #SciFi 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 convenient “subreddits,” 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/steampunk. 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 that others have posted. The more people who respond, the higher on the page that discussion goes. 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/scifi. For all things science fiction, this is a great thread to seek out. There are always lots of visitors discussing books, movies, and ideas, and Saturdays are deemed “self-promo Saturdays,” so be sure to log in on Saturday to promote your book to this active group. What you’ll find on the sidebar here: Numerous subreddits, from science fiction to cyberpunk to Frankenstein.
r/sciencefiction. For fans and creators of science fiction, this is a place to discuss science fiction ideas and get feedback on your work. What you’ll find on the sidebar here: lots of science fiction specialties, from steampunk to cyborgs to futurology.
Pinterest is a site of virtual theme-based bulletin boards. You can find boards on everything from bathroom remodels to Indian recipes to science fiction 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 and share our pins with.
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.
Image via ShutterStock.com.
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