By Gina Conroy
There’s no denying it. More and more ebooks, from both traditional publishers and indie authors, are hitting the cyber bookshelf. So what’s an ebook author to do about book signings and sales if they don’t have a physical product to hand their reader?
When I signed my recent contract for my mystery Digging Up Death with an ebook publisher that question and others were on my mind. How would I sell my book at book signing, how would I sign my book, and maybe more importantly, how would I reach readers in this technology saturated world and really grab their attention? I think I’ve found some answers!
The Magic of the QR Code
You’ve seen them before. In fact, they’re every where. Those funky images of lines and blocks inside a square. I bet you’ve even scanned a few of them with your phone. They’re called QR codes. Short for Quick Response (QR). And quick they are. Just use a smart phone app like ShopSavvy for androids or I-nigma on iPhones then scan the code, and it will connect you to a webpage encoded in the image. Go ahead, try it now!
The magic of the QR code for ebook authors is that you can put your code on your bookmarks, brochures, stickers or anything you hand your potential reader. When they scan the image, it can lead to your website page with details on where to buy your book. They can buy it on the spot or they can take home the QR code as a reminder of where to buy your book. Brilliant, isn’t it! I think so, and so do the other authors who’ve already begun using this technology. Go ahead scan the QR code if you haven’t done it already!
Using Digital Signature Service to Sign Ebooks
In essence, Kindlegraph is a service that allows authors to digitally sign their ebooks by drawing their signature using the mouse on their computer or their finger on a tablet. Readers can request signatures through this service and the author can personalize the message to the individual reader which will be stored in their computer. Readers can even create an autograph “collection” to store signatures. And the best part, it’s free!
Autography has a similar service which allows the author to sign books for the reader, but on a temporary signature page until the customer has purchased the book online. The retailer then sends the signature to the customer’s eReader device. If the reader has already purchased the book the author is notified electronically of the customer’s request for a signature.
Why are digital signatures a good idea? For starters, book signings now have limitless possibilities. Are you being interviewed on the radio or television? You can tell your viewers that you can sign their books after purchase in a matter of minutes (theoretically.) How about holding a virtual book signing via video streaming or Skype? Or maybe you want a traditional book signing where you connect with readers face to face. Now you can offer photos and signatures using this technology even without a physical book to sell.
If you’re an ebook author, your potential readers are not hanging out in books stores. Let’s face it, fewer and fewer people are. And don’t get me started on how the younger generation (aka my kids) rarely have their nose in a book. Then where are their noses? Online and on Youtube streaming the latest stupid or silly video.So what better way to reach potential readers than by hosting a YouTube Channel. It would take another post to list all the ways to market your ebook on Youtube, but here’s a couple of ideas to get you started.
Consider an author channel and/or a specific book channel. Aside from posting the obvious book trailer (make sure it’s well produced) and author interviews, consider acting out scenes in your book. I’m not an actor or film maker, you say? Consider asking the local theatre or film student to produce your video. You’d be surprised how willing they are to volunteer their time and how talented the younger generation is with a video camera and some editing equipment. You might even get a few readers to record their reviews of your book so others can see and hear their thoughts.
I used to think my book marketing and sales would be limited by publishing an ebook, but with today’s advances in technology the opposite is true. You have endless possibilities in marketing your ebook if you just expand your creativity. The only real thing you’re limited by is your imagination.
As an ebook or traditionally published author, what are YOUR must haves?
Gina Conroy is a creative marketing and social media enthusiast who loves helping authors plan launch parties and spice up their promotion. She is the author of Buried Deception, Cherry Blossom Capers, released from Barbour Publishing in January 2012, and she recently contracted her first full length mystery, Digging Up Death. As founder of Writer…Interrupted, she loves to build relationships with writers and readers. When she isn’t writing, teaching, or driving kids around, you can find her on Facebook and Twitter, or tearing it up on the ballroom dance floor.