Thinking Outside the Box to Promote Your Book

Guest Expert: Phyllis Zimbler Miller

Thanks to the ease of publishing books and eBooks today, there are now even larger numbers of books from which you want your own book to stand out.

And thanks to the opportunities on the Internet you can achieve this goal. However, you need to think creatively “outside the box” to utilize elements that relate to your book in order to engage the attention of readers.

Let’s start with children’s books and move along the age continuum:

If you have a children’s picture book, you already have pictures that can be used on t-shirts, caps, cups, banners for book signings, etc.

Then think about what else you can do with your book’s character, stories, location, historical period, etc. to attract attention.

Susan Chodakiewitz, author of the children’s picture book “Too Many Visitors for One Little House,” is also a music composer. She created a mini-musical of the book’s story and assembled an acting troupe to perform the mini-musical. Performances of “Too Many Visitors” have been given at libraries, schools, and stores such as The Gap.

In addition, she created a dance video to teach children the dance performed in the show. Scroll down the home page of to sample some of the exciting activities for this book.

Now it may not seem as obvious for books for older audiences as to how to come up with engaging activities. But all it takes is a little thinking outside the box.

Let’s take the website of my business partner Yael K. Miller for her Middle Grade novel “Jack Strom and New Orleans Hoodoo.” On her website she could create a crossword puzzle based on New Orleans historical facts. Or she could create a matching word game, again using historical facts.

And for adult novels? The novel “The Wicked Wives” by criminal attorney Gus Pelagatti is based on a true sensational string of murders in Philadelphia in 1938 during the Depression. The author might develop a quiz about that time period or about the criminal prosecution laws at that time. Or even ask readers what their verdict would have been if they had been on the jury.

Of course for nonfiction books there are all kinds of activities that can be connected with a book. These could include a fun survey to find out whether a reader fits the parameters of a special diet or awarding free eBook copies to everyone who leaves a comment on the book’s review page.

Now it’s your turn to think outside the box to give your potential book fans engaging reasons for visiting your book’s site. Once potential fans have interacted with your site, they should more likely buy/read the book(s) that spurred the activities.

And if you want to share any of your own “thinking outside the box” fun promotional activities along with your book’s website URL, do so in the comments for this guest post.

Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller on Twitter) is the co-founder of the marketing company Miller Mosaic, LLC. She is also a fiction and nonfiction author, and you can learn about her books at her Amazon author page.

Photo Credit: Balamurugan Natarajan

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