Are you at wits’ end for new ideas for promoting a book? It’s difficult to stay on the cutting edge of book marketing. So, here’s an idea: bonus content.
For both self-published and traditionally published books, bonus content is severely underutilized. This, coincidentally, makes it even more enticing to readers because it’s so rare. The first thing you might think of when talking about bonus content is budget, and the second is probably time. If you’re limited on either, or both, you’re in luck because you likely already have everything you need to create great bonus content.
Here are some considerations for promoting a book using bonus content:
Bonus content for fiction and for non-fiction. Simply put, fiction authors should think of bonus content as “world enhancing” and non-fiction authors should think of bonus content and “business building.” This should give you an idea of what to consider bonus content for your book. As a bonus tip, try looking for other authors in your genre using bonus content to see what they offer.
Bonus content for engagement. Bonus content is a great boost to your overall marketing and gives readers not just a reason to come back, but a reason to remember you, too. This is especially true if the bonus content engages them in some way. For non-fiction writers, engaging bonus content might include a workbook, or for fiction, a sample chapter to entice readers for a new release.
Bonus content is always free. This definitely doesn’t mean that you must give your book away for free. But bonus content is something tethered to your book/brand and it’s always free. It likely took very little of your time, effort, or funds to create the material, and even if it did, it’ll do more good as a free item.
Bonus content supports your overall brand. It’s a great way to keep your name out there and enhance what you’re able to offer readers or clients beyond your book. The more content potential readers or clients can see from you, the better idea they’ll get of what you can provide them.
Bonus content helps fuel promotions. Every time I release a book I like to do something “extra” to make the book stand out, to make it unique to me. Ideally, this content will make me and my book different from anything similar in the market. And I want to keep it recognizable for my brand for future publications. For my books, I typically use trading cards which I’ll discuss later, but I’ve also done marketing planners (which readers love), and quizzes.
Bonus content is a great reader magnet. Everyone’s time and privacy is precious, so if you’re asking people to sign up for your mailing list or newsletter and giving them nothing in return, I guarantee you’re missing out on opportunities. Bonus content can act as a freebie to get folks to sign up for your newsletter. It’s a great way to reward someone for sharing their contact information.
Now that you have a sense of what bonus content is all about, let’s brainstorm some creative pieces you can implement into your own book marketing strategy.
Creative Ideas for Promoting a Book – Bonus Content examples!
Let’s start with fiction. Things like novellas, a couple chapters of an upcoming release, and reader’s guides are perfect for an upcoming release, pre-publication. To entice your most avid readers, try character interviews, digital character “trading cards,” and insight into your research. Cool, interesting facts you learned along the way, maps of towns or planets or fictional worlds, and any stories of real-life connections or inspirations is bound to attract new and existing readers alike. Think of what you would love to have accompany your favorite fiction book or series.
For children’s book authors, downloadable coloring pages and craft ideas that align with your characters or theme are always big winners!
Examples of bonus content for non-fiction authors include: quizzes, workbooks, action items or checklists, daily productivity prompts, a list of your recommended resources, helpful platforms and hacks, a series of helpful videos. I’ve even created marketing tip cards, like the trading cards I mentioned for fiction, for my non-fiction books. Readers love these and I take them to every speaking event I do! Think of the key takeaways of your book and how your readers can put them to use.
Whether it’s used as a reader magnet or a pre-order promotion, there are countless benefits to bonus content, if done right. And if it’s not performing as you’d hoped, you can always switch it up and keep trying to find what interests readers in your market. Pair this with your existing book marketing strategy for a unique touch to help you stand out amongst the rest.
Penny C. Sansevieri, Founder and CEO of Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a bestselling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. She is an Adjunct Professor teaching Self-Publishing for NYU. She was named one of the top influencers of 2019 by New York Metropolitan Magazine.
Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most innovative Amazon visibility campaigns as well offering national media pitching, online book marketing, author events, and other strategies designed to build the author/book visibility.
She is the author of 18 books, including How to Sell Your Books by the Truckload on Amazon, Revise and Re-Release Your Book, 5-Minute Book Marketing for Authors, and From Book to Bestseller. She also hosts the top ranking podcast Book Marketing Tips and Author Success.
AME has had dozens of books on top bestseller lists, including those of the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal.
To learn more about Penny’s books or her promotional services, visit www.amarketingexpert.com.