You've got a blog, a website, and even an email newsletter, but you want to go to the next level in book marketing. Reaching fans and readers to urge them to click on that sales button is what book promotions are all about. The more times a reader sees your work, the more likely it is that she'll buy it. The best way to reach that next level is by marketing on the device readers look at more than any other: their phone. Readers gladly give up their email address so that they can get advance notice and inside info on your books. Fans who really want to know about your latest novel can now sign up for text alerts the same way. Set up a system for texting multiple phone numbers and you'll put your book cover in front of readers' eyes like never before.
Why Text Messages?
It's all about market saturation. Cell phone usage in the Unites States has reached almost 100 percent coverage, and the rate for opening a text message reaches almost the same amount. Unlike with email messaging, if you send someone a text message, it's almost guaranteed that they'll open it. Just like an email newsletter, keeping people reading after opening is a matter of writing interesting copy, but the more people who put eyes on your message, the more who will respond to it. Use it for flash sales to keep readers interested, update your biggest fans about progress on your next book, or create coupon codes they can email to you for freebies.
How to Do It
Search for text messaging services online. You'll find more than a dozen companies currently offering this service, with a huge variety of plans. Most offer a free service for a certain number of texts per month. This is great if you have a small list, or if you want to try it out for a few months. If it works with your readers the increases sales will pay for future texts when your list grows larger.
Create a bright and interesting text, much like writing a tweet. Keep your message on the short side, and start out with a short sentence that grabs the readers. Your text message should only be between one and three sentences long, just enough to tease them or let them know about upcoming events. Add a link to your sales page so smartphone users can click directly to the page. That's creating impulse buying at its best.
If you're an author who is already promotion-savvy, you've already got a newsletter that goes out on a regular basis. A text message campaign should support the newsletter by bringing in new readers and appealing to different people. Send the messages out on weeks when the newsletter isn't in play. It's better for readers to see a steady stream of your promotions than to get buried in an overload on one day.
Keep the Faith and May the Force be with You!