I am pleased to introduce today's guest post by Ashly Lorenzana who by chance discovered a clever marketing tactic involving Goodreads. Like any “viral” success your mileage may vary but at least Ashly was able to recognize the power of this tactic, and document it.
Share this post with a friend, or better yet, contact Ashly about how she might be able to help you do something similar. Her contact information is at the bottom of the post.
An Introduction to Viral Quote Promotion, by Ashly Lorenzana
It was many years ago that I first had the idea to start and keep a list of the things which I came to believe in life. My convictions, my values and the lessons that I learned with each new experience.
These things were precious to me in a way and I wanted to preserve them, as a reminder to myself and perhaps to give another soul something they could relate to if they stumbled upon it somehow.
I did this for some time before I realized that I had something of a Hallmark-esque coffee table book in the works. Why not publish the list with each thought or observation acting as a stand-alone sentiment, sort of like famous quotes from someone less than famous?
That's exactly what I ended up doing.
I published my book All I Know back in 2012 and basically expected no one to ever buy it. It just wasn't the type of book that was going to sell in volume — it was too weird, too different, impossible to really categorize as it didn't fall neatly into any one genre.
I called it experimental to make it sound cooler, but it was more a book I had written for myself than anyone else. Or so I thought…
The Most Overlooked Feature of GoodReads
Like most indie authors, I already had a GoodReads profile and was no stranger to using it for promotion. I had done several print giveaways when I published my first book and even a couple for All I Know as well.
Each giveaway had received more signups than I had anticipated and most of them resulted in some great feedback and reviews which was awesome. I liked the giveaways and probably would have called them my favorite part of GoodReads until I discovered what I think must be the most underrated feature of all…
Quotes. Yep, that's right. The quotes section. Let me explain.
Once you are a GR author and have linked up your books on the site, then guess what? If you go to add a quote from one of them, it will automatically suggest you as the author and ask you to specify the book the quote is from.
It's important to note that the book is optional. You don't have to list a book. It can just be a quote with you listed as the author. I've done that many times and it works just as well.
You also have the ability to add tags to your quotes. I highly recommend that you add some descriptive tags which help to identify the topics being discussed in your quote.
So what happened after I added some of my quotes to the site? Well, I learned that there are apparently tons of other sites devoted to collecting famous quotes which apparently crawl GR to gather said quotes.
My proof? Well, suddenly the first auto-suggestion in Google after typing my name was the word “quote” after it.
I quickly discovered that the quotes I had added to GR were now all over the web on sites like ShinyQuote.com and SearchQuotes.com. I didn't put them there, but there was no denying that I suddenly had pages on dozens of sites like these which were devoted to listing quotes I had originally added to GR on a whim.
Also, looking up quotes about specific topics turns out to be a fairly common activity for people who search the web with google.
To illustrate the power of GR quotes and to give you an idea of the sheer reach I was able to attain because of adding mine, I'm going to share with you some highlights from my findings.
Bloggers Featured My Quotes in Lists
This sounds like a joke, but I'm serious when I say that I've actually found my quotes included in lists right alongside names like Aristotle and Ghandi. It's funny how a small piece of text containing a single thought is perceived so differently when you package it up as a quote and call it that.
People just assume that anything they find on GR is from someone noteworthy because the rules say not to add any from people unless they are. Who decides how noteworthy an author is, exactly?
Assuming you've had a little bit of press coverage at some point in your writing career, you qualify according to the guidelines at GR. So I went for it. There is no reason you can't too.
My Name Became a Tumblr Tag
I actually didn't know about this until very recently, but apparently a few of my quotes are quite popular with the Tumblr crowd. Some of the quotes shown in the image above have been shared well over a thousand times, much to my shock and amazement.
Then something even crazier started to happen…people were creating quote graphics of my words.
Why would they do that, you might wonder?
People Started Pinning My Quotes on Pinterest
Again to my amazement, someone had taken it upon themselves to create this image of one of my quotes and when I saw the number of different boards that it had been pinned to, I thought there must be some kind of mistake.
How could my words have spread so far from doing so little?
My Book Was Mentioned and Quoted in News Articles
I setup Google Alerts for my full name and the titles of my books. Imagine the shock of seeing my name come up in Google News when this writer quoted one of my books and mentioned it in a news story about interest rates (somewhat odd, I admit).
My Quotes Were Being Tweeted and Shared Daily
I'm not exaggerating to impress anyone here — but my quotes were literally being tweeted and shared on Facebook and Twitter every day. They continue to show up in tweets almost every day even now. Hell, people there seem inclined to add their own artwork and visuals as well now that I think of it.
Using Quotes as Part of Your Book Marketing Strategy
If I discovered all of this by accident, can you imagine how powerful it would be if used intentionally to spread your message, tell more people about your book and build your author brand?
This tactic has so many possibilities that you should milk it for all it's worth. Find blogs who have shared them and tell them about your book. Offer free review copies.
Create branded graphics featuring your quotes, your photo, the title of your book…whatever you think will inspire people to be curious about you and what you do. If you can pull that off, they will search for more information about you.
Use your quotes for print on demand products, it's like advertising for your book in a way that doesn't annoy anyone. They like the inspirational message you share, and you get to plug your book in the process. This is subtle promotion at its finest.
What other ideas are springing to mind as you read this and consider the possibilities? Remember, all good books have good quotes that are worth sharing. Go find yours and get the ball rolling with a little help from GoodReads.
Tips on Adding Quotes:
- Create an author profile first
- Add your books to your GR profile
- Be sure to list yourself as the author when adding quotes
- Choose the book the quote is from (optional)
- Add relevant tags (don't skip this!)
Tips to Create Your Own Quote Graphics:
- Buy some cheap stock photos
- Use a font color that shows up on the image
- Use free software like GIMP to add the text
- Upload them to sites like LoveThisPic.com
- Title the image the same as your book or your name/pen name
Tips on Choosing Quotes:
- Ask your readers what parts they liked most
- Look for popular highlights on Kindle
- Read through your book with a highlighter
- Which passages are inspirational or funny?
- Find parts that could act as a blurb for your book
Taking it to the Next Level:
- Comment on blogs that share your quotes
- Tell them about your book
- Offer free review copies
- Use them to create designs for print-on-demand products like mugs, t-shirts, binders, etc.
- Add this to your book launch strategy
About Ashly Lorenzana
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