The Internet is a social place. It’s where readers find their next book, where authors stay connected to readers, where publishers keep abreast of new voices, and industry newbies hunt for their first jobs in the field. “How to use…if you’re…” breaks down best practices for literary social corners of the Internet for different players in the publishing industry.
We’re starting this series out with our sister site, BookishFirst!
Using BookishFirst as a Marketer
Utilize BookishFirst to connect with a community of highly engaged readers, jumpstart early interest and consumer reviews for your books, increase buzz on social and retail sites, and gain valuable demographic information about your audience!
What is BookishFirst?
BookishFirst is a new platform that allows publishers and authors to reach avid readers directly with a pre-publication excerpt and book raffle. Readers get a “First Look” at new books with an excerpt, and enter the raffle to win the full book by providing a short blurb, their “First Impression.” Raffle winners are then sent the full book, and after reading, they submit full reviews on retail and book community sites. Readers are incentivized: each action earns points (writing blurbs and full reviews, and sharing those reviews, especially on pub date), and those points can later be redeemed for a free book without raffle entry.
Category trends are beginning to develop, as raffles for Women’s Fiction, YA, and Thrillers are doing especially well. But recent experiments with other verticals, including nonfiction, comics, and cookbooks, have seen success as well.
How To Use BookishFirst
Learn more about your readers
One of the most powerful benefits of a BookishFirst campaign is the information marketers get about their readers. BookishFirst reporting includes information on readers’ age, gender, and book-buying habits (including how often they purchase books and where). Marketers can then use this information to gain early insight into what kinds of readers will be most interested in their titles. If a marketer expects their title to resonate best with women 21-30, but finds that most of the raves from BookishFirst are from women 51-60, that marketer can adjust the marketing strategy to best access those readers.
Gain early impressions
Readers get a “First Look” new books with an excerpt, and enter the raffle to win the full book by providing their “First Impression” or short blurb. Raffle winners are sent the full book, and after reading, submit their full reviews on retail and book community sites. Readers are encouraged to write full reviews and share them widely. They earn points for every action (writing blurbs and full reviews, and sharing those reviews, especially on pub date), and those points can later be redeemed for a free book without raffle entry. BookishFirst has an 80% review rate: readers are very engaged and incentivized to submit full reviews after winning the book.
The in-depth reporting that BookishFirst provides to publishers after the pub date includes those full reviews, as well as the specific links to those reviews on retail and book community sites. Publishers find the reporting especially valuable: “This is so great, especially the audience breakdown…I definitely want to do this again.”
Generate buzz outside of BookishFirst
BookishFirst campaigns radiate out into other parts of the Internet in several ways. Raffle winners crosspost their reviews on book sites (like Amazon, Goodreads, blogs, etc), especially on pub date, and are sent an automated reminder to do so. BookishFirst campaigns can also integrate into social media campaigns; for example, through hashtags.
Reach the Bookish & NetGalley communities
New raffle books are promoted heavily to the entire Bookish audience via email marketing and social media throughout each week. BookishFirst titles are also cross-promoted to NetGalley members when applicable. All this extra marketing is included as part of the raffle cost.