Marketing a book is a multifaceted process that encompasses everything from traditional media pitching and brand partnerships to Facebook ads and speaking engagements. In our new “Smart Marketing” series, the BenBella Marketing Department will share insights into hot topics in marketing and publicity and practical strategies authors can put into practice.
In today’s Smart Marketing post, Erica Harmon explains what an online influencer kit is, why it’s important, and five tips to help you create one a package that will pop for your book launch.
Online influencers—personalities on Twitter, Instagram, etc., who have a large following and cover a niche subject—can have thousands, if not millions, of followers who look to them for advice on the best new books and products hitting their space. Getting your book into the right influencer’s hands has the potential to put your book in front of thousands of book buyers in your target market.
With fierce competition in the book review space, authors need to stand out and deliver a book package that makes their content pop online, and appeal to influencers who may be interested in posting about the product. Consider adding value to your book marketing mailings by developing an influencer kit, which should include a copy of your book, nicely designed press materials, and a few small trinkets or products that complement the content of your book. By tucking your book into a beautiful, colorful package, online influencers will likely be more inclined to notice your book and share it on their platforms.
We recently put together influencer kits for two of our BenBella Vegan titles: Plant-Powered Beauty and The Colorful Kitchen.
Each DIY recipe in Plant-Powered Beauty, a guide to creating a natural beauty regimen by aromatherapists Amy Galper and Christina Daigneault, calls for materials such as wooden stirrers and glass jars. So we created a “starter kit” for organic beauty influencers, which included a copy of the book, five wooden stirrers, three glass jars, a media kit with quick tips and information, and a personalized printed letter from the authors for each influencer. We sent these kits to a handful of organic beauty influencers and saw some nice snaps and IG stories as a result!
For the release of her debut cookbook, The Colorful Kitchen, plant-based chef and blogger Ilene Godofsky Moreno partnered with a few brands to create a colorful influencer kit. The package, which was shared by influencers like Oh She Glows, Good Saint, and One Part Plant, included a copy of the book, a canvas tote bag, a custom engraved spoon from For Such a Time Designs, a glass straw from Strawesome, and recipe coloring pages and pencils.
Think you want to put a package together for your own book launch? Here are five tips to create your own influencer kit:
- Make your book’s content come to life. Even if your book doesn’t have colorful photos or recipes, think of creative ways to pull your book’s content off the pages and into something fun and tangible. Consider creating a print showcasing processes you explain in the book or your favorite quote or phrase. You can also make your package personal by including a letter or handwritten note. Something meaningful that demonstrates the passion you have for your book can go a long way in grabbing an influencer’s attention.
- Pair your book with unique, complementary products. What products might help a reader put the concepts in your book into practice? Maybe include a helpful kitchen item with your diet book. Or some branded guitar picks with your music book. Even simple items like tote bags, buttons, and stickers can add a little something extra to your package.
- Partner with like-minded companies. Once you’ve determined what products you’d like to include, research some like-minded companies that produce those items. Businesses in your space, especially smaller, independent shops, are likely looking to promote their companies to the same audience as your book, and many are willing to donate items to get them in front of influencers and their followers.
- Don’t be shy! Reach out to influencers in your space to ask if they’d like a kit. Influencers receive a lot of publicity mail, so it’s best practice to email influencers first to ask if they would be interested in taking a look. This way, you start building a relationship with the influencer early, and he or she can plan it into their content calendars.
- Make it pretty (and shareable)! Add some color, design, or textures to your box that will make it pop as soon as they open it. Online influencers are always looking for visually stimulating content, and if your kit arrives IG-ready, you have a better chance of being shared on their feed. Also make sure to also include your social media handles and any hashtags you’re using somewhere in the box so the influencer knows how to tag you in the photo.