Clever Ideas for Promoting a Book with Bonus Content

by | Apr 19, 2022 | Book Marketing Basics

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Have you ever considered using bonus content if you’ve been mulling over getting more creative with your ideas for promoting a book?

Bonus content is literally one of the most underutilized strategies when determining how to market a self-published (or traditionally published) book, especially when you’re trying to be mindful of your budget or trying to support the work you hired a book marketing company to do. But bonus content is often straightforward, and, in many cases, you already have everything you need to make this strategy work for you. Let’s dig into some ideas for promoting a book with bonus content!

How bonus content differs for fiction and non-fiction

Simply put, fiction authors should think of bonus content as “world enhancing,” and non-fiction authors should think of bonus content as “business building.  Putting it in basic terms like this can help give you some direction when it comes to determining what bonus content you can offer. I’ll give you more examples later on in this post!

Why I urge authors to develop bonus content

Bonus content is really a great boost to your overall marketing and gives readers a reason to come back and a reason to remember you. Especially if the bonus content engages them somehow – like a bonus workbook if you’ve written non-fiction or a free sample chapter that will entice readers to get your new release when it’s out.

  • Bonus content is always free

And we should all be capitalizing on what we can do for free. This doesn’t mean that you must give your book away for free; that’s not what I’m suggesting here. But bonus content is something tethered to your book/brand, and it’s always free.

  • Bonus content supports your brand

It’s a great way to keep your name out there and enhance what you’re able to offer readers or clients above and beyond your book.

  • Bonus content helps fuel promotions

Every time I release a book, I like to do something “extra” to make the book stand out, make it unique to me, and create bonus content and helpful resources that gives me options at the ready. I use trading cards for my books, which we’ll discuss later in this piece, but I’ve also done marketing planners (which readers love) and quizzes.

  • Bonus content is a great reader magnet

Everyone’s time and privacy are 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. We’ve used bonus content as a reader magnet, a freebie to get folks to sign up for our newsletter. Bonus content is 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 bonus content pieces you could implement into your own book marketing strategy.

Creative Ideas for Promoting a Book – Bonus Content examples!

So let’s dig in and start first with our fiction folks. Things like: novellas, a couple of chapters of an upcoming release, reader’s guide, character interviews, digital character “trading cards,” insight into your research and other cool, interesting facts you learned along that way, maps of towns, planets, fictional worlds, etc. behind the curtain stories of any real-life connections or inspirations.

For children’s book authors, downloadable coloring pages and craft ideas that align with your characters or topic and theme are always big winners!

Examples of bonus content for non-fiction authors could include: quizzes, workbooks, action item or checklists, daily productivity prompts, a list of your recommended resources, helpful platforms, and hacks, a series of helpful videos – even the trading cards I mentioned for fiction, I’ve created marketing tip cards for my non-fiction books, I’ll include a sample below. Readers love these trading cards, and I take them to every speaking event I do!

Bonus content, if done right, can be used in various ways. Both as a reader magnet or something that you give away at events or as part of your book release. I’ve known some authors to use bonus content to help boost pre-orders. So: “Pre-order my book and book and get XYZ free.”

Bonus content is often overlooked, but a really great addition to all of the other marketing you are doing for your book. Good luck!

Here’s an example of my trading cards:

Penny's Trading Card Penny's Trading Card

Resources and Free Downloads

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  1. William H. Gould

    I don’t see the sample trading card as promised.

    • Penny Sansevieri

      It has been added! So sorry about the confusion.

  2. V.M. Sang

    Great ideas. Thank you so much.

  3. Lynda

    There’s no example of a trading card attached at the bottom, as stated. Can you email me an example at [email protected]? Thanks. I really enjoyed this article.

    • Penny Sansevieri

      Thank you for pointing this out! It has been added. So sorry about the confusion!


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