Welcome to the third article in our “How to Market a Book” series! This time, we are going to be talking about ten ways to make your book more interactive.

Why make a book interactive? The immediate answer is simple. To catch the potential reader’s eye, so your book stands out among all those others in the store. But, but, but… Shouldn’t the story itself be captivating enough? Or the information be valuable enough? How could one “interact” with paper/cardboard that has writing on it?

Let’s start with the reasons why you should consider adding interactive substance to your book. Then, we will explore ten different ways to make your book more interactive.

Three reasons to make your book more interactive – how to market a book

  • Not everyone possesses the type of (usually a photographic) memory that allows them to recite important information easily after having read it. By adding a little activity that reinforces a central idea of your book, you are helping your audience commit it to memory.
  • When people enjoy the added feature of an activity, they are more likely to recommend your book to others. If you are still wondering how to market a book easily, adding an interactive feature can really help. Making your book more interactive engages your reader on another level.
  • There are certain ways to make your book interactive that allow for gathering of information from your readers. Information that will serve you well for how to market your book to increase sales.

Ten ways to make your book more interactive

So, without further explanation, let’s dive into the ten ways to make your book more interactive. We will share some of our tried-and-true secrets with you. Secrets that have really helped our authors sell more of their books.

1. Start at the beginning

Think back to your childhood. What were some of your favorite books? Did you have a favorite book as a toddler? You know, the one that usually ends up with a few chew marks by the time you reach Kindergarten age? One of ours had an item on each page that had a different item peeking out from behind it. In rhyme form, it asked what could be hidden there, and you found out when you turned the page. Essentially, it is the 40-year-old version of an app that invites toddlers these days to click on something and reveal the hidden item. But it still works the same way: Turn the page to find the answer to a question posed.

2. Consider a “Lift-the flap” or “Slide-out-a-page” concept

Those interactive concepts remain equally popular to this day, especially for board books.

3.  Include trivia-style questions at the end of a chapter

We recently, for example, came across a rather extensive true & false test section at the end of a satirical novel. The Ultimate American Music Bucket List is one book we’ve published that effectively uses trivia-style questions.

4. Add a trinket to the book

Something that reinforces the lesson or serves as a reminder of the story. One of our daughters used to have a book about a ballerina, and the only reason we bought it was because it included a necklace with a ballerina pendant.

5. Consider including an unassembled trinket

The activity is to maybe build or color something that will be a reminder of your book. Nova Be Bold is one children’s self-help book we’ve published that includes an activity for the child and its caregiver to complete together,.

6. Plant clues throughout your story

If you are using illustrations in your book, you can easily hide clues in pictures as well as in your words. Check out the link given in point 5 one more time. Can you find the clues that our illustrators hid in the pictures to make this book more interactive?

7. Create a main character with a purpose

This one is almost too easy, but it can often receive too little attention. Give the main character a clear goal, so that the reader can easily identify with him or her. However, take great care to not describe your main character in too much detail; otherwise, your reader will not be able to use their own imagination to complete the character to their own desire, thus limiting their interaction with your book.

8. Possibly include a villain in your story

Keep in mind though that having a main character, one with whom the reader has fully identified, and who is now forced to fight off a villain can make your book more interactive on a psychological level. All humans have an inherit fight or flight response to danger. If we put ourselves into the main character’s shoes, and that character has to face a villain, we are essentially having to fight or flee as well. It’s not just looking at words; it’s an experience! As the reader of the book, you are engaged. You are “interacting” with the book!

9. Include a call to action

Ask the reader to take your book and do something with the information. This could be as simple as adding a “P.S. If you liked this story, check out my next book that’s coming out soon.” Some authors have chosen to include an alternate ending to their book and asking the reader to vote on it online. Which brings us to the final way to make your book more interactive…

10. See where you can include a QR code

QR codes are everywhere these days and yes, there should be one on your book! “For more information and added content, scan here.” “Scan here for trivia-solutions.” “Scan to be included in updates on future announcements about this author or topic.”

To Summarize

These are just a few examples of how you will get the above-mentioned information you desire from your readers. And you can then use any contact information for future interaction with your readers. Interaction that can help you publish your future works.

If you are working on your own book project that you need help making more interactive, Publishing Concepts, LLC is here to help!  Give us a call at (314) 781-8880 whenever you are ready to begin the self-publishing process.