Book Marketing: How to Use a Quiz to Promote a Book

Headshot of Stephen OramQuizzes are a hugely popular feature on social media, and British indie author Stephen Oram explains how he devised an online quiz about social media status as an elegant and appropriate strategy to promote his latest dystopian novel, Fluence, which anticipates a world in which one’s success in life is determined by one’s social media status.

‘Marketing advice for authors is far too focussed on books.’

Cover of FluenceThis was my friend Hannah’s opinion, which seemed like a stupid comment and, as I’d already lined up the usual marketing for the release of my latest book, a bit pointless. But, she’s not stupid. She was the project manager for the Macmillan Cancer Support’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning so she knows something about global reach and charity sized budgets. So I listened. She was talking about the masses, the people who read books, but aren’t avid blog readers and don’t hang out at author events. She had my attention.

One of her many ideas was an online quiz; you know the type – Which vegetable are you? They’re obviously popular and Fluence is about the dark future of social media so it was a perfect fit.

What follows is a glimpse into my first experience of creating a quiz – I hope you find it useful. And, if you have more experience than me I’d love to hear any tips you might have.

Creating an online quiz

I chose Qzzr, for no particular reason. I used the free version which has its limitations; the most notable is that you can’t include a link at the end of the quiz.

It was designing the quiz that was the most fun – I needed an attractive title and description with a hint of dystopia. After much deliberation I decided on… How influential are you? Society is changing and your social standing will be calculated by algorithms. Discover your future, now.

There are two types of quiz to choose from – graded (right/wrong) and outcomes. Mine’s an outcome based quiz and below is a couple of examples of what that looks like. It’s worth knowing before you start that it’s only the title of the outcome that’s displayed when someone shares their result across social media so that and the associated images are vital.

screenshot of outcomes

Questions are at the heart of any quiz and once they’re drafted and assigned outcomes the algorithms can work their magic and calculate the final results. As with all things, I tested them with experts – regular quiz takers – and I’m glad I did because they felt it needed more questions to be a proper quiz.

screenshot of sample questions

I’m sure this all sounds quite easy, but there were difficulties of course. Incorporating the image attribution into the quiz is impossible, so I point to my website instead. I also had some teething problems with the Share Image and using my website as the redirect URL. But generally the techy bit was easy; getting the questions, answers, outcomes and images right was the harder part.

Once it’s published

You can use the stats page to see how well people are converting from viewing to sharing and the % split across the outcomes. I was surprised that atrocious was coming up far too often for comfort – who on earth was going to share that particular outcome? So I’ve tweaked things to get a better balance which I’m hoping will boost the number of Shares.

diagram showing take-up of quiz

All I need to do now is promote the quiz and experiment to improve the conversion rates.

So, has it worked?

Yes and no. It hasn’t gone viral yet, but it’s attracted some traffic and it’s something unusual to have on my website and as part of the press release. It’s also a really handy hook for social media marketing.

Finally, I want to re-iterate that it was a lot of fun to create. Take a look, see what you think and then share, share, share!

How much Fluence have you got? Society is changing and your social standing could soon be calculated by algorithms. Take a special ‘influence’ quiz online to discover your future now!

#Casestudy of how a clever quiz used to promote #author @OramStephen's latest #dystopian novel Click To Tweet







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14 Responses to Book Marketing: How to Use a Quiz to Promote a Book

  1. Stephen Oram July 23, 2015 at 9:08 pm #

    Hi. Only just managed to catch up on these comments – been a busy few weeks launching and promoting Fluence. Glad you like the idea and hope it works for you. Best, Stephen

  2. Lorna July 22, 2015 at 1:00 pm #

    I’m actually putting a quiz as the last section in my book and was thinking about putting some of it on a website page to promote the book. I like your idea of using this tool though. I’ll definitely give it a go. Thank you.

  3. Samantha Warren July 15, 2015 at 2:22 am #

    I just made one. Here’s hoping it gets me a sale. 😀

  4. Gordon Owen @ iGO eBooks July 12, 2015 at 10:55 pm #

    PS: I do so hope that your book launch went well, Stephen as I am sure it did!

  5. Gordon Owen @ iGO eBooks July 12, 2015 at 10:53 pm #

    I have done 2 or 3 as example viewed at with a iPod mini prize and went down well for Christmas. Must say that the cost of the prize was covered by sales – but then it was Xmas and people so like stocking fillers.

  6. Theo Rogers July 12, 2015 at 10:01 pm #

    Wow! What a great idea! The kind that leaves you thinking “Why didn’t I think of that???”

    Seems like a natural fit for the book I currently have out – and for one I’m hoping to get out soon. Thank you! 😀


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