Book promotion is a full-time job. Just ask any Indie author and you’ll get an earful. Not only are we responsible for the story, cover, editing, formatting and whatever else needs to be done, we are also responsible to get the word out about the book once it’s finished. All of these tasks involve enough work to bring a normal person to his or her knees. Not so the Indie Author. He/she gallantly rises to the occasion, getting a little less sleep every night and fitting short blocks of time into an already crammed full daily schedule to tell the world about his/her creation. After about a year of this most of us step back and sigh. It never seems to let up.
Writing is no longer the same it was fifty years ago. We authors may choose to go the traditional route and seek out an agent and publisher, but are aghast when we are told that we will also need to promote our work. “Isn’t that what the publisher does?” one of my friends asked recently. The answer is no. You and you alone are the best person to promote your writing. After all, if it’s left to someone else the facts may be a little bit skewed, right? Who else will know the ins and outs of your writing as well as you do? No one else knows the author as well, either.
The solution? Start slow. Build up contacts in more than one way. Facebook and Twitter are great places to connect with readers and other authors. Be present by posting daily and including quotes or things to be shared. Let the readers know you’re a real person, not a pre-scheduled post.
Join groups and get to know the other members. For instance, our Writing Wranglers and Warriors group is comprised of authors who seek to help each other by using their social media to promote each other. Think it’s a unique concept? There are many other groups on Facebook based on the same thing. It just so happens that our group is focused on sharing and interacting.
Do you have an e-mail list? A blog? These are both great ways to reach readers and keep them current.
I recently read a post on WG2E about other promotional ideas. One of them was to purchase magnetic signs for your car doors. The author who wrote the post said she hopes to reach more people as they stop her and ask questions. Bears some thought, doesn’t it?
Guest blogging is another way to reach people. Don’t forget that writers are readers too. Many times I have purchased a Kindle book at the end of a post I really enjoyed. I figure if I enjoy the writer’s post there’s a good chance I’ll enjoy his or her book. Rarely have I been disappointed.
Do you ever get the occasion to speak locally? A local women’s breakfast, conference, library, school or anywhere your subject will fit in would be the perfect place for you, the author to speak about your craft. You will then have time to “plug” your own writing.
How about radio and television? Have you ever asked? I have had occasion to do radio spots often for my songwriting, as well as being a feature on the local news several times. I have never sought out these opportunities; rather they have come to me. The reason? I am involved in the community and the venue I am playing lends itself well to advertising to the local population. I have not as yet tried this for my books, but it is on my to do list for the summer. I have a plan in place to contact local libraries (perhaps to be part of their summer reading program). This would give me the opportunity to tell people about my books and make a few free or discounted copies available.
Sometimes brainstorming opens up new avenues. We live in the Midwest, in an area that has parades throughout the summer. My husband and I attend them all. He turned to me at one point and said “We need to get pens or something with your book on them and ride in the parade and throw them out to the crowd.” Hmmm, worth thinking about, right?
How about contacting local bookstores? Have you ever done it? I have seen books in hair salons, restaurants, gift shops and many other places you wouldn’t expect them to be. You don’t know if you don’t ask.
Just for the record, promotion is the thing I dislike the most about being an author. I hate asking people to read my books. When they ask me though, I can talk nonstop about the subject and generally they wind up buying a book or two. I hand out lots of cards (my husband is actually the pro at this) and make lots of new friends. While I’m not an introvert, I hate putting people on the spot. But yesterday we were car shopping and my husband told the saleswoman I was an author. Her eyes got big and she said “no way!” Before I knew it she had brought.over the sales manager and administrative assistant to introduce me (because I’m a “real” author). It was funny, but also gave me a chance to talk about my work and hand out more cards. Since I have a promotion coming up this month I directed them to the days the book will be discounted
What do you do for promotion? Is it your favorite part of being an author or you least favorite? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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