Our books of course. My first novel, “Kiss and Tell” comes out in less than 5 months, so I decided it was about time I looked into this whole promotion thing. I asked a few of my fellow Avalon authors how they had previously promoted their novels. In return I received a long list of promotion ideas that I’ll definitely be using. I’ve collated the best ones for this blog.
The simple reason: to sell as many books as you can. Unfortunately, in more cases then not, the publisher leaves most of the promoting up to the author. You could say the amount of books you sell is in your hands. So don’t let the opportunity slip by.
HOW do you promote?
Okay, here’s the top five ideas. I say, they are the top five because they’re free or relatively cheap to do and have made the most sales for authors.
- Get a website and keep it fresh. A stagnant website or website that never changes is useless. You want a following, so give them something to follow, which leads to the next point.
- Blog as much as you can. Blogging showcases your writing. If people like reading your work for free, they’re more open to buying your book. They’ll know they’ll probably enjoy it because they like you and the kinds of things you write about.
- Use a mailing list. Every time you tell someone about your book, whether it be family, friends, some stranger at the supermarket, ask them if they want to be on your emailing list. Email the latest news about your books to everyone on your mail list.
- Get into your local or community newspaper. People love to read about and support their local heroes. So ring up your local paper and ask them if they want to do a piece on you.
- Organise a book signing. Promote yourself and your books at your local bookstore.
Here’s some more ideas. These ones are still good. But they’re more expensive, reach less people and don’t make as many sales as the top 5.
- Flyers or Bookmarks advertising your book. The best place to put/send these is at writers conferences, book club meetings, community centres, your local library or any where you think your target market might frequent. If you feel like it, you could also include them in your Christmas cards.
- Give your book away. Maybe as a prize on your website, maybe to a magazine editor. Basically, you’re hoping that they’ll read, love it and spread the word.
- Do a free workshop about writing at your local library. Again, if people enjoy your workshop they’ll be inclined to buy your book or recommend it to someone else.
- Free Promo goodies with your name on it. I’m referring to pens, magnets, badges, notepads, lollies etc. You can hand these out at book signings, conferences, and community centres. Personally, I think these are a waste of money. Have you ever bought a book because you received a free pen? I haven’t. Loved the pen though!
WHEN do you promote?
It depends on the type of promotion. Having a website and blogging is an ongoing process. You can start as early as you like with these. As for everything else, I’ve heard that you should promote a maximum of two weeks prior to your book release. Promoting as close to your book release as possible is best though.
The fact is, you can promote too soon and if you do so, your book may become old news before it’s even on the shelves. Think about it. Ever read a flyer, or gone to a workshop, or seen an article about an author and then waited five months before you buy their book. Of course not. As soon as your interest has been caught you want to buy that book pretty much immediately otherwise you’ll probably forget about it and move on to the next great book that takes your fancy.
Anyway, I hope my research has benefited you as much as it has benefited me. See you round on the marketing wheel.