Some may opt to hire experts to help: an editor, someone to lay out the book, a cover artist, a printer to produce the book. Even if the writer plans to go straight to e-books and bypass print books, there is still much to do: the layout of the book, a cover artist, an editor, and learning how to create an ebook. And in either case, the author must be prepared to promote the book.
On a listserv I follow there’s been a lot of talk about Kindle and raising your stats and sales by offering one book for free. For many authors, that seems to be working. If you don’t have a backlist, it doesn’t work as well, though. So, how do you promote?
The same way authors have always promoted. Book tours help. The rave today is blog book tours. Start planning yours long before your book goes live. While you’re getting your book ready to e-publish, visit blogs to find hosts – don’t wait until the book is ready. You need to be prepared long before that. Offer free books to targeted reviewers. Make your presence known through Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, GoodReads, your own blog, your website, LinkedIn, Google+, listservs, all the “in” places. Start building an email contact list of people to let know you have a book out. Just putting your book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or other sites that sell e-books won’t be enough.
Weeks before your book’s debut, pitch to your local media, see if you can get mentioned. Try to line up speaking engagements. Talk to friends who have blog talk radio shows to see if they would welcome you as a guest. Start a list of other places to promote your book: your college alumni magazine, your local paper, a neighborhood email circle, local TV and radio stations. Why not approach a national station? They may indeed say no, but that’s okay. You’re no worse off. Line up cover blurbs. Get other authors to give you a one or two line “praise” to go on the cover – the bigger the name or status of the author, the better. Don’t be a wall flower.
Pay attention to what other authors are doing to promote their books. Start a file on your computer to keep ideas and another to maintain a contact list.
Buyers won’t find you just because your book is online. You MUST find them.
Leave a comment telling us what you plan to do to promote your book – or what you’ve already done that was successful. Or, if you’ve ever bought an ebook or a print book from an unknown author, what made you plunk down your money for that book?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Helen Ginger is an author and blogger. She teaches public speaking as well as writing, editing, and marketing workshops. In addition, her free ezine, Doing It Write, which goes out to subscribers around the globe, is now in its thirteenth year of publication. You can follow Helen on Twitter or connect with her on Facebook and LinkedIn. Helen is the author of 3 books in TSTC Publishing’s TechCareers series, Co-Partner of Legends In Our Own Minds® and Coordinator of Story Circle Network’s Editorial Services.