You spend weeks drafting, polishing, and perfecting your manuscript. Finally it’s ready for submission. With a little luck you finally get the call from your dream editor. Woohoo! You made it. Now the fun begins. We’re all professionals revisions from your editor are all part of the process, but once you get through that. You’re done, right? On to the next book.
Writing and editing the book is just the first step in the process. Next comes the publicity and promotion stage. While writing a fabulous book is the biggest most important part of any writer’s job, making the world aware of your awesome book is also a key to success. How to do this, though, is always a quandary.
Obviously it starts with the publicity your publisher does for you, which differs from house to house. Attractive cover art, an intriguing book blurb, and, for traditional publishers, key placement within the store are also important. Let’s face it many people do judge a book by it’s cover or at least the back cover copy. as to placement, the easier it is for readers to find your book the better. Working closely with you publisher’s marketing department is always a smart plan.
However, the burden is also on us as authors to promote ourselves. So what can we do to help build our brand and our presence? Authors try many different methods. We love our goodies and giveaway items. I’ll admit I like them myself, but I don’t know that pens, note pads, and buttons really sell books. Paper items and food items are disposable. One of the big rules of marketing is if you’re going to give something away make sure it’s something that will last and be a constant reminder of you and your books. Sure people always pick up candy, but within seconds the wrapped is in the trash and who it came from isn’t even a memory. At least with a pen or bookmark, readers are more apt to use them and have a constant reminder of your name. Does that generate sales? It’s hard to tell.
Other promo items authors use are book videos. Again, they are fun, but I don’t know that they actually sell any books. In fact, I think some readers find them annoying. However, they make a nice and interactive item to load on your website and various social media sites.
Personally, I think some of the most effect means of promoting your work is through interactive methods. Networking with booksellers, guest blogging on active blogs that are pertinent to what you write, interviews, chats, and especially book reviews. All aid in introducing you and your books to the world. Building a mailing list is always a good plan. It is a tool you can use again and again.
I’ve shared a few of my thoughts. I’d like to hear from you now. What do you think? Writers, what promotional methods have you found effective? Readers, what entices you to buy a book? Have book videos, giveaway items, etc. ever lead you to purchase a book?