A few weeks ago I wrote my road to publication post, which included all the happy possibilities and such. During that post someone suggested I write down my formula for promoting a book. At first I was wary because while I’ve tried a lot of things I’m really not sure that any of them worked, but here’s what I did anyway.
#10 I wrote a book blog
It doesn’t hurt to have friends that read books and tell other people to read books. I got to know some book bloggers, ran some giveaways, reviewed and read a good 80 YA books, etc. etc. I built a following before I ever told people that I was a writer.
I won’t lie I made some mistakes with my blog, and had a ton of designs, but I worked it all out in the long run and I’ve landed on something I like.
#9 I added myself to directories
I made sure that my blog appeared on all the major lists out there. I’m still on them, and any lists I find now for Indie Authors, I also try to add myself to them. The point is to get your name on the internet as many times as possible without looking like a jerk.
#8 I asked book bloggers for reviews
And I wrote a post awhile ago about how to ask for reviews from book bloggers. It worked and I got a slew of responses. This is a really good thing to do when you’re a beginner and completely unknown. It lets people within the industry get to know you. AND if you don’t know it, some book bloggers are interns and editors at big name publishing companies in disguise. Shh! It’s a secret!
#7 I got a kick ass cover
Part of advertising is marketing. You can pay for big bland ads but they won’t target your audience at all. If you have a bad cover, it’s just as bad as having a bland book. So I would seek out people that do covers for YA books, and pick the person you like the best. In addition to the cover you also need to brand yourself, but that’s a whole other ball game. I suggest you pick up Kristen Lamb’s Book if you want to learn more about it.
#6 I sent out bookmarks
I printed off a ton bookmarks and sent them out to Indie Bookstores.
#5 I exhibited at conventions
I released my book at the Central Canada Comic Con. I showed off the book, the trailer, gave away posters with purchase of the book, and I had an exclusive cover done up for these. I also personalized the posters for everyone that came by and talked to the people buying the book. I also had cosplayers pose for pics with some of the people buying the book. It was an awesome experience and one of the most successful ways I managed to get my name out there.
#4 I did interviews and guest posts and a blog tour
I can’t even remember how many I did, but I did have 14 bloggers signed up for my blog tour and it went okay. A lot of them dropped out last minute which was unfortunate. I’m hoping to do a second round sometime this year, with the audiobook, which should be released in March.
#3 I made a page on facebook, I have a twitter account
I don’t know if that counts, but I mean I also tried to get more followers on twitter. (Also I’m really sorry but I’m part of the Indie Cover Art Poll which ends Jan. 31st so you’re going to see a ton of posts from me on it. Yeah even here, just … go vote for me please? http://shannonmayer.blogspot.com/2012/01/january-2012-indie-cover-art-poll.html)
#2 I sent out a couple of press releases
Which was probably my worst idea, but I can’t remember what else I did because it’s such a blur in my mind. I go on auto pilot when I promote and just do it because in all honesty, it’s my least favorite part of being an author. (Haha I know, if I want people to read my books I need to tell people about it right? Well I’ve always been the “people find me” kind of person, and so this is a tough one for me to adjust to.)
Anyway, the press releases were all poorly handled and they didn’t get much response so I’ve ditched the idea until I can really get the hang of them.
#1 I landed a book tour with Chspters / Indigo
Which was a process indeed. I had to phone head office and talk to four different people, all of whom wanted to ignore me, and then had to coordinate with all of the stores, and then had more things blowing up in my face regarding book orders. It almost got canceled three times but now that it’s close to 10 days away, it’s happening and it should be good!
Oh yeah . . . I’m going on tour! So if you’re in Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton or Vancouver, you can see me in February at your local Chapters! I’ll be showing off the FoS trailer, reading something from FoS, and then doing the big cover reveal and trailer reveal for the second book Flame of Justice. I’m uber excited and yes will take pics! Refer to the appearances page at the top for more info on where I’ll be and when.
And that’s it for me this Monday, Happy OPERATION: MAKE A BIG DEAL OF YOURSELF!
Sidenote: For the book that actually hit #1 on Amazon, in terms of promotion . . . I DID NOTHING! Not a damned thing, and yet, it’s still in the top 100 on Amazon.