Gearing up for Book Promotions — January 26, 2019

So you’ve written a book. Now what? Whether you are traditionally or independently published you will need a method to tell people about your books. I don’t pretend to be an expert by any means. However, I’ve attend many workshops, conferences, seen webinars and heard speakers discuss this important topic.

I’d like to share a few basic pieces of information I’ve gleaned from smarter folks than me.

Create a website to promote your books. Don’t have a book yet? That’s okay, set one up at least a year before your first book is published so you have a following ready to read it. Most people can’t afford a fancy web service, at least initially. If you are technologically savvy you can create your own with free website builders such as WordPress, Wix, Weebly and others. Investigate what each offers. Talk to your friends and fellow authors to see which ones they recommend. Not tech savvy? Barter with another author to assist. Perhaps you have a service they need – like editing or photography.

Now you have a website. Create a blog to attach to that website. Or at least some way to tell people who you are and what you are about. If you are not yet published talk about subjects similar to your future books. Are you a mystery writer? If so, tell them how much you like a TV show that is similar to what you write. Create a social media platform (i.e. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). Discuss topics closely related to those in your books. This creates a connection between you and your fan base.

Once you have a book available avoid “buy my book”, “buy my book”, constant ads. Instead give them a “sneak peek” at your cover, perhaps an excerpt from your book, tell them how you were inspired to write the story. All these things you write on your blog or other social media sites will draw them to your book. They’ll be begging for information on how to purchase it when it becomes available. Make a separate page they can click if they choose to purchase your book. And they will because you’ve enticed them with all your posts.

When you set up your website, email, and social media accounts be sure to be consistent. Don’t have an email called JerseyGirl@downtown.com and a website called http://www.wrestlersanonymous.com because neither one says this is an author’s email or website. Use something like mynameauthor@gmail.com with a matching website of http://www.mynameauthor.com. Or booksbymyname@gmail.com and website http://www.booksbymyname.com. Both of these examples indicate the person is an author and if they know your name it will make it much easier to find your website. That’s what you want – easy accessibility.

While you’re writing posts for your blog or social media account ask people to send their email addresses to you via private messaging if they want to become a recipient of your newsletter. Newsletters don’t have to be monthly so don’t panic. They can be quarterly or only sent out a few weeks prior to your publication date. This lets them be the “first” person to know about your upcoming publication date. Consider sending them something special for signing up. Perhaps an excerpt from your book only people on your newsletter list have access to. Or a deleted scene from your book. Something that makes it special to be on the list. People enjoy being special! Use the email list for promotional events or giveaways. Going on a trip – send a lucky person from your list a postcard. Ask them to take a selfie with it and post on social media.

These are only a few examples of the many I’ve heard from experts. If you want to learn more then listen to Gracin Johnson and other workshop leaders at the Pathways to Independent Publishing conference February 19-21, 2019. For more information about the conference click on the tab “Conference Information/Registration” on this website.

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