You’ve Published a Book: Tell the World
As a self-published author, I learned early on that there are two bywords in book promotion: shameless and relentless.
This is not a time for false modesty. You’ve written a book you can be proud of: Tell the world. Also, you can’t give up after one or two tries. You have to be working at this continuously. Sometimes I think it’s more work to promote a book than to write it. Here are some tips, and these would apply not only to self-published books but to others as well.
The Power of the Internet
Get listed on Hometownreads.com. This is a wonderful site that will give your book good exposure with other authors from your area and other readers. Join online groups like Goodreads. Create a website. Include the link where the book can be purchased, your bio and pix, and perhaps the first chapter and related materials. Keep it simple, but attractive.
Send emails announcing the publication of the book to everyone in the world you know, and some you don’t know. Include a brief summary of the book and where it can be purchased. Add the book title and web page’s URL to your email signature. Announce the book on your Facebook page and follow it up with appropriate reminders. Use Twitter and other social media outlets.
Have a friend host a launch party. Or you can. Invite all your friends. Have treats perhaps related to the book. See if a local independent bookstore in your town will stock it on consignment (60/40 percentage). Seek to have an event (reading) to give the book exposure. The book store? Libraries? Book clubs? Retirement homes? Then seek publicity for the event. Local paper? Radio talk shows? Notify your alumni organizations and your membership organizations. Seek to have a notice published in their newsletters.
Have business cards and postcards printed. (I’ve been known to accost people on the street and hand them out. Well, not quite.) Get a bumper sticker with the photo of the book cover and the URL. Make a sign about the book with the URL for the rear window of your car. Get a T-shirt with the book cover and wear it everywhere. Get a coffee mug or a tote bag or pencils with the book cover and keep them prominently displayed.
Develop and Promote a Niche Audience
Put ads in newspapers and magazines serving that niche audience, i.e., ethnic groups, veterans groups, the elderly, etc. (Yes, it takes money to make money.) Write an article or feature story related to the book and offer it to one of those newspapers. (Since my books are set in Tuscany, I’ve focused on Italian American magazines and have published articles relating to every one of my books in them.) Sell your book at craft fairs, holiday fairs, etc. Go to book festivals and see if you can have a booth.
Join organizations for authors. Enter contests sponsored by the organizations. The fees are generally minimal. Avoid outfits that offer “deals” on publicity or placing books at book fairs, etc. Recognize the fact that self-published books are not well regarded and there are just too many of them out there.
Write a blog for Hometownauthors.com on how successful you’ve been.
Be shameless and relentless.