Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How To Promote Your Book

Nowadays, promoting your own book, especially when it comes to non-fiction, is something every author is going to need to do. Publishers do help (for instance, my publisher hired a publicity firm to work with me) but a lot of promotion responsibility rests on the author’s shoulders.

There are a lot of things you can do; some you are probably already doing (like blogging) and some that are fun things you can do once you have a book on the way. Since my book, Homework Helpers: Essays and Term Papers, is geared toward students, teachers, and homeschooling parents, I try to connect with those readers as often as possible. Here are some of the things I’ve been doing to help promote my book: 
  • A blog tour when the book released 
  • I created an Author Page on Facebook, Amazon, and Goodreads 
  • I began promoting my upcoming book through my blog and website and focused on building my readership
  • I’ve printed bookmarks and postcards featuring my book to leave on the counters of my local library and bookstore – and I recruited as many friends and family members as I could to do so as well. I will also be mailing the postcards and press kits (see next bullet) to schools and other institutions that might be interested in my book 
  • You can create press kits to send to newspapers, radio stations, and any other venue that might either plug or be interested in your book 
  • I spoke with my local bookstore about making appearances and will appear with my book at their bi-annual teacher convention
    • Any appearance opportunities you can find will be a great help in promoting your book. Whether it be visiting schools or speaking at conventions, these are a great way to get yourself and your book known. So if you find an opportunity to make an appearance or presentation of any kind, TAKE IT! Even if it is not specifically related to your book, it will help get your name out there.
    • Online appearances like Twitter chats, blog and website guest posts, Skype chats, forum chats, and any other venue where you can connect with your audience are great
  •  I even made T-shirts for family members to wear to their English classes and to Disneyland :D (hey, people have nothing else to do while they wait in those huge lines but read the shirt of the guy in front of them :D )
Many of these ideas I got from Steve Weber's Plug Your Book. He's got a ton of great ideas for how you help get your book out there using online sources. Also, look around at what other writers are doing. Ask your friends and family about the types of things they like to see, what they pay attention to the most. Think of anyone and everyone who might be able to help promote your book in some way and ask for their help.

This is one of the reasons you spend so much time and energy doing that social networking thing. Use the connections you've made! The writing community is one of the most helpful groups of people I have ever had the pleasure of associating with in my life. Most writers are more than happy to help a fellow author. Just gotta ask :)

Bottom line – connect with your audience. Let them know you have a book they need :)


Christine Fonseca said...

Great advice! Where else did you get some of these ideas??? Hmm....I wonder ;)!

Anonymous said...

These are all right on! It's definitely about connecting.

Michelle McLean said...

LOL probably from one of my awesome marketing guru social networking connections who has become a total BFF, Ms. Christine Fonseca :) And a few other amazing friends as well :)

Misha Gerrick said...

Great tips!

I'll probably end up using some of them. :-)

Tere Kirkland said...

Love the idea of t-shirts!

Thanks for this post, Michelle. Lots of ways to get your name and your book out there.

Shallee said...

Thanks for the great advice! Marketing is both scary and exciting, so it always helps to get some tips. :)

Shari said...

These are excellent, Michelle. Thanks!

Jen said...

Thanks for the tips! Love the T-shirt idea :D