However early you think you should start promoting your book, do it earlier. If you plan on becoming an indie writer or are being published by an indie outfit, it suits you to learn how to be a salesperson. It’s one of the hats you’ll be required to wear on the journey to publication.
I’ve read about cases where writers have had phenomenal success because they built a following early and promoted their books even years in advance. To my mind, that sort of activity takes lots of time and energy, but there are practical ways to promote your book while working toward that launch and/or blog tour of your dreams.
A badge on your blog’s sidebar is a cool way of introducing people to your book or upcoming blog tour. See the two cube thingies in my sidebar? While they don’t lead to pages related to both books, they do draw the eye, so that you’ll recognize the covers the next time you see them. If you do a badge, you can link it directly to a dedicated page on your blog, eg. the one about your blog tour or perhaps your media page. You can also include a link at the top of your blog to a specific page for the book/s you’re promoting.
Starting a newsletter is a smart move, if you have the time. I don’t think many of us who are developing a fan base take this step seriously enough. It’s a good way to keep people updated on what’s happening with your books and it’s up to you to decide on how often you release a newsletter. Facebook is another way of keeping your fans updated on your publication schedule and tour activity. It’s up to you to choose which of these methods work better for you in splashing news about your books and tour across the net.
Promote your next book with a teaser in the back of the current story. This serves a two-fold purpose. I did this in Distraction to introduce Retribution. Also, you can use it to cross-promote other writers from the same publisher, or associates in a collaborative effort. By including this material, you’re letting readers know there’s a follow-up story and/or more stories to feed their hunger for your writing. For the writer, it cements the commitment to produce that other book. At the time of including Retribution as a stand-alone book, the story had a few more chapters I hadn’t yet written. (Don’t try this at home) Queries from readers about when that next book would be out increased my productivity level.
Street Teams are all the rage, and in the past were groups of people out on the street promoting a product. In the recording business, these would be people handing out flyers and putting up posters for new albums, shows, etc. In terms of publishing, your street team consists of fans who help with promotion, and can effectively spread word via the internet about your upcoming release and virtual tour. Click through the links in brackets (Camy Tang and D.D. Scott) for examples of how Street Teams work.
In exchange for their help, your Street Team gets the benefit of advance information on your books, as well as special offers and giveaways. I believe a dedicated Street Team is a huge advantage for any writer in terms of the ability to spread information on upcoming tours and book blitzes.
In a Nutshell
- Create a badge to highlight your book/tour
- Start a newsletter or Facebook page
- Insert copy from your next book
- Start a Street Team
I'm over at Maria's Book Blog today talking about my writing. There's also a paired giveaway of Distraction & Retribution, so do stop in and leave a comment for a chance to win. Click here to visit Maria's Book Blog.
See you there!