Authors of novels, memoirs, and collections (poems, stories, or essays) know that much of the responsibility of promoting their books falls squarely on their shoulders. Publishing houses offer marketing help, but many successful writers contribute to the effort.
At Writer’s Relief, our clients often ask for tips on getting the word out when their work is published. Some writers prefer book signings and face-to-face marketing efforts. But for others, traveling is out of the question.
Here are three ways to promote your collection or book without ever leaving the comfort of home!
1. Create an Internet Presence.
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• Websites: Along with your author website, create a website specifically for your collection or book. Use the book’s title in the website address rather than your own name. This site may include a biography, interviews, excerpts, additional information, endorsements, etc.
Example: Your novel is about an abandoned boy who was placed out during the Orphan Train Movement in the late 1800s; he survived harsh physical labor and cruel foster parents and went on to live an awe-inspiring life. Get your readers interested in learning more—offer historical information about the movement, links to historical societies, interviews with Orphan Train descendents, and photographs.
If your book is a collection of essays or poetry, pair excerpts with corresponding photographs or artwork. (First, be sure you know what is considered previously published writing.)
Include a way for readers to leave comments on your website (leave a comment on our blog to see how it works!). Start a dialogue and be gracious, even if you receive criticism.
Add links to any other books you’ve published, and include a link to your website in the book itself (perhaps with a teaser to get people to visit: “Read deleted scenes at www.etc….” or “View photos at www.etc….”).
Use full-color pictures of your book’s cover. You can also use your cover on photo-sharing sites like Flickr—along with other photographs that represent your work.
• Social Networking: Investigate Facebook (or MySpace, LinkedIn, etc.) pages dedicated to your book’s subject, and participate—or create your own page. If you have a following of poetry lovers on Twitter, share the great news of your collection’s publication.
• Videos and Audios: Poets (and other writers) who are comfortable reading their work can post videos or audio files and include them on their site. (Read more: How to Market Your Poetry.) You might also start your own podcast!
• Email: Remember to add URLs to your email signature that will lead people to your website, blog, etc.
2. Offer Interviews.
- Begin with a publicity letter that offers something unique or interesting about your essay collection, thriller, or romance novel.
- Send your letter to traditional radio stations and also podcasts!
- Prepare a press release about your book, then send it to your local newspapers, or any papers and magazines that might be interested in your subject matter.
- Create and post your own Q&A style interview on your website to give interviewers ideas!
3. Book Reviews.
- Ask people you trust to write a review of your memoir or other book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or other sites.
- Contribute regular, intelligent, thoughtful reviews on other books, especially those that are similar in genre or style to yours. Include your full name and the title of your book in each review.
So, writers, whether you’re willing and able to travel the country or not, these marketing and publicity ideas are easy to implement and they’re affordable. Your biggest expense will be time, but when it comes to promoting your essay or poetry collection, novel, or memoir, time is a very smart investment.
QUESTION: What’s your best tip for promoting your writing?