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.
• Blogging: Post regular blogs (fresh content!) on your website, or create a separate blog under your name or pen name. Provide links to your book’s website on your blog and vice versa.
• 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?
Great article … This’ll help a lot, I’m sure … Thank you …
get as famous as JK Rowling and let the media do it for u!
Thanks for the tips. I am roughly two months from completing my first novel, and this information will definitely prove useful.
Don’t just check out FaceBook, embrace it. Start with your own page then create a Fan page for your book. This can point your fans to your site. My soon to be book on Hospice can be found at…
Once you get to 25 Likes for your fan page, you can get a shorter URL. Then link to other fan book pages and share.
The goal is to get a number of fans without leaving your house. Fans that will eventually want to read your book.
This is such a helpful article and especially to those of us who need to learn to use networking that didn’t exist when we started our projects. Thank you!
Martha, we appreciate your comment! We’re so glad that you found our article helpful.
It’s very useful! Thank you!
I’m a Rocky Balboa impersonator in Philadelphia and I have a great way to promote my book, Cue The Rocky Music – as I perform for the tourist, I simply talk about it! They love it! I work groups in size between 50 people to well over 30 thousand. Of course, not everyone buys it, lol! But ya never know!
I’ve found the best way to sell my self help memoirs is to get people interested in personal growth through travel as they read excerpts or articles and listen to my passion about healing and growing. Speaking to groups large and small always brings sales.
My firsst children’s book is in early production to be published for the holidays,the title is”Teddy Bear Therapy”.it is a collection of teddy bear poetry for pre-school and kindergarten age children.
I have done alot of online marketing,Google has excellentad word programs.Do alot of local marketing to gain interest in your books and websites,make color a point for business cards,try Vista Print,postcards are also good reasonable priced marketing tools.
Great article & thanks for the tips! I recently self published my first novel titled “Alter Ego In Chanel” which is currently selling on Amazon/Kindle all due to self promoting & social networking sites! I have a FB fan page if any of you would take the time to “like” it, I would so appreciate it & share with your friends! It’s a great, fun & easy read. To see the FB pg & link to view synopsis or purchase, pls see below…Thank you!
This is really good information. I’m bookmarking your site.
Thanks, Jennifer. Glad we could help!
Hi! Thank you for the great tips. I am currently practicing all of them and it is working!! I would love it if anyone would “like” my FB page. There is a link to “like” on my website http://www.alicerat.com. Also, I made a book trailer and posted it on youtube. Which is proving to be very successful. Anyone can do it. I used microsoft movie maker and illustrations from my book. Try it!!!
Thanks a lot it is very informative… I am currently working on a collection of poetry and essay writings of my Boyfriend. His wish was to become an English writer…. I hope i can make his wish come true.
Thank you for the great advice! I’m already working on doing most of what you suggest. It’s nice to see that I’m on the right track!