View Full Version : promotion

01-27-2006, 10:22 PM
I am preparing a short blog post on the does and don't of promoting a self-publisher book. I could use comments and suggestions. Here are my ideas so far. I want to have only about 5 do and five don't points.

* Do seek out your target audience, online or in person. You can't make people want your book, just make it available to those who already do.
* Do have a short, grabby description that effectively describes what your book will provide to them.
* Do have these notices thoroughly proofread and checked to ensure they make a good impression.
* Do link cutomers directly to a point of sale. Do post your prices clearly.
* Do exploit pre-existing local connections including small book stores, clubs and events (but do not treat your friends and colleagues like cash cows).
* Do seek reviews if the review venue is open to self-published books and has a significant readership and/or the review copy can be sent at little or no cost.
* Do use promotional vehicles like websites, newsletters and blogs but space out your posts and news releases to avoid boring your audience. Find ways to add interest such as contests, funny stories and excerpts.
* Do use distribution services where ever possible (e.g. fictionwise for ebooks, amazon.com). As an extra service you might determine which distribution method is the best deal for buyers from different countries.

* Don't crash communities just to post your advertisements.
* Don't use unrealistically positive reviews as these will not be credible to a general audience.
* Don't keep posting in the same places about the same book unless you have some genuine developments to report.
* Don't get into public arguments about your book's merits. Answer questions and acknowledge any criticism calmly and concisely, even if this means leaving a 'cooling off period' rather than replying immediately. Take the time to thank anyone who makes a postiive comment or reviews the books.
* Don't harvest emails and add them to your promotions list unless they give permission but do make it easy for people to opt into your newsletter or other prmotional services and reward members with give-aways and inside information like previews from upcoming books.

04-10-2006, 02:39 AM
Don't send out postcards announcing your book to random literary magazine editors and asking them to pay for a review copy. (I acutally get a lot of these as a small press literary magazine editor.)

Do offer to write free articles on your topic of expertise, and do mention your book in those articles, but be sure to do so in a subtle manner.

04-10-2006, 03:39 PM
I wrote an article about this:

The Importance of a Pre-publication Marketing Plan (http://www.absolutewrite.com/novels/pre-publication.htm)

I wrote a version of this for the June 2005 issue of The Writer Magazine, too, but it's not posted online anywhere aside from the title.

04-13-2006, 07:53 PM
Another idea for a 'do' when it comes to promoting a self-published book to the media is to focus on targeting editors other than just the book review editors at major newspapers, business journals, magazines and other print outlets. Most book reviewers (other than online review sites and an author's local newspaper) at major print outlets have a policy against reviewing self-published books. However, it is important to remember that other editors (feature, current events, business, sports, etc.) at the same major dailies are approachable. They are more concerned with the merits of a story idea rather than how a book was published. Therefore, if a self-published author can separate their message from the product and think about how they can offer a unique perspective to a journalist on a timely news topic, it can often translate into a booking with a major print outlet.

As an example...if a credentialed author has self-published a book on sexual assault (could be an autobiography, nonfiction or even fiction), a thought might be to position themselves as a resource to address the Duke Lacrosse incident. You could take that timely pitch to a number of editors (women's interest, feature, current events, even broadcast outlets) with a lot of options for a story. You could create a top ten list on how young women can prevent sexual assault or the situations that make it more likely. An author could also offer themselves as a source for an article on the topic (you will need either academic or professional credentials or personal experience with sexual assault to be attractive to an editor as a source). Try to think in terms of trends when pitching a story idea.

As a self-published author, it is important to think beyond just book reviews when looking to promote your book to print media outlets. The media is always looking for credentialed authors to talk about timely news topics and in return, will usually be willing to promote or mention an authors book.