View Full Version : How do you plug your books?

01-06-2005, 01:31 AM
Do you find little opportunities to give your book a plug both on- and offline? If so, how do you go about plugging your book and has it been beneficial?

01-06-2005, 05:03 AM
Greenwolf--I have a special affinity for you since you were the very first image (the howling wolf) I saw upon arriving at this blessed site. That image if forever inscribed upon my little ceratopsian mind--also like your threads.

Now, to your question. If your book was traditionally published, I can tell you a little sneaky technique I used to get more publicity. I constructed a flier with my book cover art on it and wrote a larger than normal type sized synopsis of the book's contents. At the bottom of the flier I stipulated that any review sources interested in checking the book out had merely to call the publisher and ask for a free review copy which would be sent pronto.

Here's the catch--I sent those fliers (400 snail mail) to all of the newspapers I could find in the United States that had book review columns. I actually upped my sales by about 12% overall. Now, I did contact my publisher before hand and asked if I could launch my own little campaign. They were overjoyed at the prospect. I just didn't tell them the nature of the campaign--which required them to mail off a hail of books for review. But, it averaged out for them because they made sales as a result. It was really funny when they wrote to me and remarked that (for a mid-list title) I was getting an extraordinary amount of mouth to mouth exposure.
Apparently,the review sources never revealed to my publisher that they were responding to a private flier query. But I fessed up to my publisher anyway, and they laughed it off.
The point is, it worked.

One of my best writing friends has used cyberspace to lambaste his name all over the place. He has a tremendous website that he constructed himself, but has somehow managed to get himself (his name) into so many other links on the web that he's accumulated over 120-hits. So when somebody runs across his name, it's linked back to his fabulous website wherein all of his books, chapbooks, short stories, and poems are all cataloged and up for sale at really astoundingly low prices. He cuts loose with a huge amount of "free reads" and excerpts, as well. Really a novel way of self-promotion, and it works.

Hope this might help a little.


01-06-2005, 09:24 PM
That is an excellent idea. I think Greenwolf could benefit from that type of campaign.

My two books appeal to railroad and streetcar enthusiasts--not just limited to Cincinnati. So, I take my books to railroad clubs to sell to members (who are all used to me by now). I know it sounds like the route of the "self-published," but it's not. I do buy copies of my books to resell to railroad clubs and members. Granted, I don't do this every month--more like once or twice a year.

Also, I once took a stack of my subway books to a railroad convention. Sold 13, I think.

As for other promotion, I make my own bookmarks and drop them off at bookstores. I create them using Visio and print them on my inkjet printer. I give them out when I do signings, too.


01-07-2005, 01:50 AM
Tri, thank you for all of your comments. :) I really like that image, too. I tried a few other ones before settling on this one. It's even on my Web site.

I'd be interested in knowing how your friend pulled that off. I have a Web site, too, and even though it comes up when you Google my name, getting it out there a little more wouldn't hurt. That's what I'm looking at. All of my book info is on my site. I don't know how many visitors my site normally gets each month.

Underthecity, thank you, also, for your ideas on book promotion. I don't have that kind of program but I did manage to create a flyer in Word. I'll see if I can create a bookmark through it, too, though I have a friend who created a bunch through Kinko's.

One of my NF books is a POD, which makes it difficult to promote because I don't get any ARC's. Still, I've used whatever other means possible, like creating an E-zine, though to date I've only sold one copy. :( I'm looking into what other ways I can promote it but this title doesn't even come up on the computer at bookstores.

As for my traditionally-published books, I'm sending out ARC's, freebie articles and just plugging it in any way possible. I'm not against using creative ways to promote my titles but it's really depending on the money and means. I'm planning to buy a bunch and see if any will sell elsewhere, too. Or try to send them out to book reviewers.

01-08-2005, 09:05 AM

If you ever want to see a personal writer's website that is way over the top with dozens of links, just type in SCOTT VIRTES. It's a megaweb that branches off in so many directions you're entertained forever, and all of it is entertainment oriented. I think because he belongs to so many organizations is the reason for so many other links and hits. He's used his skills, affiliates, jobs, groups and interests to get himself linked up all over the webworld. I don't quite know how he does it, but he is a web designer, creator and master. It's manipulating cyberspace to one's advantage.


01-13-2005, 05:01 AM
Hi Greenwolf,

I'm by no means an expert on the web, but from what friends who are tell me, it's all about "links" - i.e. having links to other websites listed on your site and getting your site listed on other sites. Maybe you can team up with other writers and agree to list each other's urls on your sites. Also, everytime you write anything which will appear online, make sure your url appears, even if it is just a comment in a forum.

I'm a fan of Google and they offer various ways to improve your website traffic. You can list your url for free and add some key words. They don't guarantee they will list you, but that is worth a try.

Also, there is a paid-for service called Google Adwords. Basically you can make sure that everytime certain words are used in searches on Google your website appears - it isn't too pricey and you can limit how much you spend each day - once you hit your limit they stop listing you.

This would be particularly useful at the beginning of a new book publicity campaign. For example, if your book was about surfing farmers in the South Hams area of Devon, you could pay for your site to appear everytime key words were typed into a google search - surf, farmer, South Hams, waves, Devon, tractors, soggy sheep - you would just have to make sure the site was worth visiting once they clicked on your url (info about the book, where to buy it=link to another site, info about you, other books you have written).

My friend swears by it and uses it everytime he wants to push the business or a particular aspect of it (and it must work because he has what is probably the most successful voiceover listing site on the web).

Hope this is of some help. Good luck with the publicity.

Lisa x

01-13-2005, 11:34 PM
One way we promote our authors' books is to offer a short excerpt or sidebar column for daily papers (or trade publications) that is appropriate for a current media subject. For example, one of our authors wrote a quick, bulleted sidebar on how to avoid kid disasters while traveling during the holidays. We offered it as filler to daily papers, asking only for credit to the author and book. It was picked up by a bunch of papers, and sales of her book bounced nicely for about a month. We do this regularly with as many of our books as we can.

02-16-2005, 09:03 PM
Wonderful idea!

I am going around to bookstores and leave some postcard bookmarks on the helpdesk. I decided on those because if they use them as postcards it will keep the publicity going and if they just use it as a bookmark its still a good thing.

03-25-2005, 05:12 AM
:hat: I have plugged a book on the useless-knowledge site and if you contribute an article you can plug your book. Another way is that I go to flea markets all over the state and I make bookmarks on my PC and give them out to people. I gave the members of my church ones as a present. Put a line in on your email with the book's name and ISBN number etc. Also check into building a website that is offered free and have a guestbook.