Promoting a novel that you have spent countless hours, months, or even years writing can be a bit overwhelming. Authors are fortunate today because we can blog, use Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in and probably a gazillion other social network sites that can help get the word out about our novels. Back in the day before social networking authors promoted their books the hard way: mailing flyers, buying expensive ad space in newspapers and magazines, and even sending gifts to distributors. Some authors still do some of this. I'm on a mailing list for Debbie Macomber. Once a year I receive via snail mail a wonderful glossy newsletter, book mark, recipes and even stickers.
So what is the best solution? I have four ways that might help you promote your novel.
Social Networking . . .
I have become a huge fan of Facebook and Twitter. I love to go there and see what's going on with friends, family, and other writers. I love to see when a writer shares a book trailer or the cover of their new book. I like to know when they are having a signing so I can plan to attend. What I don't like is if every post or tweet they write is only about promoting their books. That's annoying, boring, and so off-putting I can't tell you. It can be hard to find a good balance, but here's what I try to do. Whenever I post about one of my novels I try to post about a couple of other things as well. I love sharing clever sayings or pictures that I see on both Facebook and Twitter. I haven't signed up for Linked-In, mainly because I barely have time to write, blog, do Facebook and Twitter and have a family life. (The people I live with like to see me without my nose pressed against my iPad.)
Promoting via snail mail . . .
When I sold my first book, I spent a ton of time and expense sending flyers to stores and books to reviewers. I have even been known to buy ad space in the newspaper promoting a signing. Would I recommend doing all of that today? It depends. Is it your first book? What is your publisher willing to do to help you? How much money can you spend because the sky's the limit? Times are tough for publishers and book stores. Many are cutting back. In fact the main stores that carry my books are cutting back on author signings. So with my new novel I'm going the extra mile and send out (via snail mail and to those who would like it via email) a newsletter. Those who would like the snail mail newsletter will also receive a book mark, which is a nice little perk for both the receiver and me.
As I said before, the sky is the limit when it comes to an author promoting a novel. But the best promotional tool is to write a darn good book. I'm hopeful that I've done that.
Another way to promote your novel is a giveaway . . .
If your book is in Goodreads databank you can have a giveaway. It's fun and you'll be amazed by how many people will learn about your novel. Make sure you've signed up for Goodreads at goodreads.com. Giveaways are listed under "Explore". Just click on that and on the next page you will see "List a Giveaway" in small print on the upper right side. Click on that and away you go filling in when you want to hold your giveaway, how many copies you're willing to part with, and a description of your novel. You'll need the isbn number, so have that handy.
I know I've reached many readers through a giveaway. Every time I have a new novel released I schedule a giveaway as soon as I can. I'm waiting for my publisher to list Wanted, and as soon as things are set I'll let everyone know when and where they may have a chance to win a free copy of my book.
And yet another promotional tool . . .
Have a book signing. Signings can be a lot of work for the author and the store, but they can also be a lot of fun. Do your best to promote the signing. The most successful signings that I've experienced were when I sent out invitations via snail mail and email. I've also used Facebook and Twitter to spread the word. Send invitations to everyone you know and then some. For your first signing you will be surprised by how many people show up. They love to see a friend reach the goal of publication.
Wanted will be my sixth book. The stores that carry my novel have cut back on doing book signings, so there is only one signing scheduled for this novel. Here's the when, time and where.
Saturday, May 11th (the day before Mother's Day)
11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m
Deseret Book Store in Fort Union (1110 Fort Union Blvd., Murray, Utah).
If you're in the area please stop by. I'd love to see you.
If you'd like a copy of my newsletter, please email me (kathiorampeterson(at)yahoo(dot)com) your address and I'll send it to you, plus a book mark, and my business card.