Thursday, July 22, 2010

Your single best piece of promotional advice

As I've been blathering about to everyone lately, my debut novel, Forget-Me-Not, comes out on Feb. 18th. With it comes the conundrum of how to promote it. As far as I know, it will be e-book only, although I haven't received final confirmation of that yet. I've always been a bit of an introvert, so the idea of putting myself out there to promote something is not an easy one for me. I'm also my own worst critic, so the idea of telling everybody how great my novel is makes me a little uncomfortable when I'm forever fretting about its flaws.

In any case, I've got a blog (obviously) and a Facebook fan page. I'll be sending press releases to some small local papers when the release date draws near--these papers often run features about local authors who've gotten published, so I'm pretty sure I can get in there. Other than that, though, I'm drawing something of a blank when it comes to effective promotional ideas. I see all of the messages about contests, giveaways, chatting, guest blogging, etc., but my schedule is crazy, so I'd like to focus on the most effective things I can do. So experienced authors/promoters, I need some help here. What is your single best advice for a promotion that you've run that has really helped raise your profile or sales? Please chime in!

9 comments:

Joanne Stewart said...

Wow, I could've written this word for word. I'm an introvert myself, whose debut novel came out in June, and I'm struggling with the same thing. I haven't gotten a blog yet, though, cause I'm not much of a talker either. I'm not sure I could keep up with some of these ladies with their awesome blogs. Will be keeping an eye on your blog to see what you learn! Good luck!

Marie Tuhart said...

I'm an introvert too, and it is hard putting ones self out there. I too have limited time, but this is what I did.

Guest blogged on my release date and around it

My blog - stated up front that I could only post once a week

Facebook - while I don't actively post, I post when I have something to say

Bookmarks & Postcards: I turned my cover into both of these along with the blurb, how to by, my website and facebook page. I've sent these out to conferences for their goody bags, I've mailed them to people who join my mailing list.

Contest - I ran a release contest and they had to sign up for my newsletter to be in the contest

Newsletter/Goody list - I started this advising people that I would only email them once a quarter or when I had news, and if I had their address, I'd send them goodies every so often. I also do a special drawing for my newsletter group.

RT Ad - while it is expensive, I had an email from a reader who saw the ad, bought my book, and emailed me to tell me how much she liked it so to me that made it worth it.

I'll be going to my first conference as a published author in October, and because my book is an e-book only, I'll be signing bookmarks and postcards at the book signing. This will be my first out under my pen name.

Don't know if any of this will help, but its what I did.

Mary Ricksen said...

I have no money to spend on promoting. I have done well at signings and by doing a lot of blogging.

Maeve said...

Best of luck to you, Linda. I don't have my release date yet but when I do, I'll be in pretty much the same boat as you. You're blog is lovely and looks like you've got a great start!

P.L. Parker said...

Silly, but I bought a bunch of cheap notepads from Oriental Trading, printed off small stickers of my books and slapped them on there and I hand them out wherever and whenever. I've had RT ads and RWA ads, but they are expensive and I can't do it very often.

Rebecca J. Clark said...

Boy, do I feel your pain. :) I'm such an introvert I have a blog devoted to shy/introverted writers. www.shywriters.blogspot.com

You've gotten some great advice from other posters. I'd agree that you should blog. You can set up a blog tour to coincide with your release (congrats, by the way) and you are obviously welcome on mine. :) If you're wondering how to get onto blogs, you could either post on the writing loops you're on that you want to set up a blog tour for Feb 2011. You could also check out your favorite blogs to see if they welcome guest bloggers.

Twitter is another very easy way to get your name out there. It's fun, although a bit addicting, and I've *met* a lot of writers, many non-writers, and I know for a fact I've sold several books to my Tweeps (Twitter peeps).

Pamela Loewy said...

I really enjoyed reading your posts. My first published novel, SAVING JEMMA, is due out September 3 from The Wild Rose Press, and as I'm an introvert too, marketing is quite a challenge. I'm trying to balance setting up an Internet presence with face-to-face and other marketing strategies, and I've started to get more active in local writers' associations.

It's not my natural inclination to blog and comment on other blogs - I'm more comfortable sitting in the back of the virtual room, so to speak, so I really have to force myself to get out there. The other hurdle is that I want to spend the majority of my time working on my next novel, and I'm discovering marketing is almost like another job. Again, I suppose it's all a question of balance.

I wish you the best of luck and look forward to following your blog and to reading your book when it comes out.

Linda Morris, Romance writer said...

Wow, what a wealth of great tips, and a lot of good encouragement too--thanks! I've checked out a few of the commenters' blogs before--I'll probably try to launch a blog tour when the time draws nearer, and maybe do the stickers or bookmarks as free giveaways. Good tips, all!

Lilly Gayle said...

I'm not an introvert, but like you, I have trouble self-promoting. It seems so...conceited...to brag about your own book. And I've never liked braggarts. But, you have to love your own book or no one else will bother reading it.

I think being an author requires a bigger ego than some of us possess. I guess that's why I often feel as if I'm playing dress up in my mommy's shoes!

So, beef up that ego! But be gracious. That's the best advice I can give. And btw, I've only had one book signing so far, but it was successful. A local gift shop hosted it on the same day as a wine tasting. Nothing like free booze to loosen people's purse strings. lol!

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