posted by rdsp

One of the most overlooked areas in book publishing is promotion. While all companies will engage in some level of promotion, few—if any—have the resources, time, and staff available to capitalize on every possible promo opportunity for each book. Even the large publishing houses fall into this category; the promo reps are each dealing with multiple authors. Authors with “big deals” still have to devote as much time to PR as their indie counterparts if they hope to ensure their book succeeds. In short, nobody will publicize your book like the person with the most invested in it: you, the author.

With that in mind we’ll be starting a series here in the Barking Lot with a focus on promotion techniques for authors. It certainly is a slow process, but if you keep at it and maintain records of your activities, you’ll notice progress. The results will increase exponentially over time as readers let their friends know about your book, people discover your posts in public forums, your reviews hit the streets, etc.

Generally, authors get into the business because they love writing, not because they enjoy marketing, but you don’t have to be a full-time advertiser. Simply doing a little bit each day will make the difference. As a rule it’s good to accomplish five PR tasks per day. These can be in the form of five letters to authors you admire, five posts to message boards, participation in online chats, or what have you.

The follow-up posts in our self-promo series will focus on the various facets of promotion, but for now you can focus on ensuring you’re as organized as possible. Figure out
-how many publishing credits you have and who the editors were
-whether there are photos of you suitable for public distribution, and if you know anybody who is a professional or amateur photographer
-whether you know anybody who works at a book store
-whether you know anybody who designs web sites, or is involved with writing related sites or online groups
-what types of promotion you have experience in or are currently engaged in
-what unique skills, experiences, or expertise you have
-what, if any, funds you have available to promote your book
-how much time you have on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis for your promotion efforts
Figuring this all out will give you solid footing for starting your promo efforts.

current mood: productive
current music: Buring in Water, Drowning in Flame by Skrew

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