Thursday Tips is geared to the newly published/contracted author
When to start and what to do…oh, now those are some questions for sure. And they aren’t easy questions.
With print books, it’s helpful to get the word out to booksellers and librarians and you need to do that about 8-12 weeks (roughly) before the book is released, but you need to start planning well before that.
If you’re a member of RWA, you can get your book listed in ROMANCE SELLS. I’ve yet to use this, but it’s an option and it’s a relatively inexpensive one.
If you’ve got an awesome cover, another fairly inexpensive option is getting a cover story trailer done with Circle of Seven (disclaimer: yes I’ve used their services and love them, but no, I get no compensation for recommending them).
They cost $350 and Circle of Seven sends these out to a wide variety of outlets…including bookstore sites, bookseller lists and librarian lists that we don’t have access to.
You can view one of mine…
Other options include getting some postcards-you get them cheap from Vista Print-make sure you don’t sign up for services you don’t want (watch the ‘bonus’ offers at the end of the purchase) and send them out to mailing lists—I’ll try to remember to touch on mailing lists in a later topic, but if I forget, somebody remind me. Here’s a hint, though-when you’re out at events or even just talking to booksellers online? If they seem receptive, get their info-ask if it’s okay to add them to your mailing list.
With ebooks, you need to focus your efforts to online promo. But online promo can be effective for print and ebooks, so if you’ve contracted with traditional publishing, this stuff can still apply.
If you are looking to do ads, start planning a few months before the book releases, and sooner if you can. As soon as you have your cover art and the other info, if possibly. Six months, if possible. For some of the bigger places, that’s not soon enough.
An effective way to get the word out is join some of the ‘group’ sites, but some of the bigger ‘author’ sites are pretty pricy, especially for newer authors and while they are certainly appealing, we all know that money is tight. You can focus on the smaller places and still get exposure.
(Please note… this isn’t an endorsement or recommendation-do your research and make sure you know where you’re placing your money)
- Author Island http://www.authorisland.com/
- The Romance Studio http://theromancestudio.com/
- The Romance Club http://www.theromanceclub.com/
And that’s just a starter’s list. For a little bit of money, you can get a banner placed on reviewer sites that will link back to your site.
Cheap/free promo? Try a blog. Blogging can get old, but it’s also an experiment in writing—you train yourself to write a little daily and that will pay off in the log run, both in your craft, and in promo if you manage to develop a regular following of visitors who enjoy the blog.
Other cheap/free promo would be things like myspace/facebook/twitter and while social media is a craze right now, you also have to be careful not to get caught up in the massive time suck, as well.
One thing you do need to think about though…promo is important.
I can’t remember who said it, but the other day, another writer on twitter made a tongue in cheek comment… “Remember the writer who didn’t promo…no? Neither does anybody else.”