Thursday, August 14, 2008

Big Pimpin'

Promotion? Isn’t that what you get when you do really well at the day job and they want to reward your efforts? Or if you do so bad that they don’t want you to have hands on experience in the environment anymore, but you have such a great kiss ass team mentality and they don’t want to get rid of you?

Ok, all kidding aside, promotion is the key to having a successful writing career. You can write the best book in the entire history of written literature, but if no one hears of it, how will they know? Sure, depending on the house who publishes your work, a certain amount of promotion will be done on your behalf, but when it comes right down to it, the future of your book really lies in your hands. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

Have a large web presence. This is particularly important if the majority of your works come out in the form of e-books. The more people you reach out to on the web, the better the opportunity is that one of them will read your work and heaven forbid, tell someone else to check it out as well. I personally use, Publisher’s Marketplace, blogspot, MySpace, Twitter, Goodreads, chats and message boards, to convey my presence.

Don’t be afraid to talk about your books in a face to face environment. On any given week, I pass out ten to thirty business cards, I don’t ram the information down their throat like a seventeen year old Amway salesman, but if there is an opportunity to segue into you’re your elevator pitch, take it. If not, is it really that big a stretch to create one? Again, don’t yammer incessantly about it, but touch on the topic of your book and if there is an interest, let them know where to find it and move on to the next topic.

Conferences are another invaluable source. Though, I’d like to point out that the ones that are directed more at readers than authors will generally be your better bet. We all seek approval from our peers, but let’s face it; it’s the avid reader we’re really need to meet out there.

Reviews, both given and received, are another way to get your name out there. Say you do a review on author X. Fan of author X googles said author. Your review pops up and maybe…just maybe, they take an interest in your work as a result.

And we can’t forget the age old custom of book signings. What better way to let potential new readers know you exist than sitting in the front of a book store (you’re already a leg up, because they wouldn’t be there if they weren’t readers) with a smile and a stack of books?

Are there other ways to promote? I’m sure there are and some of them are probably more effective, but this list is just how I’ve chosen to approach the necessary evil of self-promotion. Does it work? Well, not as well as I’d envisioned in my fantasy rise to fame, but my numbers seem to be increasing every month, be it ever so gradually. Having said that, if anyone has any suggestions as to how I can coax more people to read my books, I’m all ears.


  1. can you handcraft hair piks (which i love btw) like anny? :P~~ oh yeah, and if i would win one of your contests now and then, that would be a good way hehehe jk xx

  2. lol, Ciara. I don't know if I can make them or not, I've never tried. :D

    I'm sure you'll win one of them someday. :D I'll do another in the next couple of weeks.

  3. Good points James. I have SO got to get better at the face-tot-face stuff!

  4. Heh... also enroll spouse and other family members. My house hunk brags about my books, carries my cards to hand out, etc.

    There are some unlikely places to spread the word. Picked up readers when I sent my book off to a relative who was in jail. I printed it out chapter by chapter and sent a chapter a week. He used them for barter. The other guys raved about the book. Picked up several readers among the girlfriends and wives. Heh. You just never know. They all felt like it was a safe recommendation because it came from someone they knew...

  5. Hmm. I've heard our books are very popular in prisons. LOL

    Great points, James. Amway salesmen??? You crack me UP!!!

    I find the convention part of this interesting. I've been to the RWA conventions and it was pretty much all about the "writers" rather than readers. An industry deal. Next year I'm doing RT and the EC conventions which will be geared more toward readers. You are so right! That's the key.

  6. Ok, get your books to India & I will do whatever I can to promote them here!

    Yes book signing is great! Now the question is how do I get a book signed by you from here?

    I can tell my sister to buy me your books ( hard copy) there & I need to know where to send them to be signed!

  7. Thanks, Cindy. That is a hard one to get used to.

    Oh, I forgot to mention the family support, Anny. I have several members that tote my cards around. :D wow, that is definately a route I never thought of before, but it makes sense. I may have to start sending a few care packages to my relatives in the pen. :D

    Hi, Mona. I'm really not sure how to go about getting my books over there. Perhaps if you know a bookseller or two you could get us in touch with each other?

    You know I'd love to sign one for you. Send me an email and I will give you my mailing address so she could send it to me and I will mail it back. :D

    Oh, absolutely, Regina. I'll be at RT so, maybe I'll finally get a chance to meet you in person. It is definately a con I would recommend.


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