Promoting your own book is like trying to move sand off a beach using tweezers. You can do it, but it’s S-L-O-W.
When you’re doing your own promotion, you start to understand why marketing departments are so influential in most publishing decisions (like whether or not to publish your book). Most authors published by TPs (traditional publishers) have been hiring their own publicists for years. It’s extremely tempting to leave all the soul-sucking drudgery of publicity and marketing to the publisher but the truth is that in most cases they aren’t actually going to do it. And by the time you realize that it may be too late for you to do it yourself.
So, once your book is ready for publication (by a publisher or self-published – see my blog on the soul-sucking drudgery of formatting and publishing your own e-book) but BEFORE IT’S BEEN PUBLISHED, think about utilizing some of the following resources.
I admit I didn’t do half of the things listed here for my own book (“How to Be a Writer Who Writes“). My main advice is this: there are endless things you can do to promote your book and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Just take it one day at a time and remember that anything you do is better than doing nothing.
At least 3 months before the official publication date (6 is better), submit the book to:
Kirkus – https://www.kirkusreviews.com/author-services/indie/
Publisher’s Weekly – http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/corp/submissionguidelines.html
Library Journal – http://reviews.libraryjournal.com/about/submitting-titles-for-review/
Plenty of other publications and websites do book reviews, but those are the big three and inclusion in any of them will almost guarantee other reviews and purchase by institutions. Even if one or more of them do cover your book, but especially if they don’t, you’re really just getting started.
Of course you should use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and any other social media to promote your book. Here are some other things to consider (I do NOT endorse paid sources, but have included them anyway):
NetGalley catalog $399 “100,000 reviewers & journalists”
Independent Book Publishers Assoc.
One title available in NetGalley’s online catalogue for 6 months plus inclusion in one dedicated emailing to all 76,000 NetGalley reviewers = $350.
Mailing to libraries $215 + 3900 fliers PL,
Mailing to college & U $215 + 3200 fliers
San Francisco/Sacramento Book Review http://sanfranciscobookreview.com/book-submission/
Sponsored Review $125/299 + Portland $99
Book Marketing & Selling Tips for Authors
Email email@example.com with the post when done.
Review seekers on linkedIn
Review seekers on facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/reviewseekers/?ref=br_tf
Delin Colon: “Here’s a spreadsheet of book review sites – some free, some not. I didn’t make that list.
http://bit.ly/VCTc67 Also, here’s a spreadsheet of Bloggers Who Interview Authors, which you might find handy, too: http://bit.ly/HTi3kU (all of those are free, and a nice adjunct to book reviews).
Greg Kuhn says: “Here’s how I’ve gotten reviews. Search Amazon for books from your genre. Sort the reviews and click the 5-star reviewers names. Many of the reviewers will include their contact information (email and/or website). Send those reviewers an email offering to give them your book (via email attachment or Kindle gift copy). Tell them your offer has no strings attached – but you’d love it if they reviewed the book for you.”
The Book Publisher’s Toolkit
Thoughtful Reflections Interview: http://wwwthouhtfulreflections.blogspot.com/
Readers Favorite review: http://readersfavorite.com/review/5411
Delin Colon says: “Here’s a google doc with a list of 67 book reviewers: http://bit.ly/VCTc67
The spreadsheet notes what genres are accepted. Also, I’ve found some terrific professional reviewers on goodreads.com. If you join a group related to your book’s subject, you can ‘meet’ such people. My book was reviewed in the New York Journal of Books from a chance encounter on goodreads.com. In fact, I’ve received several reviews by folks who frequent that site.”
Stephanie Chandler says: “For those of you seeking more reviews on Amazon, Dan Poynter’s newsletter includes a section where you can offer up review copies to willing readers. http://parapub.com”
Remember, DON’T GET OVERWHELMED & GIVE UP. When you get overwhelmed (and you will) just step back, re-group, make some notes about your next book, then pick up the tweezers and move another grain of sand.
Arthur Daigle adds:
I’ve found a number of websites that allow you to post your book, and some more that let you also post blogs. Can’t say they have helped generate much in the way of sales, but they’re free so you spend nothing but time.
Posting sites: AwesomeGang, BookDaily, BookGoodies, Every Writer Resource, FaceBook: Promote Your Book.
Post and Blog: AuthorsDen, Booksie, Eat Sleep Write, GoodReads. Eat Sleep Write limits blog entries to 700 words.
Kenneth Weene adds:
My idea is that by joining forces with others and helping them I also help market for myself. For example, I co-host It Matters Radio (http://www.itmattersradio.com) and edit The Write Room Blog (http://www.thewriteroomblog.com
This is very helpful insight.
I am a long-time writer who is preparing to venture into more public waters. I really appreciate your blog AND the comments so far.