You wrote a book! Awesome! You got it published, even more awesome! But, what now? The question that comes to every author is how to promote that book in an effective way. The fact is that not many publishers offer publicity any more, it is costly and often is not done for anyone who is ‘new’ to the world of writing, unless you are a known name the chances of free promotion is next to impossible and even then, an author still has to sell themselves.
The first thing you have to know is your market
1. Who are you writing for?: determining who is likely to read your book can help you narrow down where to promote your book, for example websites like Twitter would definitely be better for younger to mid-aged adults as this is where they go for info, still don’t rule that out for senior readers either, Twitter is becoming massively used. But it is still a matter of figuring out where your market gets their information about books, this process can be hard especially if you are in a marginal market.
2. Establishing who is one thing, but then what! Authors will have to use every tool they have to get the word out. One way to do that is to have a website, sounds simple, but amazingly it is hard to actually find an author page for some authors or somewhere to contact them. Don’t rely specifically on email, because a lot of people want to go to a site where they can do some research about you, especially for interviews. It is imperative that you have something out there. The best way if you don’t want to spend any money at all is to create a blog. WordPress, Blogger are the biggest names out there, however there is also a list of them here. Personally, WordPress and Blogger are still the most commonly visited as they are first that come up in Google searches although Live Journal is still fairly common.
Establishing a blog means that you will have to keep it active, write about yourself, include info about the book and where to buy it, but also I would suggest using it as a log of your own to keep a diary. You might find that people who find the book might find your site and then follow it and start reading your posts, having a digital following is important, because believe it or not, followers do a lot of promotion for you, they usually will link sites that they have to your site and thus more promotion is created.
It is also important to maintain a visible presence as an author, becoming unreachable does not make you mysterious but makes reviewing, contacting, following or creating fans practically impossible, so having a solid means of contacting you is not only essential it helps promote.
3. Reaching out. absolutely, hands down, an author has to reach out to everyone and not emailing on mass can limit your exposure. You will have to do a lot of leg work in getting yourself out there, and one of the ways you can do that is to email magazines with the book release, when you email prospective interviewers and reviewers make sure you email them with contact details something like:
Subject: Book Release
Message: My name is () and I am the author of () and am contacting your magazine as a prospective place to be interviewed and reviewed. I hope that you will contact me, here is a copy of the press release (always send attached) you can contact me (MAKE SURE you don’t forget to enter an email address, a phone number of someway for the person to contact you)
I would suggest that if you don’t hear back in a few days (about 5 is standard) email them again with something like:
Subject: Follow Up
Message: Hello Again, this is (), I am contacting you to follow-up on the request for interview and review of () if you have not received that request or require further details please email me……(etc)
If you don’t hear back after 2 attempts, I would let it go, because sometimes it might be a case of too many submissions or that your book does not fit into the magazines genre or audience.
Never take that personally! It is nothing against you, I am certain that no one deliberately ignores emails, but I know even I have been guilty of accidental deleting a message or completely missing an email, it happens.
It is almost certain that someone wants to review the book and interview the author, it is just a matter of who! So, don’t give up!! If you cannot find anyone within your genera or matching media then go to other places too, never think that no one wants to hear from an author because that is simply not true, it is a matter of timing and if the magazine or whatever has a spot they are likely to look for alternative material to squeeze in.
The only thing that should avoid is crossing paths, if your pagan it may be a lot easier to stay in that community, although for heathens they can sort of cross into more paths, pagans may not be reviewed in 100% Asatru or very focused media as they tend to like to stay within the tradition. However, there are many places that bridges both areas, so it is not hard.
3. Google is your friend! Find places by doing searches, search for pagan magazines, podcasts, blogs and see if they do reviews, also don’t forget about GROUPS! Both Yahoo and Google offer a list of many groups and mass publicity can be easily done by releasing a book announcement on all relevant groups, searching pagan or heathen can bring a number of good results.
Just make sure you check with the list owner if it is unclear that press releases are allowed. You don’t want to get your message instantly deleted by the owner. So, find the email of the list owner and email them first, if it is okay, then post your release.
*Authors are going to have to create a number of accounts to do all this, you should keep a good list of your usernames and passwords and a good favorite lists of all the places you submitted to, so that you can watch out for posts and also follow-up on questions.
*Keep your usernames consistent because a lot of people follow-up on the user specifically, and may try to track you down that way.
4. Make a Facebook account and page, okay I may not totally like FB all the time, but it is an amazing resource for authors, create a fan page of your work, create pages about yourself and a way for people to contact you, even a group related to your book can help create a fan base.
5. Once you have all your media outlets set, you will need to make sure they are constantly advertised on your own page, as well put them in your email signature, because people do follow links and do click on them, so advertising can be done this way too!
Finding ways to promote yourself is both a challenge and a great reward, but using the online world of advertising can be complicated if you don’t know what in the world you’re doing, so if you need help, the best way to do that is to take advantage of the new Publicity department that was created specifically for authors of Immannion and Megalithica and contact Larisa Hunter who will do all the press releases for you, you should still always…and I mean always….keep your email accessible and check it, publicity sometimes takes a bit of time to generate, but if it is hard to get a hold of an author it makes it more difficult, so once the process begins and when requests for interviews come in, be ready to respond at a moments notice to meeting the interview deadline, as that is crucial to getting the release out at the right time.