Monday, May 3, 2010
The Importance of Promoting Your Book
Finally my sweet husband said, “You worry too much. I know you can do it. It’s just like eating an elephant.”
“An elephant?” I exclaimed.
“Yes. Just one bite at a time!”
That’s right! After your book is published, an author’s responsibilities are just beginning. Many people think that an author can now relax after the book has been written and begin their next book, but it’s not so. An author must promote his or her book by doing a few things that will enhance the book’s success.
First, when creating your website, make sure that it can be loaded easily. If it can’t be loaded within 10 seconds, visitors will give up. Make sure your images are optimized for web view. Don’t make the site too busy or visitors will feel overwhelmed and give up.
Second, send your book to professional reviewers. Pick only reviewers who review your genre, otherwise it’s a waste of time. Some reviewers only review established authors, so select carefully so you don’t send your book to someone who won’t review it.
Third, write articles for the Internet and local newspapers. You must publish articles so you will be recognized as an author and it will enhance your web presence. These articles are important for your book’s success, for the one reason that people are getting to know you. Articles help you and your book to stand out and be noticed. There are some excellent websites to write articles: American Chronicle, Article-hangout, Go Articles, Articles Base, Amazines, Search Warp, and Authors Den.
How do you begin writing for the web? The American Chronicle is a great one because it has twenty-one other chronicles where your articles will be published. First, you need to send an article to the Chronicle as evidence of your writing skills. The other article websites don’t ask for samples. All you have to do is just sign up and begin writing. You may visit my site at American Chronicle and see what kind of articles I write. Make sure you have a good byline that includes your name, your book, and contact information such as your website. With American Chronicle, you don’t need a byline because your bio is on your site.
The Book Connection, and is a virtual book tour coordinator for Pump Up Your Book Promotion. She is a founding member of Musing Our Children—a group dedicated to encouraging a love of reading and writing in young people.
Cheryl, you work for an online book promotion agency. You show authors how to sell books without leaving the comfort of their home. What are the most important things an author should do to begin promoting his or her book?
Thanks for having me here today, Linda. I love talking book promotion. The most important thing an author must do is create an online presence before the book comes out. That means investing in a professional-looking website. This could be a potential reader’s first impression of you and your work. It could also be visited by fellow authors and others in the industry. You want them to know you take your career seriously and will deliver a professional product. With my first children’s book coming out later this year, I’m taking the plunge and having someone design a new website for my work. God did not bless me with that type of knowledge, and I want something that will be attractive and informative.
Creating an online presence also involves learning how to use social media. When Pump Up Your Book Promotion started, there was no Facebook or Twitter. Now, it’s hard to imagine they haven’t always been around. I’m constantly using these and other social networks to promote our clients.
Another important thing an author should do is create a media kit. Social Media Consultant Angela Wilson has several articles about media kits on her “Market My Novel” website. If you go to the archives section and look under media kits, you’ll easily find them. In her article, “What Makes a Good Online Media Kit” (September 2, 2009) you’ll learn what an online media kit should include, along with examples from author websites.
Networking is also vital to successful book promotion. I’ve been networking online for years. You need to foster relationships before your book comes out so people are willing to help you when the time comes. If you’re good to people and supportive of their endeavors, they will be happy to return the favor.
Very good advice, Cheryl. A website is important because people want to know who the author is and what kind of books he or she has written. Why is Internet marketing so important?
Let’s face it, we live in very different times now. My children can’t imagine a world without computers in every classroom, the Internet, cell phones, iPods, and e-books. When I tell my son that I lived—and still live—without texting, he falls over with laughter.
Technology has meant many great things for authors. Self-publishing and POD companies have opened doors that might have remained shut for some writers. E-books and e-readers give people access to books at a lower cost, and make them easily portable. As the publishing industry has evolved, so has the way in which authors are promoting their books.
With limited marketing budgets, authors need to find the most bang for their buck. The Internet provides that by allowing authors to reach a much larger audience than they could with in-store book signings and other local events. Now, I’m not saying authors shouldn’t plan book signings or other events around their book, just that they need to combine what they are doing locally with savvy Internet marketing to widen their reach.
Thank you, Cheryl. You have given us some valuable information. Remember, as an author, your duties don’t stop when the book is written. It’s just beginning. You need to get out into the public’s eye and be recognized so your book will be noticed.
(Interested in mystery novels? Read my press release: “Mystery and Adventure” is Theme of New Novel: Anasazi Intrigue.)