As an author, we're so excited to get our book published so people can read it. Many people think that an author can now relax after their book has been written and begin their next book, but it’s not so. At this point an author’s responsibilities are just beginning. An author must promote his or her book by doing SIX THINGS that will enhance the book’s success.
1. Create an attractive website or blog. People want to know who the author is and what other books he or she has written. This is a way to introduce yourself to the public. Make sure that your website 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.
2. Give lectures! Public libraries are an excellent place to begin. They present programs every month for children, teens, and adults. The Friends of the Library usually sponsor events that will educate the public. Remember, when you come up with a program, it must be original, something different that hasn’t been overdone.
When I told various libraries that I could teach a writing class, they said it had already been done. I finally came up with another idea in which I could educate the public and promote my books at the same time. I could teach the public how to write their family history, their ancestor’s experiences, and autobiographies. Instantly, they were interested.
The most important thing is to begin in your own area and gradually spread out. You need to make a name for yourself for some libraries to pay for your services. So begin at home first. Remember to ask the libraries to order your books before you arrive. That way people can check them out and get to know you. I have now toured 17 states, presented around 500 workshops, and my books are in bunches of libraries.
3. Enter contests. This helps your book get out into the public's eyes. My first book, “Melinda and the Wild West,” was one of the top ten semi-finalists for the "Reviewers Choice Award 2007." Since it won an award, people became interested in reading my book.
4. Send your book to reviewers. Pick reviewers who specifically review your genre, otherwise the reviews won’t be as good. I have found many reviewers who have blogs and post reviews after reading a book. Their followers trust their opinion so this is a good way to go. Ask them to post it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and on Goodreads. It is well known that someone will read a book just because a friend suggested it on Goodreads.
5. Get interviews. An interview on a blogger’s website is very important because his or her friends will read it and become interested in you and your book. You are developing new friendships this way.
6. Write articles for the Internet and newspapers. Publishing articles is a good way to be recognized as an author, and it will also 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 online.
Why does writing articles on the Internet help you as an author? More books are sold on the web than anything else, so a good web presence is important. Before I began writing articles on the Internet, I would do a Google search for my website and my name. It wouldn’t come up. After I began submitting articles, my website popped up on the first page of a search. I was shocked that writing articles could make such a difference.
How do you begin writing for the web? All you have to do is sign up and begin writing. You can also contact the editor of your local newspaper and ask if you can write an article for their paper. Have an article ready in case they need a sample of your work.
Remember that your goal is not to charge them for each article, but to get your name out there so people will know who you are. If you have to begin writing articles free, then do it. You have to pay your dues before you’re recognized. The goal is to get your name out into the public with a good byline.
What is a good byline? Along with your name, you can mention your book and provide contact information—such as your website. Here’s a sample byline: Written by Linda Weaver Clarke, author of Melinda and the Wild West, a semi- finalist for the “Reviewers Choice Award.” To contact the author, visit www.lindaweaverclarke.com.
Remember that an author’s duties don’t stop when the book is written. It’s just beginning. There are thousands of books published every year but you need to get out into the public’s eye and be recognized before your book will be noticed.