By Atlin Merrick
First, that title is a little misleading – these are easy ways for everyone to promote their book, but they do favor the shy.
If you're ever, ever not clear on how to move forward with self-promotion know that you can talk to your publisher. They can't read minds and they really want to help you because it helps them. Producing a book – ebook or paperback – is a pricey endeavor; publishers want to make their money back and share your great words with the world. So talk to them!
Promoting Your Book:
Social media | Newspapers | Reviews |
Blogging | Talk to Your Publisher
Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook
(or whatever other fresh young thing has just hit)
If you love one or two social platforms start promoting there. Social media is grand because you don't have to call anyone or look them in their beady eye – you can use words, which you're already good at because you have a book. That you wrote.
So, create social media accounts under your author name or, if you already have a good following under a different name, tell your followers about your new book there.
Then keep doing that, you have to keep doing that.
Announce your cover reveal. Announce publishing day. Retweet tweets from your publisher, reblog the Tumblr post of a reader who said "squee!" about your book. No, you're not spamming your feed, it's your feed to post what you like, and since you could have followers across many time zones, posting and reposting makes sure more people see.
The key is…keep doing this. People may not buy the first time they see your book. Or the tenth. They're busy. Harried. Whatever. Give them the chance to remember you've got something out, show your pride by tweeting or tumblring or pinning. Create a book banner at the top of your Twitter, a logo of your book for your Instagram, Tumblr, or Facebook.
Lean heavily on your social media presence because it's you who guides it. Those are your words, not someone else's review or opinion. You wrote a book full of words already, you got this!
All news outlets want local stories. They're always publishing stuff like "Harrogate author will put the spook into Halloween this autumn!"
So start looking for the news papers local to you, the paid and free ones. Give all of those names to your publisher before your book comes out, and they'll send out press releases. Repeatedly. All you have to do is give them the names.
Got a friend with a website? An acquaintance who loves the sort of stories you write? Send your publisher the URL to your friends site, give them your acquaintance's email.
The publisher will take it from there, sending an ebook of your novel or pending novel. They'll ask them if they want to write a review, and remind them to do it, too. And then when they do review your book, your publisher will crow about it on their social media and @ you when they do. So you have something to blog about, or tweet, or put into a newsletter.
Write More (blogs and newsletters)
Write about your writing. Offer to blog for your publisher; most publishers love when writers want to write for them. And going back to that friend with their own website? Write something for them about writing, or about something even tangentially related to your book, whether Christmas, Pride, bunny rabbits, whatever – make sure there's an author note pointing to your book/publisher with that post.
You can also use any of the free services out there to send out a newsletter – which can be about writing if you like, or about travel if that's what your book is about, or a mix of all of that and more. Email newsletter seem old-fashioned, but they're used by most publishers to help promote their books, so get in on that and help promote you.
Then tell your publisher where that blog entry or newsletter can be found because here's the cool thing about that: backlinks. Your blog or newsletter points to your publisher, yes? Well then your publisher will point back to that content. Those are called backlinks and they legitimize both websites. Search engines want that. They want to see those connections between sites because that means those sites are real, respected, worth linking to, and so they're worth the search engine's time to catalogue them. Which means when people search for your book or name, they're more likely to find you.
Talk to Your Publisher
Ask your publisher for help or encouragement. Tell them you're nervous if you are. But also tell them "I'll do it anyway," because again, you must be part of your book's promotion. An independent press has neither the time nor the money to do it all. They do have the time and money to promote writers and topics that the big presses can't, since those presses need large returns to justify committing to a book – independent presses don't need you to be a best-seller, but they do need you to sell.
So help them do that, before your book is out. Get social media accounts set up under your writing name. Notice the local newspapers. Ask your friend if they'll review your book. And write about writing. Blog away.
Let's do this thing.
Yes, yes, yes! This is Perfect, thank you!! I see how other authors use social media, but the rest of that hadn’t even occurred to me.