Or, My Conference SWAG Arrived And I Want To Share!
I’m so excited to attend both Comic-Con and Romance Writer’s of America’s national conference (I can’t stop smiling!), I ordered new promotional goodies. If you’d like to receive the pictured loot, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment on my blog and I’ll ship a personalized care package to the first 10 responders. Good luck!
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Or, Answers To Common Questions About Reading Habits
The Ebook Formatting Fairies recently conducted a survey about reading habits. Some of the more interesting results were:
- Readers prefer ebooks to paperbacks.
- Most readers purchase their books from Amazon.
- Readers find new authors on Facebook.
- Most readers don’t look at the bestseller lists to find books to read.
What do you think about these results? Do they represent you as a reader?
Or, An Adorable Little Article About My Book
I didn’t think anything would come of sending press releases to my local and hometown newspapers, but I’m thrilled to say my story was reported in the Hesperia Star Newspaper in my hometown of Hesperia, California today.
Link to the online version here.
Here is a scan:
Here is a photo taken by a fan in Hesperia.
Or, How to Get People to Notice Your Book
I’m a new indie author with a book to promote, but I don’t have a lot of money to spend on marketing. So, I’m all about free easy ways to get my name and novel out in front of a lot of different people. Here is a list of things (in no particular order) that have worked for me.
I’m assuming you have a website or a blog already set up.
- Write a press release with a “local girl (or boy) does well” spin and send it to your hometown newspaper.
- Reach out to book clubs and offer your novel for them to read. Be prepared to visit the group for a Q&A.
- Set up an author page on each of the sites you publish on. And don’t forget Goodreads!
- Write an article and be the guest speaker on a blog. Invite other authors to guest on your blog.
- Write interesting and topical blog posts at least three times per week.
- Post an interview with another new, indie author on your blog. Ask if they will reciprocate.
- Give away a free copy of your book through your site or on Facebook.
- Publish your novel on other sites besides Amazon, like Barnes and Noble, All Romance eBooks, Smashwords, Lulu, and CreateSpace.
- Become an expert in social media. Blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, Google+, etc., etc.
- Launch any new blog series, event, and definitely your latest book release with social media fanfare.
- Comment on popular blogs in your genre.
- Get your novel reviewed by popular book bloggers. If it’s a positive review, use it as free advertising on your site and your author pages.
Or, How I Taught Myself Promotion
When you’re a small-time, self-published author like me you have to be your own PR department and take over everything from running a website to convincing bloggers to review your book. Throw into that list writing your own press releases.
Unless you’re super famous or have a topical book to promote you probably won’t see any stories in national newspapers and magazines about you or your book. But, just maybe, your local newspaper will be interested in printing a story about a local girl (or boy) who followed her (or his) dreams to publication. I believe it’s worth your time to write a press release and email it to your local journalists and news desks.
1. Start your email with your full contact info and a friendly greeting (personalized, if possible). You can find the appropriate editors and email addresses on the newspaper’s website.
2. Print FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE at the start to signal the journalist when the actual article begins and that it is news ready to be printed.
3. Write a catchy headline. This is the first impression most people will have of the article and, by extension, you and your book. I followed the same rule of thumb for billboards–7 words or less. And capitalize the first letter of each word.
4. At the beginning of the first paragraph print your location in all caps and then the date.
5. The first paragraph should have the most important information about you and your story and the reason you’re both interesting or topical enough to warrant printing the article. Think about the 5 W’s of journalism. And don’t forget quotes or snippets of reviews (if you have them). End with a hook. But you knew that one already!
6. The next one or two paragraphs give more information on you, your story, and your book. But keep the whole thing short and snappy. Shoot for between 200 and 500 words.
7. Include where the book is available and add a link to your website or blog.
8. Attach your cover art or an author photo.
9. End the press release with ### to let journalists know the article is finished.
10. Final reminders: Write the release in the 3rd person and the way a non-partial professional journalist would write it. It should look like other, similar stories printed in that publication. And don’t be afraid to send a new press release out if your novel suddenly becomes topical or you can link it to a current event.
If you’re a new author and you’re not sure how to get the word out about your book, a nicely worded press release to the local paper can wield positive results.