Last Tuesday, the sequel to Diamonds & Dust came out. It's called Honour & Obey (I'm into linked titles) and if you cast your eyes to the right space bar, you can see it. I'm into linked covers too. If you click on either cover, you can read a free sample. It would be easy now to sit back and preen. Many writers do. The book is out. Let the sales start.
Oh no they won't!
Writing a book and getting it published, by whatever conduit you use, is only the start. To get any sales, you have to make people aware of your masterpiece. In this blog, I'm exploring some of the ways I use to promote my work, because unless you are out there, loud and proud, nobody will notice you.
1. Social Media: I've blogged before about how to use Twitter; you can read it HERE. And about using blogs to enhance your digital presence - read it HERE. Suffice to say that most of my sales come from Twitter. And practically all come from people recommending the books to other readers, and that comes from me chatting, interacting and posting funny stuff. In other words, I'm a friend first, an online character second, and a writer selling books third.
2. Press Releases: The local press are (usually) delighted to receive a press release, a publicity pic and a free copy to review.
2a. Press Releases: Anywhere your book is set will be delighted also.
3. Local Radio: Contact them via Twitter, phone them up, arrange to do a studio interview. Listen, I sound like a 15 year old mainlining helium, but I still do it.
4.National Press: Will be interested if you have a brilliant backstory, particularly if it involves abuse, or hardship. Also if you earned shedloads of advance shekels or you are very very photogenic. I haven't cracked this one yet. Maybe you will.
5. Literary Festivals: Everybody's doing it. Local library will have contacts of yours. Get in touch. I did the first St Albans Literary Festival this November. I ran a workshop on how to get published ... ooh, and I had some books on a side-table.
6. Signings: Local bookshop is worth approaching. If it's Waterstones, good luck.
7.Talks: WI - you have to audition and be approved, but it's worth it. Local book clubs/writers' groups are also worth contacting. If you write YA or childrens' fiction, schools are always keen to have a visiting writer. Make sure you get paid - the Society of Authors has recommended fees.
As you now see, there is a lot more to being a writer than merely writing. Writing is the ''easy'' bit! And lest you should eye your mainstream published brethren and mutter 'bet they don't have to do all this' - YES THEY DO! Big publishers are very selective about who they spend their publicity budgets promoting. If it ain't you, you will still have to do the legwork. I've spoken to some ''famous'' names, and it is so.
Finally - make sure you are registered for PLR - Public Lending Rights: that's the money paid by libraries every time your book is borrowed. You can register at www.plr.uk.com. Every little helps.
If I've missed out your favourite publicity medium, then please mention it in the comments. Congratulations on being a published author, welcome to the club. Now get out there and sell!
...agreed in its entirety , 100%, completely, in full ..a-hem..:):) nioc done, m’Lady, CarolReplyDelete
*head in hands*ReplyDelete
I know you're right. But the whole marketing circus is so much less fun than reading and writing.
this is true..I think if you are happy writing and selling a few books, it is fine. The post hopefully, is geared to those who want to sell big time, but may not realise what needs to be done.Delete
Great post, Carol. And so true. Sadly, this is an area where modesty is no friend.ReplyDelete
It;s also the area where ''I don't do publicity'' is no friend either. You and I both know how hard won my sales are!Delete
In a nyshell, Carol. That covers all genres. However for kids and young adult books school shops and school libraries are a major market. Schools go to their local Schools Library Services (part of the local council) who advise them what books are suitable, The SLS then go to a company called Peter's Bookselling Services who source and supply the books. The SLS also advises and supplies some local libraries.ReplyDelete
First find your SLS!
Thanks Richard...appreciate your comment.Delete
Great advice, Carol, and have run off a hard copy to remind me! Oh, but promotion, how (most) of us writers hate it! Still, you're right, it's a necessary evil if you want to do well! Thank you!ReplyDelete
Welcome. It is hard work...but....Delete
Your next book should be a compilation of all these wise words!! What a star!ReplyDelete
Aww Val ...you already know all this and do it! xDelete
This is a very informative post not everyone realises what level of commitment you must have to be an Author. Thank you.ReplyDelete
I know you're right, Carol. Difficult when you were brought up not to push yourself forward. Just have to grit your teeth and think of...ReplyDelete
It's the old dichotomy: you write because you like the solitude, but you have to be part of the crowd to sell what you write.Delete
Great stuff, Carol! Don't forget about joining ALCS as well as they're brilliant at sending money out to starving authors, and also accept ebooks whereas PLR don't :)) They're also really sweet on the phone!ReplyDelete
Word of mouth is important in the publicity campaign too. Don't forget to ALWAYS carry a supply of business cards and give them to people who show an interest in your writing. If they read and enjoy they might pass it on to their friends.ReplyDelete
Referring to Anne's comment above - I didn't know ALCS accepted ebooks. Thanks for the info. - I'm going to investigate now.
Thanks Anne and Sally - REALLY good suggestions..hope readers will take note. I always carry my business cards... and hand the out like sweetiesDelete
This is what I've been looking for to add to my offerings. So glad I clicked on your link! Thanks for the info.ReplyDelete
I feel tired just reading about it. I also go to schools as I write children's books. I offer a free hour's talk or assembly at the end of the day in return for the school organising for parents to come and buy books which I then, of course, sign.ReplyDelete
You're right. I'm a self-published author, but have pr skills along with a journalism background. Still swinging at literary festivals, book signings, social media, etc. Haven't cracked the national media YET, but figure it's a matter of timing. My third book, Cameo, which is a memoir may do it. The other two were poetry books. Thank you for the pep talk. Good luck to you as well!ReplyDelete
Delighted to say that this is a post I am now happier to read! Thanks for some very sound advice indeed.ReplyDelete
Great advice, but what about extortion and bribery?ReplyDelete