Saturday, 27 August 2016
So You've Published A Book? Now what?
It would be easy now to sit back and preen. Many writers do. The book is soon 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: There are loads of blogs about how to use Twitter to enhance your digital presence . 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 and reciprocating favours. 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've done the St Albans Literary Festival twice. I ran a workshop on how to get published ... ooh, and I had some books on a side-table. Next year I hope to extend my range a bit and do some further afield.
6. Signings: Local bookshop is worth approaching. Also local gift shops and Oxfam.
7.Talks: WI ~ you have to audition and be approved, but it's worth it. Local book clubs/writers' groups, libraries are also worth contacting. If you write YA or children's 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!