Monday, 30 July 2012

That Dreaded Word - Promotion!

One of the first questions you are asked when the contract is signed and before you start congratulating yourself, is – how are you going to promote this novel? It’s a real heartsink moment for a writer, like me, who feels it is inherently wrong to beg people to read my book and tell the world what they think!

Research being my thing, I did some on this subject, and most editors say:
You should start to think about promotion before you start to write your book!
Oh dear, failed miserably on that one then. Next Question
What do you want to accomplish with this book?
Er-I want people to read it, enjoy it, have the main character linger in their mind forever and make them want to explore the places she once trod? Or is that too abstract and romantic?
Is this novel a one off or will there be a sequel. Do you see it as a film or TV drama?
Umm-No to both - Next question
Who are you trying to reach with this novel?
Anyone interested in history, England, the 17th Century, The English Civil War -Love stories set in another time.
Do you have a title and cover design that will make readers pluck this novel off a shelf?
Aha, I can answer this one. I have a wonderful publisher with a great art department who has helped me with a strong title and designed a fabulous cover for the book – and now I am beginning to think maybe I can tackle this promotion thing after all.
Will you promote yourself or hire a Marketing Company to do it?
My publisher will probably have to handle most of that, but I appreciate I need to do my part. Now I know even major authors often hire a private publicists, but that option isn’t really available to me – after all I am bashing my novels out on a four-year-old-laptop keeps threatening to die on me! I’m aware I have to let consumers know this book exists…and so I shall try to get review blogs and author sites to help me get the word out.
How do you feel about promoting your work?
Honestly, I would rather be writing my next book, and hate that ‘please read my book’ feeling as if I’m mentally bashing it over everyone’s heads. If they wanted to read it they would, wouldn’t they?
Apparently not –
I need to keep telling readers my book is out there and it’s worth a look - generate some interest, create a buzz about the origins of the book, the characters, author interviews, reviews, etc.make the cover art recognisable, attract fans and followers through blogs and social media.

There are many book-based websites now designed specifically to help authors get the word out - so before the edits begin, I have to get started.


Anne Gallagher said...

Boy howdy I hear you on those questions. I never asked myself any of them before I jumped into self-publishing and probably should have. I guess I can do it now for the next few books.

Petrea Burchard said...

Oh, this is a hard one. For some people it's easy, not for others. I think we have to be innovative. "Buy my book" isn't imaginative. Consumers hear "buy my this, buy my that" all the time.

My friend has recently published her novel and I've been watching her--she's got a bright personality, which helps, and she's funny, which also helps. She's also tried some innovative things. She invited her blog readers to submit photos for her book trailer. She let her readers vote on the book cover (she's self-publishing, so she can do that). She's had fun with it.

I think people are as interested in you as they are in your books. Maybe that's a clue to publicity. Maybe let "you" shine through, and people will buy the book because they like you.

Petrea Burchard said...

This morning I read about group book tours. Is there a historical novelists society that does something like that on your side of the pond? They say there's safety in numbers. There's a Historical Novel Society on Facebook.

Anita Davison said...

Thanks for the comments, and encouragement. I am a member of the HNS here in England,Petrea,and they are on my list for when I go beating at doors asking to read and review my next book!

Maggi Andersen said...

Maggi Andersen I hate promotion. RT Book Reviews are effective, if timed to come out with the book release, expensive though. FB Ads don't sell books. Someone said Goodreads ads don't either, I haven't tried either of them though. The best for me so far are virtual book tours. But with A Baron in Her Bed coming out first in the UK I'm flat out trying to find any romance blogs there. You're sure to have better luck with your historical.