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Promoting Your Book

  • Many first-time authors focus only on publication, but you will hate yourself if you don't prepare for your book's future. An author friend, Allison Symes, once gave me wise advice -

"You better like your first book because you'll be promoting it for the rest of your life!" Authors often make a number of critical mistakes in publishing both print and eBooks.

You must prepare properly:

  • Have a good website in place several months before your book is published. It is worthwhile spending a bit of money on having a professional prepare the website so that it does what you need it to do.

  • Create a “buzz” - announce book cover reveals, preorder dates and publication of the upcoming book to the relevant audience.

  • Contact reviewers four months in advance of publication.

  • Have a cover ready before the publication date. Again, it is worthwhile spending some money to have the cover designed by a professional - readers do judge a book by its cover.

  • Schedule talks, blog spots and appearances to coincide with the publication date.

This is what you should do: 1. Have your website designed and launch it as early as possible.

If you do not have a book published yet, put your photo and biography on the home page and begin the blog section of the website. You are an author, so you should take your blog seriously. Write about your areas of expertise. For example whether you write non-fiction or fiction. You can write about anything, as long as it is entertaining and/or informative. An author's website is supposed to showcase their accomplishments. Also remember to include a "contact us" page. You never know when an agent might be reading your blog! 2. Well before the publication date start working on the cover. Do not do this yourself, unless you have a flair for design. Hire a professional book cover designer, not a graphic designer. There are many online but do look at their portfolios first. You can also contact writers who have eye-catching covers and ask them who the designer was. They are likely to be flattered rather than possessive.

3. Also before your book is published, contact reviewers and arrange to send them a PDF file. This will allow you to achieve early reviews that you can quote from on social media. 4. In good time before the publication date, start scheduling talks and appearances. Don’t limit yourself to bookstores. You can give talks at schools, libraries, writing groups, businesses, in retail stores, and even to organizations  depending on your subject matter. 5. Remember that before the publication date you should start contacting groups and organizations which might be interested in promoting your upcoming book. They may ignore you at first, but do it anyway. Keep asking. Requests can simply be overlooked if they are only made once. Also rmember to arrange a blog tour with a professional blog tour company. There are many online and the cost is not usually high. However, do make sure the package you opt for offers what you need: reviews and exposure for your book.

6. Maintain your blog. One entry a week should be enough. Blogs help keep you writing, even on those “off” days. The more you publish — anywhere — the more visibility you will have.

Promoting your books is a full-time job. Good luck promoting yours.

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