There's nothing I like more than chatting about the writing life and I'm going to have a chance to do that lots this coming year in my ten-part series on book promotion for beginners at the “Authors Insider Tips” feature at the Erotic Readers and Writers Association beginning in February. I’m envisioning the column as an informal “chat” about my own experiences promoting my first novel, but, just as my experience involved learning invaluable lessons from friends, I’d also like to include suggestions and ideas from other writers. Naturally I’ll credit you and link to your blog or website and provide a link to a book of your choice.
I have a preliminary list of questions below, and feel free to answer one, a few or all. I know it's a huge list and kind of hard to take in all at once, but maybe if you just let the ideas simmer, something will come up! Even one story or recommendation will be a great contribution to the cause of writerly solidarity. If you have anything else to add or suggest, please mention that as well—we all benefit from sharing. Please send your ideas and the links you’d like to use to email@example.com
I’ll let you know beforehand if I’m using your suggestion and will send a draft of the column for your review. Feel free to share your answers here as well—it might lead to a helpful discussion!
Thanks so much in advance for your help! Here it is:
ERWA Column Book Promotion Survey
What have you found to be the most effective ways to promote your novel (or story collection or anthologies)? The most enjoyable?
The least effective ways or biggest challenges?
What has been the most surprising thing about the experience of book promotion?
Did it change your view of your writing and the writing process?
What advice would you give to a person just starting out as a published author who would like to promote their novel/stories? Is there anything you would definitely do differently if you had the chance to do it over?
If you’ve used a publicist or other professional consultant to promote your work what have been the benefits? The downside?
Comment on the effectiveness of any or all of the following promotional tools. Illuminating anecdotes are welcome!
Setting up a website—did you do it yourself or hire a professional?
Mailing lists/author newsletters
Reference/advice books—do you have specific recommendations for good or disappointing ones?
Getting your book reviewed—the challenges and successes
Approaching local bookstores directly
Writing articles related to your book for print or online media
Interviews in local or national media
Promoting at writing workshops or through other businesses
Swag--such as postcards, bookmarks, pens, flyers, T shirts, magnets, etc. Which has been the most useful?
Any other strategies you’d like to suggest?
Sounds like a great series. Since I'm still in the starting blocks on the Book publication thing, I won't have much to offer, but I sure look forward to reading more.
What Craig said. Sounds like an excellent, informative series.
For the record, I suck at all this. Then again, I've not published a book, so I suck at that too.
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