Book marketing has gone big. Almost as big as the book business. Midnight releases, star-studded book signings (since many stars are also doubling as authors these days anyway) and cross-media creations have made book debuts like movie premiers.
At the SCBWI conference, one thing I heard over and over is that authors are now being expected to promote their own books. So how can authors, especially new authors like me, expect to keep up?
There are things I can do right now (when I’m still “prepublished”- or as a friend just told me, while I still have one of the world’s rarest collections of first-editions) to start promoting my first book:
Buy my domain name- I’m told that the longer a website has existed, the higher it will appear on the search engine results
Start a blog (tah-dah!) and consider using material my book on my blog (also tah-dah! if you look at the “works in progress” tab)
Review other people’s books- someone might look twice at a book from a respected voice in children’s publishing. Even if it is just on a blog. Just look at mombloggers as an example. Scholastic says mombloggers participated on their panel to determine the top 100 children’s books of all time.
Help another new author promote his or her book- I’ll make valuable connections and learn from someone else’s mistakes/successes
Comment/guest post on other writers’ blogs- this one is hard for me right now, but I can see the benefits right away. On my active comment days, my blog gets a traffic boost
Need more ideas? WritersDigest.com has a list of 50 things so easy even I could do them.
Then there are things I can do pretty easily once I’ve sold a book:
Make a YouTube Video- there are free programs online (animoto is one) that allow you to customize a video for free.
Ask people to review my book- this includes friends and family reviews wherever the book is for sale and book bloggers
Start an email newsletter or something with a subscription to keep in touch with my readers
Throw a book party- I already have mine planned. I know…cart…horse…
Give the book away! (See this post for details on how to win a copy of Blowing Kisses)
If I start locally (and now) and build my presence from there, by the time I do sell a book, I might actually have someone to buy it. If I want kids to read it, then that is a big step.