Monday, December 29, 2008

5 Ways to Get Ahead

I don’t claim to be an expert in publishing. I’ve been a “published author” for just a couple of weeks now. But almost from the moment my book Angeline Jellybean was accepted for publication, I’ve been promoting and learning the ins and outs of publishing. I am a strong believer that authors need to be their own advocates. Sure, you can hire someone to promote your book for you if you have the money, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be involved in the process. Self-promotion isn’t easy, but it is a fun and worthwhile pursuit. I have learned more about publishing, branding and promotion in the past nine months than I ever did in grad school. Here are some easy tips I think everyone can benefit from. You may find that by taking charge of your promotion, you’ll learn more about the publishing business and feel rewarded by the process.

1) Virtual Book Tours. In addition to the blog tour I’m doing with my publisher, I also belong to a Yahoo! Group for authors who wish to take their books on “Virtual Book Tours” 2) Blogging. Simply blogging about your book and related topics can enhance your credibility (and visibility) as a writer. Don’t just blog about your book, but also about the writing business, other books that you have read, and subjects that are related to your book. Gain interest!
3) Create promotional materials. Flyers, bookmarks, postcards and business cards are all fairly inexpensive ways to promote your self and your book. I got giant full-color postcards with the front cover of my book on them for next to nothing at www.vistaprint.com
4) Volunteer. Find a teacher friend who wants an author to read to his or her class. Start making public appearances for free. Eventually, word gets around about you and your book, and you can start charging for appearances.
5) Network. We as writers tend to like to seclude ourselves in our offices to write our masterpieces. But I have found that by networking with other writers in your genre, you can not only make like-minded friends, but also learn a few tips and gain some readers! I have been told by many of my writer friends that they have purchased a copy of Angeline Jellybean. They have created a nice little foundation for my sales that would not have been possible had I not allowed them to take a peek into my life through my blog.

4 comments:

Rena said...

Great advice, Crystalee. I'm looking forward to mentioning your book, Angeline Jellybean on my blog to my friends there. Good luck with your book!

Deb Hockenberry said...

You give great advice in this post! I agree with you that it's so important to be involved with the promotion of your book.

Rena said...

I wrote about Angeline Jellybean on my blog today, Crystalee -- :)

http://renajjones.blogspot.com/2008/12/angeline-jellybean.html

Ransom Noble said...

Great advice, Crys! I know I've learned a lot about publishing this year, as well, but I'm not quite as far as you are. Good luck with Angeline Jellybean and your future endeavors!