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Check our comprehensive list of methods for promoting your book. We’ve included a wide array of initiatives so that, if you encounter one of these methods in your own research, you will have insight into how effective we believe it to be. Self-Marketing Guide for Self-Published Authors
As a start-up entrepreneur, one of the many lessons I’ve learned in business is to start marketing your product as soon as possible, even before it is ready for customers. Marketing creates demand and you should start building awareness early.
When a few of my colleagues mentioned I should write a book, I had no idea what I would write about. I just knew it would be about start-up companies because that’s what I’ve done for years and the stories always seem to fascinate people over lunch. So instead of starting with the book, I started a blog and shortly afterwards, I started article marketing.
I wrote about a lot of different aspects of start-up companies, everything from product development to humor about employee antics to advertising. I watched what attracted readers, and there seemed to be three topics that were the most appealing to them – funding, marketing, and customer engagement.
Fourteen months later, I held my first book in my hands. I also made sure I found a good book editing service to go over it very carefully.
I knew marketing and promoting my book would not be easy and quick. I reached out to all sorts of people, investigated many different types of marketing approaches, and I have tried a few different ones. You’ll find authors who swear by one or two methods, but no two authors do the same.
Virtual Book Tours
These are online book promoters. They use their network of contacts to get you placement in blogs, in online magazines, and on blog talk radio shows. They may even do Facebook advertising and press releases too. Some are specific to different geographic locations across the globe. I engaged several of these services and I found each one to be quite good. Each one has their own set of contacts. You can exhaust their contacts within a couple of months and so I needed to use more than one. These services suit my personal schedule as they do all the leg work, and I just need to be available or provide the content.
Traditional Public Relations and Publicists
This is one of the more expensive options and many of these firms have gone to a la carte service model, so some part of their services is affordable. The trick is going to the right firm, one that deals in your subject matter. These firms have contacts into the mainstream media from news organizations to television to radio to magazine. In six months, my firm secured more than 25 placements and they focus on media engagements with large audiences.
I hired a guest blogging consultant, who recommended doing four guest posts per week. In his experience, this really builds an audience like nothing else. He recommended researching the blogoshere to find the appropriate blogs, spending 2 to 4 hours getting to know each blog and its audience, and then proposing a guest post. Finally, he suggested spending 8 to 10 hours writing each guest post. It didn’t take more than a minute to figure out that this would consume more than 40 hours per week of my time, and it just didn’t fit into my personal schedule.
Next I met a highly successful Internet guru, who swore article marketing works to build an audience. This is how she built an audience of millions. I was already doing some articles, but not with structured intent. Steve Shaw, the founder of SubmitYourArticle, said it takes 6 months before you can see noticeable results from article marketing and recommends at least 8 articles per month for each article website that you use.
Email and Internet Marketing Campaigns
One of the techniques many authors swear by is joint venture marketing campaigns. The trick bestselling authors use is to concentrate all the promotion is a short time period such a one day and to build a group of authors that all cross-promote to each other’s fans. In brief, you contact bloggers, social influencers, website owners, newsletters providers, bestselling authors, and anyone with a substantial online presence and ask them to promote your book to their audience. These are your joint partners. They suggest gobbling together an email list of at least 500,000 people and a million person list is preferable. I tried this for about six weeks before I gave up, it was consuming all my time. I know authors who have done this method and it took them months to organize all the necessary joint partners. You can hire services to do this on your behalf, but as I found out, these services are specific to a particular genre and reader demographics.
Book Reviews and Book Contests
I have reached out to podcasters and other authors with complimentary books to review my book. I search Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Lulu for possible authors to contact. iTunes is a great place to find podcast candidates. I have also paid for sponsored book reviews and entered independent book contests. I got the most traction from those that I contacted and secured their help for free. One day I may win one of those book contests, but the winners (at least in my non-fiction business category) tend to be serial authors from the smaller publishing houses.
The Internet is full of advice about authors building social platforms. This includes a website, a blog, a Facebook page, a YouTube channel, Twitter and LinkedIn. There are services that will offer to build this platform for an author, but that’s the mechanics. The real work is in generating the content, interacting with the audience, and building your fan base – and I have not seen a service yet that will do this part. You may ask yourself why building a fan base is important. What I’ve learned is the media will check you out online before committing to having you appear in their publication or on their show. Even joint partners will search for you online.
For Facebook, I set aside a small monthly budget to advertise my fan page. On LinkedIn, I share links to my blog posts in groups that are related to me topic. This brings readers back to my website. For Twitter, I use the free version of socialoomph to queue up tips that I tweet to my followers. I also send out links to my blog posts to send readers back to my website.
My advice to authors is not to take on more than two marketing services or efforts at a time. I find I can’t handle too many requests. I may have to spend 20 to 60 hours setting up of a new marketing service. One week I had to write 15 guest posts and articles, and everyone wanted unique and different topics.
The lead time to just get into the line-up for many of these marketing services can be four months. The shortest lead time I’ve experienced was 8 weeks.
There are consultants and services for just about everything for authors. You need to pick and choose what you want to do and how much you want to spend. I’ve been quoted fees from $500 to $50,000. There are service firms who arrange for speaking engagements, virtual conference events, Facebook parties, and just about everything imaginable.
For me, it is a matter of how much time I can spend promoting my book. Yes, you can do-it-yourself, and on my own I’ve managed to land articles in such publications as Entrepreneur magazine. But my time is limited and I need others to help me promote my book.
About the Author
Cynthia Kocialski is the founder of three tech start-ups companies. Cynthia writes the popular Start-up Entrepreneurs’ Blog and has written the book, ““Startup From The Ground Up – Practical Insights for Entrepreneurs, How to Go from an Idea to New Business”.
Copy editors dive into your writing, making sure it is styled correctly, has proper English, and contains verified facts. They often are the first to see your writing and have the job of cleaning it up. Many common errors are pet peeves of copy editors. Avoiding these trouble spots will help your writing and make your copy editor happy.
- Incorrect subject-verb agreement: Subject-verb agreement is crucial. People have trouble with agreement especially when writing long sentences with dependent clauses or with prepositional phrases that separate the subject and verb. Don’t let this throw off your writing. Isolate the subject and verb that goes with it to make sure they agree.
- Long, confusing sentences: I know copy editors who count the number of words in sentences. Why? Because the longer a sentence, the more complex and potentially confusing it can be. Avoid several prepositional phrases and clauses that can make a sentence too wordy. You can express thoughts in shorter sentences without having short, choppy sentences. Balance is key.
- Comma drama: Comma drama refers to any incorrect use of commas, usually too many or not enough. Particular bothersome habits some writers have include placing a comma between two run-on sentences or not placing a comma in a series of items before and.
- Pronouns without clear antecedents: Too many times writers use pronouns such as it without making evident what the pronoun is referring to. Make certain the pronoun follows the last noun used so that the antecedent is clear.
- Split infinitives: People commonly speak with split infinitives and they often appear in writing, but copy editors are still trained to remove these or rewrite them so that sentences are less awkward. As a rule, look for every use of the word to and check if you have split an infinitive.
- Double spacing between sentences: Double spacing after periods is a holdover from the days of typewriters. There is no need to do this. Free yourself from doing so. Copy editors commonly search documents for two spaces and replace with one space, but you don’t want them to have to do this for you.
- No verification: When you reference information that is not your own, you must provide source material for verification. Most copy editors do this work as well as styling and grammar. Copy editors will thank you for saving them time and effort verifying facts.
- Quotation marks to emphasize words: There is no need to add quotation marks around words you want to emphasize or that you think are colloquial. Choose words that carry weight and communicate your intended message.
- Using the wrong word: There’s a reason why grammar students exhaustively study often confused words in English such as lie and lay. People commonly misuse these words in everyday speech. Use words correctly not based on what sounds right to your ear.
- No organization: You must organize your work appropriately. Use subheads or other devices that clearly show your outline and organization for your writing.
Worried about your ability to find some of these mistakes? Send your writing to Edit911.com, and we will edit so that you can have peace of mind.
In 12 years of publishing experience, I have received my share of queries from hopeful writers. I have seen the good, bad, and ugly along the way! Whether submitting a book manuscript or magazine article, follow these Do’s and Don’ts to ensure you write a query that is well received by the Editor.
- Do be familiar with the magazine. There is no quicker way to ensure your query is dismissed than writing one that doesn’t fit the magazine’s focus. If possible, review several copies of a publication before submitting a query to make sure your query is on track.
- Don’t submit queries with grammatical errors! If the query is not in good shape, the Editor will not assign you a longer project. Editors want to take good writing to the next level. Mediocre writing lags the production schedule and chances of using a writer again. You can submit your writing anytime to Edit911.com so that you can rest easy that your query or book is without grammatical errors that might hold your writing project back.
- Do consult the guidelines for submitting. In today’s market, many book publishers will not accept submissions from anyone but a literary agent. Others gladly accept queries, want entire chapters submitted, or ask for the entire book. Some just want outlines. Check the guidelines before submitting to save possible wasted time and effort.
- Don’t critique or complain. Slow response? No response? The editor will not respond positively to negativity. Be patient. The worst reaction I ever received? I was sent a certificate of award for being a mean Editor! (I’m not kidding either!)
- Do find creative twists on tried and true topics. How do you take those tent pole issues and provide a creative take on a topic? Look at the last several back to school issues before submitting your own back to school topic. Brainstorm for a creative book title that grabs an Editor’s attention from the start. The more creative you are, the better. You just might catch the attention of an Editor … and win an assignment!
- Don’t be a high maintenance writer. It’s great to ask questions but don’t go overboard. Editors are glad for you to clarify but limit your questions to the most important ones. Yes, e-mail is the preferred form of communication but don’t abuse this convenience. Lots of back and forth is tiring to an Editor in today’s world of nonstop e-mail.
- Do ask for an editorial calendar or for needs the editor has currently. They just might give you a leg up on those who blindly submit queries, especially if no other writers have submitted on a specific topic.
- Don’t miss your deadline! There’s no quicker way to lose an Editor’s trust. If you know you are going to miss a deadline, e-mail ahead of time and renegotiate a date. You must meet this second due date on time!
Rework is written by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, the co-founders of 37 Signals, a great client and company management system. They define 37Signals as : “Frustration-free web-based apps for collaboration, sharing information, and making decisions.” I can testify to that being the case. Baldwin Book Publishing is currently being developed using the 37Signals suite of products. They’re efficient, streamlined, intuitive and brilliant platforms for managing employees, projects, and client interaction.
So it’s no wonder that their book is exactly the same: fast, efficient, insightful, easy to read, and brilliantly applicable to not just business but life itself.
Loaded with insights on every page, this book is highlight-proof: forget about using a pen or highlighter to mark up important lines or passages. Every line and every paragraph is worthy of highlighting. It’s that good.
Here’s just a few of their main points, all of which, as I said, can apply to life, as well as business:
- Companies should focus on building an audience, not customers. Speak, write, blog, and tweet the truth about yourself. Spread the word. Share information that’s valuable and you’ll slowly build a loyal audience.
- Out teach the competition. Teaching forms a bond of trust because people appreciate your knowledge and begin to appreciate your credibility and authority.
- By the same token, share everything you know. Be open and generous with your expertise. Be like a chef who shares her recipes. Compose your company’s cookbook, so to speak, and give it away, free of charge.
- Take people behind the scenes by being transparent and exposing the “secrets” of your success. Give people a backstage pass. People are curious about how things work. They want to know how and why people make decisions
- Above all, communicate genuinely: talk like you really talk; write like you talk; and don’t put on a phony, not-yourself voice for the public. Be real and you’ll be rewarded for it.
Those are just a few snippets from this great book. There’s so much more about starting a business, launching your products or services, choosing employees, and making decisions. Every chapter is quick, entertaining, instructive, and inspiring.
Poke the Box by Seth Godin (http://sethgodin.typepad.com) could just be the coolest, most inspirational little book this side of…let’s see…I can’t think of one as good except maybe Tribes, one of Godin’s earlier books. That’s saying something, since I’ve been a literature teacher since 75 (1975 for you youngsters). I’ve read a lot of books and heard about thousands more. Hands down, Godin is the man for manning up, going for it, and just doing it.
Not just about business or success or entrepreneurial enterprising—though those are the primary subjects—Poke is about taking life by the horns, about carpe diem (seizing the day), manhandling your fears and resistance, starting, innovating, taking charge, leading, demanding the most from yourself and others, and just plain getting the job done, whatever it is.
“All around you,” Godin pokes, “are platforms, opportunities, and entire organizations that will come to life once you are driven enough and brave enough to contribute the initiative they are missing.”
One of the main problems with the world that he sagely identifies—saging is what Godin does best—is that very few people take the initiative, poke the box, draw the map, start something! “Almost no one says, ‘I start stuff.’…Where is the VP of starting?”
Putting his money where his mouth is, Godin has started many wonderful things, including Squidoo.com, 12 books (that have become best sellers), and now The Domino Project (www.thedominoproject.com). Powered by Amazon, “The Domino Project is named after the domino effect—one powerful idea spreads down the line, pushing from person to person. The Project represents a fundamental shift in the way books (and digital media based on books) have always been published. Eventually consisting of a small cadre of stellar authors, this is a publishing house organized around a new distribution channel, one that wasn’t even a fantasy when most publishers began. We are reinventing what it means to be a publisher, and along the way, spreading ideas that we’re proud to spread.”
Very exciting stuff! As is this entire book—full of empowering, inspirational ideas, techniques, strategies, and encouragement for companies and people, large and small, ready or not. “You must make a difference or you squander the opportunity.”
Want to make your online business “faster, smarter, and more social”? You should, unless, that is, you want to be left in the cyberdust, gasping for customers while e-commerce passes you by.
Consider The Now Revolution (http://nowrevolutionbook.com) to be your manual to improving your website, business systems, client base, pitches, delivery, marketing, voice, image, publicity, reach…everything. I could go on and on about the brilliance, practicality, and efficacy of this book. Jay Baer & Amber Naslund know today’s e-commerce as well or better than anyone.
In improving my own business–as well as developing a new startup I’m launching in July–I’ve found this book to be an indispensible, inexhaustible resource. From emphasizing the need to be the Ritz-Carlton in your industry, to advising on how to create and enhance your corporate culture, to sharing invaluable strategies for taking full advantage of social media, their tips and methods are viral-worthy advice.
Do you need some guidance in organizing your social media strategy? It’s here, helping you with “the bigger picture perspective and keeping your finger on the pulse of what’s happening around you….”
Do you want to unify, inspire and rally your employees? Write a Cultural manifesto and “put it up on a web site as a living document that everyone can contribute to and refer to as a Rosetta stone…for decision making and planning.”
Do you need better customer service? Your customer service “lets you break out from the pack, solely by exceeding expectations through nimble, nuanced, timely, relevant response.”
Baer and Naslund are adept at exposing and proposing solutions for just about any and every possible weakness in your business.
“The playbook for…reexamining and retooling your company or organization to make real-time business work for you, rather than against you,” The Now Revolution is full of so many real and immediately doable action-steps, I’ve shipped a copy of it to all of my key employees around the country.
As a writer and editor, I also admire its crisp, clear writing and intuitive formatting. It’s a pleasure to read and a treasure map for any business to follow.
In focusing your marketing efforts, consider where your readers spend time. Showcase your book, your expertise, and yourself in those places your readers are most likely to frequent.
Online retailers Obviously book buyers shop at online retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.com. Amazon offers various tools for authors who want to gain exposure for their books, such as author profile pages, where you can let customers know a little more about yourself, and the Search Inside!™ tool.
The more material you make available to potential readers, the more likely they are to purchase your book (especially if you’re a first-time author), so be sure to take advantage of features like Amazon’s Search Inside tool, Barnes & Noble.com’s See Inside feature, and Google Books.
Facebook: That social networking site With a population of users larger than many countries, Facebook is a perfect place to promote yourself and your book. Set up a personal profile and a page for your book, create and join groups, and actively update your pages. While you’re in a social mood, set up accounts on other popular sites like LinkedIn and Twitter. With growing usage (13% of online Americans use Twitter as of 2011) and integration with Apple’s iOS 5 mobile operating system, Twitter is another platform for reaching potential readers in large numbers.
Online communities These virtual communities allow you to interact directly with people who love books. Some sites cater to a general population of book enthusiasts, such as Goodreads and Shelfari, and others are more specific, such as Figment.com, a site that is popular with writers and readers of young adult books. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Target your search. Look for online communities that are as specific as possible to your genre. Not only will you have more to contribute, but people who are passionate about a subject may participate in several online communities, and so you may find yourself developing relationships across multiple sites.
- Participate. Set up a profile page, find or start groups, join in discussions, and comment on others’ blog postings.
- Don’t focus on selling. Not every interaction in an online community has to (or should) be about promoting your book. Be yourself and make a real contribution. By participating in relevant communities, potential readers can get to know you and you can learn more about your readers and what they are looking for.
- Practice reciprocity. As you develop relationships with group members, consider asking particularly active ones if you can send them a copy of your book to review on Amazon or (if applicable) their blog. If they like your book, see if they will provide blurbs for your website or recommend your book to other members of the group. Be prepared to do the same for others. Good relationships are never one-sided.
Your local media There is a lot of competition out there for coverage in big newspapers; unfortunately, not everyone can make it into the pages of the New York Times or the Philadelphia Inquirer. However, editors of local newspapers and producers of local TV and radio shows are frequently looking for interesting stories about residents.
- Publishing a book can be a great local interest story. Send a press kit to local editors and producers, and be sure to follow up. Let them know if there’s a story idea that would be of particular interest to the community. For example, if you’ve written a book on parenting tips, and you’re heading into a cold suburban winter, offer to write a piece on fun things to do with your child at home.
- To reach local readers, also consider location-specific news sites such as Patch.com, which reports on local news and events in towns and cities around the country.
–Meredith Hale, Marketing Manager, Baldwin Book Publishing & Edit911, Inc.
We’ve discussed some general points and ideas to keep in mind as you create your marketing plan. Now on to a few specifics. How will you alert your readers about your newly published masterpiece? And do you need a professional?
There are some things for which you may need professional assistance, and there are other tasks you can do yourself. Obviously, some of this depends on your experience with publishing and marketing, your particular book, and your goals. Let’s take a look on some efforts where you may want a helping hand.
Unless you have professional copywriting experience, you are better off having your marketing materials written by a professional.
This service should include your press release, your pitch letter, back cover or flap copy, your book description for online retail sites, sell sheet copy, your website copy, and so forth. (If you decide to write these materials yourself, you should at least have these items proofread.)
If you envision a marketing campaign that focuses on print media, TV, and radio, then you may want to enlist the help of a publicist. A publicist has relationships with various media contacts–ideally ones who review and/or feature books like yours.
If you are considering working with a publicist, here are few tips to keep in mind:
• Discuss your budget and goals with your publicist. Ask your publicist what is realistic for a budget of your size. Make sure your money is going toward efforts that are most likely to produce results. If your publicist feels getting national review attention will be a tough sell, then ask her what she sees as the right plan for your book.
• Perhaps an aggressive social media campaign makes more sense. Or, if you’ve written a book on something topical, then perhaps a radio tour will give you the biggest bang for your buck.
• Avoid publicists who don’t have a specific strategy for your book: sending out hundreds of unsolicited copies to editors who are already flooded with books for review is likely to blow through your budget–but not all that likely to sell your book.
• Look for a publicist who has experience working with books like yours. If you’ve written a novel about vampires and your publicist primarily works with nonfiction authors, then you are probably not a good fit.
• Find out who will be working on your campaign. If you’re looking at a big firm, make sure you speak to the person who will actually be creating and executing your campaign.
• Make sure you are comfortable with this person and he is responsive to your questions. Ask about follow up. Sending out pitch letters and review copies is relatively easy. Following up with editors, producers, and bloggers is not. However, without follow up, the initial pitch isn’t likely to go anywhere.
Create a website
Many of your marketing efforts will direct readers to your website, so it’s important that your site makes a good first impression. Your website should have an attractive, professional design and be easy to navigate. Unless you have experience with web design, you may want to hire an expert to create your site for you. At a minimum, your page should include:
• A “book shot” displaying your book in its jacket or printed cover
• A brief description of your book
• Your author bio
• Links to e-tailers where visitors can purchase your book (or an order page if you are selling books directly from your site)
• Information for retailers interested in purchasing copies of your book
You should also considering including on your website:
• A table of contents (for nonfiction books)
• An excerpt that draws readers into your book and leaves them wanting more
• A link to your blog
• Reviews, endorsements or news about your book (such as speaking engagements or book signings)
• Social sharing buttons for sites such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as social bookmarking sites like Digg and Reddit
• A way of contacting you regarding media questions, ordering queries, etc.
• An author interview or FAQ page
Discuss all of your ideas with the professional you are considering hiring to create your site. Ask to see samples of her work, and make sure you establish how updates can be made to your site after its initial creation.
You also may want to consider online search advertising, such as Google AdWords. Known as a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign, this type of advertising allows you to set your own budget and bid on certain keywords that, when users search for them, will bring up ads for your website on Google search results pages.
While you can do this yourself, it will be more effective to have an experienced professional monitor your campaign, making changes as necessary to improve your results.
There are certain things that you can, and often should, do yourself. For example, involving yourself in online communities relevant to your book is something you can do best. While you can certainly pay someone to set up your profile and load your bookshelf on a social book site, only you will have the passion and know-how to establish a genuine online presence in these communities, and to build relationships and create discussions that will interest others and make them interested in you.
Remember, being part of a community isn’t just about selling your book; it’s about participating and contributing in your own unique way.
Here are some other affordable and effective ways you can promote your book:
• Customer reviews: Customer reviews can influence a reader’s decision about whether or not to purchase your book. This is especially true if you are a new author. Be sure to send your friends, family, and colleagues copies of your book (or, even better, ask them to buy copies), and to write objective customer reviews on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.com. Follow these tips when it comes to reviews:
o Keep it real. The key word here is “objective”; if an acquaintance can’t be impartial, then don’t ask him to do it. If readers see a slew of glowing reviews that all look as though they were written by your mother, they are likely to develop a distrust of you and your book.
o Focus on Amazon top reviewers. For maximum credibility, solicit reviews from Amazon Top Reviewers. These reviewers have badges next to their names, such as “Top 10” or “Top 50” reviewer. You can find a current list of Top Reviewers at http://www.amazon.com/review/top-reviewers.
o Do your homework. Many of these Top Reviewers list their email addresses, as well as the types of books they prefer to review; send a brief pitch and offer to send a review copy. But first, check out their reviews, and see just how “brutally honest” they tend to be, and how well-written, thoughtful and fair their reviews are.
o Stick to type. Also consider the types of books they tend to review; someone who generally reviews romance novels may not get your post-apocalyptic zombie saga. To speed up your search, find books that are similar to yours, and focus on Top Reviewers who provided compelling and balanced reviews of those books.
• Alert the media: Once you have a press release, you need a way to distribute it to the masses. PRWeb (http://www.prweb.com/) is an online press release distribution service that releases the story to major news sites like Google News, Yahoo! News and Topix, as well as more than 250,000 subscribers, 30,000 websites and 30,000 bloggers and journalists. Prices range from $80 to $350 per release depending on the package you choose.
• Become an expert: There are websites that specialize in connecting journalists with subject-matter experts who can provide quotes or ideas for stories. This is free exposure that boosts your credibility and gets your name out there. Check out HARO (http://www.helpareporter.com/), FlackList (http://www.flacklist.com/home.php), Reporter Connection (http://www.reporterconnection.com/join/?11526), or NewsBasis (http://newsbasis.com/) to learn how to position yourself as such an expert.
• Workshops and Speaking Engagements: There’s plenty you can do from your computer, but sometimes nothing beats going out and meeting potential readers in person. When setting up face-to-face connections:
o Provide value. Make it worth people’s while to attend your event. If you’ve written a book on knitting, offer a free knitting workshop at your local yarn or craft store. If you’ve written a book on retirement planning, invite members of the local media to participate in a workshop (and give away free copies of your book).
o Consult a speakers bureau. A speakers bureau can connect authors with audiences. Newer authors may want to consider a site such as Maestro Market (http://www.maestromarket.com/), an online marketplace connecting talent with people planning events.
• Back to School: Your relationship with your college or university didn’t end when you tossed your cap in the air. Reach out to your alumni network: Pitch an article or interview to your alumni magazine, announce your book’s release in an alumni newsletter, or consult your university’s speakers bureau about being added to the bureau’s speaking list.
• Be their guest: Reach out to blogs relevant to your subject or genre, and offer to write a guest post. This allows you to reach new readers and grow your reputation, and to create backlinks to your own blog or website. Make sure you approach bloggers who share your passion, and that you provide unique content that offers real value to the blog’s readers (don’t simply pitch your book). You can reach out to bloggers on your own, or join a community like My Blog Guest (http://myblogguest.com/), which connects guest bloggers with bloggers seeking content.
• Solicit reviews: While your novel may not appear in the New York Times Book Review next to the latest release from Jonathan Franzen, there are various websites and blogs devoted to books that can provide thoughtful and engaging reviews of your work. A few of these include Blogcritics (blogcritics.org), The Midwest Book Review (http://www.midwestbookreview.com/get_rev.htm), and Bookslut (http://www.bookslut.com/contact.php). However, there are many others that may be more relevant to your book.
o Follow the rules. Before contacting a reviewer, read any book submission guidelines listed on the site, and make sure your book is eligible and that you submit the proper materials within the time frame indicated.
o Be selective. As always, try to assess if the reviewer or site has reviewed books like yours, to give your book the best chance of receiving a positive review.
• Give it away: Promote your new masterpiece with an online contest. Offer to send a free copy of your last book to the first 50 people who tweet about your new one. (A great use of any extra inventory sitting in your garage!) Or send a free eBook to the first 50 people who “Like” your new book’s page on Facebook. People love free stuff–and it’s great way to create buzz around your book.
As you can see, there are many ways to promote your book, and what you choose will be individual to your budget, your experience, and your content. Keep track of other books like yours that are experiencing success in the marketplace, and see how those authors and publishers are promoting their books. See what keywords pop up in their press releases or web copy, and which blogs and reviewers have featured them. But most of all, commit your time to promoting your work, and developing your own personal brand.
Ultimately, the followers you gain and relationships you build will help you to sell not just this book, but many more to come.
–Meredith Hale, Marketing Manager, Edit911, Inc. & Baldwin Book Publishing