This is an article I wrote for completely NOvel that I thought it worth reproducing here.
When I decided to publish the books and try and promote them I was already partially aware of some of the aspects of the Internet and other areas that I would need to promote it in. This was through needing to learn a certain amount of web design for work website as well as a games convention I run. As such I had already come across Twitter and Facebook but I had not really exploited them.
I had a number of consultations and discussions with Stephanie at Oxford Literary consultancy and I looked at a course (online) by a web entrepreneur called Leilli Mckinley.
These gave me a sort of frame work of areas to follow up on that included:
- Setting up Facebook pages for the books
- Being active on Facebook and Twitter including running some Twitter competitions to increase followers. Ideally you want this to turn into folk you have email addresses for so you can let them know about the books, offers, signings etc.
- Recording YouTube trailers for the books.
- Having a blog (something I don’t do enough)
- Press releases – writing your own that make it so easy for a newspaper to publish them. i.e. Find an angle (in my case I am a local GP so I focused on local Gp writes fiction).
- Some physical appearances. It need not be an attempt to be the star of the show but for example if there is a large fair why not take a stand and try and at least hand out flyers about the books.
- Get part of the books on line and allow them to be free.
- Consider making an audio version and putting that onÂ Podiobooks or similar sites.
- Get an ebook version on Smashwords, Completely Novel etc.
- Setup google adwords and facebook adverts.
- Setup google alerts to track any mention of your books. Then you can leap on the forum concerned if you want to respond to questions etc.
- Get reviews. There are a number of sites likeÂ Flamingnet, Bookbag etc that will review books and a host of independant reviewers out there. Look for magazines in your topic and send them copies.
- Consider donating books to localÂ reading groups and libraries.
- Try local books shops. You may have varying success. Warwick Books for example took my books as did an online company Aaron books. Many other independants did not feel they could unless I can get the books held in stock by Gardners and wont stock unless there is demand – difficult to get if the books are not on bookshelves.
Waterstones are changing their approach and now allow local book sellers a free hand – or freeish to take on local authors books. It is worth going in an asking the question.
Its a hard time to be promoting and selling books but don’t give up. Try something new each day if you can.