Friday, October 31, 2008

Thank everyone for posting about promotion. Promoting the book seems more difficult and complicated than writing it. How far ahead of time prior to the publication date should a writer start promotion tasks, such as creating book marks, or getting together press kits, and how much should the writer consider spending for promotion? Is there a point that is considered excessive?

I noticed at Barnes and Noble online they feature books in certain extra categories, such as Coming Releases, based strictly on their own ideas of which books merit the mention, i.e. you can't pay extra to have your book featured. I wonder if there is anything a writer can do to get his or her book featured more prominently on such websites (without the novel becoming a best-seller first, of course.)


Marilyn said...

PUblishers pay BArnes and Noble big bucks to have their authors books on display tables and ends--something a small press can not afford.

You should plan a launch party in your home town--it can be anywhere, restaurant, coffee shop, bookstore, gift shop. And of course you must advertise like crazy to get people to come. Get the local newspaper to review your book and put something in about your launch party. The more original the more apt they are to write about it.

Plan a blog tour for the month the book comes out.

On your own blog be posting interesting things about the coming book and of course where it will be available. Do all the things Billie suggested in her marketing ideas.

BillieJohn said...

Holli...just to check...did you get all the issues of COLOPHON (it started in Jul)? The first couple of issues, I had a side bar titled "while you're waiting." There are a lot of suggestions for what to do at this time in that column. And future issues will have more info...since promo is the main thrust of the newsletter. (Although I am delighted to see the topic opening up here...yippee!)

As for promo being more difficult than the actual writing...perhaps it is, but mainly, it is a very different process than writing and creating. And yes, I do think there is a point of diminishing returns on what you spend on promo...there is a point at which it really becomes foolish and wasteful, which is the point I was trying to make in my long rant.

Learning to use the Internet to promote your book is a BIG something to be doing right now. I am still learning here also. One of the reasons I've been nagging everyone to post and comment here is so the stats will be attractive enough to to launch OTP authors into the blogtours arena. Developing a TWITTER following is another. Paticipating on other blogs and email groups is a good way to get people used to seeing your title (by using the SIG feture on your email to say:

Gumbo Justice, coming in Spring 2009

or whatever presentation works for you. You may also connect with people who'd be up for reviewing your book.

Postcards, biz cards, bookmarks, flyers, and so on usually need a completed cover front before they get printed, although you can do a generic one earlier.

If you are planning to have a stand-alone website, you can be looking into that the various options.

I haven't been to New Orleans since Katrina hit, but prior to that I had some contacts at shops there...Garden Dist Book Store, Beaucoup Books (on Magazine?) are two that come to mind now. Of course, Marilyn is right again...there are lots of other atmospheric places in NOLA to think about as a launch party spot.

Hey...I'm delighted you are thinking about it!