Don't Hide Your Light Under a Bushel
Now that your book has been published, be sure and let folks know where they can get it. Yes, it's good to talk about it everywhere you go, but you should also contact the media : your local newspapers, radio, and TV stations and let them know. The plain fact is nobody will be able to buy your book if they don't know about it.
If you can afford it, hire a publicist
If not prepare and send a press release yourself. News writing is not art, it's simple straightforward information. In order to help you let folks know about your book, we have prepared a sample release you can use as a guideline, or cut and paste into your own documents and just go ahead and replace some of the information with your own.
Writing is a business. You need to let folks know you are in business. Now is not the time to be shy. Sending a press release costs only a postage stamp and less if you contact the media by fax or e-mail.
How do I find the Media?
You can find them in a lot of places. Start on line with the following links: http://newslink.org/ or www.ecola.com
Look on-line for review sites, blogs, and other publicity services. Establish a web presence. Join Social Networks like FaceBook and Twitter, and become a member of on-line readers'groups for folks who are interested in what your book is about. Don't just go when you want to sell something, but keep records and go once or twice a month and make sure your book is mentioned in all your signature lines.
Be on TV or get a Radio interview
Think about the local programs you watch or listen to. Not every writer can start out with the TODAY show, but what about your local talk shows?
Be on TV or get a Radio interview
Use Google to find Internet Radio stations and blogs that cover your book's subject matter. Check out the content, then contact the moderators and offer to be a guest!
Does your area have public access TV?
Make it a point to watch local shows and contact the people in charge. Even if you were with a mass-market publisher, unless you are very well known, they will not give you a publicist. You will have to do most of the spadework yourself.
If they ask you for a press kit, have one at hand
Again if you can afford a publicist, your publicist will prepare one. If not click here for directions on how to prepare a simple press kit.
Look for Local Groups and Attend Community Events
Offer to speak for local organizations. Contact your public library about doing a program, speak before local groups such as Rotary, AARP, Homemakers, Women's Clubs, Book Clubs, etc. Find out who the program chairman is and make them an offer. Most are desperately looking for someone to be a speaker.
Attend any local festivals, heritage celebrations, or arts fairs and take your books along. Set up a table and sell.
Be a Joiner
Join local arts organizations, writers' groups, Friends of the Library, and your State Arts Organizations. Network with other members to find out about places where your book can be marketed.
Enter your book in the Epic Awards, and put it up for other awards given by local organizations, Internet organizations, and even government organizations.
Entry fees often go to support the organization so you can count them as a deductible expense. Just set a limit on how much you will spend on this kind of thing and stick to it.
There is no accounting for judges, and one should never "expect" to win any contest, but now and then it's possible to get lucky. And if you do get lucky, then you are an "Award Winning Author: and there's another perfect excuse to send out still more press releases.
Dealing with Bookstores
Most bookstores are chains and have to follow "company policy" even when they are not too sure what that is. Barnes & Noble will always give you a signing, if you are listed with a national distributor, but individual stores may not consider POD titles as "in stock" since they are listed with "Delayed Delivery " titles.
Many store managers are badgered by people who have written a 600,000 word family history and want it put on the store's shelves. Store managers often have good tempers, but they can become short and are geared to saying "NO." Tell them you are NOT a self-published author.
When you approach a bookstore manager, let them know right away that you are published by an independent press, NOT a vanity press. Tell them your publisher pays you, you DO NOT pay your publisher.
Anything you can tell them that marks you as a professional, let it be known up front, and give them any information that will let them know if there will be a special demand. "My book is about bowling. Do you know how many bowling leagues there are in this city?"
Vacation time can also be Book Tour Time
If you know you will be traveling, contact bookstores along the way and ask about doing book-signings while you are in the area.
Plan ahead and give them plenty of notice.
When they say yes, send press releases to the media in that area two to three weeks in advance of the event.
Local Libraries Support Local Authors
Call your local library and ask for the person in charge of programming. Offer to be a resource for them and to speak on E-books, writing, etc.
Donate a copy of your book to the library, and call the local paper to set up a time so a photographer can be present to take your picture with the library director and your book. It's good publicity for them, as well as for you. Also if you give them one copy, they will quite likely buy more.
Call your Local Radio and TV Stations
Offer to be a resource for them, for any stories on writing, or e-books. Be sure to notify them whenever you have a new book out, or if you are nominated for any award.
Do your homework and know the names of local talk show hosts, contact them by name, and if they ask you to send in information, be sure to include a list of possible interview questions you'd be willing to answer. They may not stick to the list, but many will not know what to ask unless you cue them.
Write Press Releases for Special Events
Check for special days and events and tie press releases about your book to them. For instance, March 5 to 11 is "National Read an E-Book Week" a good time to send releases about your new e-book.
National Library Week is a good time to donate a book and you can also use subject matter of your book as a way to tie press releases to your content. For instance, St. Patrick's Day would be a good time for a release about Lost Son of Ireland.
Editors need to get the release about 10 days before the event, so think ahead.
Enter For Awards
Enter your book in the Epic Awards, and propose it for other awards whenever you learn of something appropriate. For instance, if your book centers on Ecology, enter it for the LiFE Award.