Monday, November 8, 2010
Top Ten Ways To Promote Your Book On A Budget
I don’t know what scares me more – worrying that Book Two won’t be as good as Book One or worrying that Book One isn’t as good as I thought it was, and the reviewers will rip me a new one. I lay awake at night thinking up all kinds of scenarios from making the NY Times Best Sellers List to totally bombing. Hopefully, I’ll fall somewhere in between.
In the meantime, I have to start thinking about promoting Book One, and I’m trying to get the best bang for my buck. So, I’ve been studying ways to do that and have come up with the top ten ways to promote my book – with as little money as possible. Here they are:
1. Get a decent website. I have one where people can get to know me as well as find out release dates for my books. That wasn’t free, but finding a professional who designed it and maintains it didn’t break the bank. www,raemonetinc.com I have one recipe from my book there and plan on posting several more as well as contests for readers.
2. Blog. I’m already part of a group blog and spend a lot of time trying to get my name out there. That and a little paying it forward to other writers. (Which reminds me – the second annual blog contest, as yet unnamed, will be ready for submissions after the first of the year. So, be watching the blog for exciting details.) On the negative side of blogging, it was reported at the Bouchercon (mystery conference) this year that blogging is way down the list of successful things to do to market your book. Okay, maybe spending all this time really isn’t worth it career wise, but I love kibitzing with other writers. I look at it as writer’s therapy!!
3. Get any kind of free promo you can. This includes guest blogging, commenting on other blogs using your signature line with your book title and release date, and using FaceBook and Twitter. Pass out business cards with your info wherever you go. The great JA Konrath said he puts a bookmark in every piece of mail he sends – utility bills, phone bills, correspondence with anyone, etc. How smart is that?
4. Take advantage of free book reviews. For the cost of an ARC, there are many sites that will review your blog without a charge. I am fortunate because my publisher sends out copies for me, but even if they didn’t, I would look into getting more ARCS or sending my manuscript in a Word document. Some quick review sites: Romance Junkies, All About Romance, Romance Reader At Heart, CataRomance, The Romance Reader, Historical Romance Club, Novel Spot, Arm Chair Reviews, New and Used Books, Mysterious Reviews, The Mystery Reader, Mystery Inc, and a boatload more out there. Now, if I only knew a surefire way to get them to give me a good review!!
5. Give a free reading at a local library. I was just asked to be on a panel for one. Unfortunately, my book doesn’t come out until next year, so it wouldn’t be beneficial for me. But you can bet I’ll check this out when it’s time. I’m thinking there’s a whole gang of people out there who might not know about my book and coincidentally, they’re looking for a Christmas present for Aunt Suzie who loves mysteries!
6. See if any of the local book clubs would like to review your book. I have three already scheduled. All are friends who are really excited about this. Hopefully, every member will run out and buy the book, especially if I'm there to sign them...which brings me to reason number 7.
7. Schedule book signings. I plan on going the local route plus a few key out of town spots, like my hometown in Bridgeport, Ohio, in Columbus, Ohio where all my family now resides, at Lake Kiowa where I used to live and even Denison, TX, where my story takes place. I’ve heard many authors say these aren’t productive, but at least for the first book, I want the thrill. My YaYa sisters have all signed on to be groupies at these and they'd kill me if I decided not to do them. If nothing else, we’ll get nachos and margaritas afterwards! Here’s a funny clip Parnell Hall made about book signings. Check it out.
8. Visit your local bookstores and sign copies. Leave bookmarks in the books and at the counter if the manager allows it. I’ve heard more than once to take goodies for the employees on signing day. A doughnut softens anyone up
9. Send a press release to your local newspapers. I intend to send mine to Ohio, Lake Kiowa and Denison. Surely, someone will think I’m interesting enough to do an interview or a write up on my release. A chapter mate, Wendy Lyn Watson, www.wendylynwatson.com was on the local morning show not too long ago. She writes mysteries about an ice cream parlor and whipped up a batch on the show. How much free publicity was that!! Of course, I would probably need Valium to do that, but still, it’s a thought.
10. And last but not least, make your next book great, so that after you snag all those new fans with all these hints, you won’t lose them with a crappy sequel.
And there, my friends, lies the stuff that keeps me awake at night!!
So, now I’ve told you what I think about promotion. I’m ready to hear new ways to get more readers. The confident me wants to believe if I can get them hooked on LIVER LET DIE, then BEEF-STOLEN OFF, AND CHICKEN FRIED CORPSE will be shoe-ins!!
I’d better close before the Insecure Lizzy takes over!