An Author’s Marketing Journey, pt 4

I’m learning that marketing and promoting your own book is a long haul or, if you prefer a sports analogy, a four-quarter game. Although it is tempting to skip “Marketing Monday,” or whatever time you’ve set aside to do this PR work, perseverance is more than half the fight.

For Its Own Sake

One of the things that makes it hard is that you may not be seeing tangible results of your efforts right off the bat, especially if you are, like me, a first-time novelist. My other books–poetry and academic scholarship–weren’t about sales or popularity because they served other functions in my career. But now, I want people to read my book, and that means starting from scratch.

One of the ways I deal mentally with this problem of “Is it working?” is to see the marketing and promo efforts as an end in themselves. In other words, just writing, thinking, and sharing about my book is reward enough. I’ve learned a lot about my writing process, my goals as a writer, how my books fits into a particular genre (or not), and who might be my audience.

Specifics

Having said all that, let me talk about the tangible things I’ve done this week to further my goals of selling 10,000 books:

  • Worked on my Goodreads Author Profile – to wit, I answered a few questions about my book, inspiration, and process so that when curious readers come looking (and I hope they will) they can find answers to some of their questions. Plus, it was kinda fun for me.
  • Ordered advanced copies of the book to send to reviewers. Many review outlets, especially newspapers and magazines, will only accept hard copies of books to consider for review.
  • Continued reading my flawed proof copy for more errors. I want my baby to go out into the world without a blemish!
  • Connected with some old friends and students who are writers or who might be interested in my book.
  • Posted a photo of the book on Instagram. And got lots of supportive responses!
  • Contacted local media (this time, the daily Tulsa World, along with the local weekly rag, The Tulsa Voice, which I love).
  • Got an encouraging email from the Publisher’s Weekly online review site, Booklife, that my novel had cleared a first hurdle toward being chosen for a free review (they also have pay services, btw).

What are some things you’ve done recently to promote your writing career and recent work?

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