I've been working on publicizing and promoting my novel over the last month and I fancy I've learned a few things along the way. I can't tell you for sure how successful the results have been, as my publisher gets sales numbers, not me, but I'm hearing from lots of people that they've bought the book and it seems my sales rank on Amazon is staying fairly consistent. So I think things are going well.
Because I've been so focused on promoting the book lately, I thought it might be fun to talk about how I approached it, so herewith are my five best tips on how to publicize your creative work:
1. Build first. Please, please, please start working on your author's platform as you write. You hate me for saying this now, but you'll thank me when the time comes to get your work out in the world and you have a built-in way to do it. What does a platform entail these days? Things like a blog, a presence on the social media outlet of your choice (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+). Many people I come in contact with assume that they will write (or paint, or create in whatever way) and then work on all this stuff when they are ready to put the work out to the public. Wrong. If you do this, you'll be scrambling to catch up.
2. Utilize contacts. This is one reason the above advice comes in handy. Because of my years of blogging, I had a built-in network of blogging buddies eager to support me. (I love you all so much! Thank you again!) When I called upon them to see if I could do a guest post or an interview, they leapt at the chance. I'm finding this offline, as well. The people who support me the most are those I've built relationships with–not only other writers, but friends at church and other locations as well.
3. Be brave. Don't be afraid to ask people for help. Earlier this week, I was at a bookstore in a nearby town and the friend I was with suggested I ask about a book signing. My first reaction was to shrink back a bit and start coming up with excuses why I shouldn't, but then I decided to just do it. The reaction was mixed–the store is winding down from doing author events because they don't make money–but the woman was exceedingly friendly and we had a nice chat. No harm done.
4. Fill out forms. There's a lot of this kind of thing as you sign up on Goodreads, create your Amazon Author page, and so on. It's tedious, yes it is, but don't back away from it. Forms are your friend as they will get your name out in more places.
5. Expand your horizons. Branch out a little bit. There's places galore to experiment with. I love Pinterest, for example. Not really sure how much traffic it generates for me, but it sure is fun to hang out on. (Check out my pin board on possible actresses to play Emma Jean.) I'm also maintaining more of a presence on Google+ these days, seeing how that works.
Those are the tips that occur to me as I look over what I've been doing the last month. How about you? How have you found success in promoting your work?
***Perhaps you might need a bit of help in creating that work at the moment. My Get Your Novel Written Now class starts next week. For me, there's nothing more fun than writing a novel, unless it's talking about writing a novel. Join us!
Photo by Henkster.