Friday, June 10, 2011

I got to move it, move it!

As the release date of my newest book, Too Blessed to Be Stressed, rapidly approaches (it's August 1 - yay!), I'm focusing on the promo engine, the roaring machine that will hopefully propel my book into the great, mysterious "out there."

I thought I'd share with you a few things writers must take into consideration when mapping out their PR campaigns.

1. You can't control who reviews your book and who passes, but do your durndest to get review copies into the hands of every possible candidate. Reviews DO matter and you want as many high profile reviewers as possible.

As a new trend (likely that of the paperless future), the publisher for Too Blessed to Be Stressed has decided to post the galley, or advanced reader copy (sometimes called ARC), on an online site called NetGalley. Previously, hard copies were sent out prior to the book's actual publication. My publicist (I've found it in my best interest to hire an outside publicity company, but many do it themselves) and the publishing house PR person, then interested parties responding to my press release to NetGalley, where they register for free membership and then have access to my yet-to-see-hard-copy book.

Lord willing and the creek don't rise, I'll have some nice reviews coming out about the same time as the book.

2. Land as many media interviews as you can ... the best way to get word out.  Radio interviews are easier to get than TV, but shoot for both. Newspapers are still alive and well and looking for interesting new local news to cover, so don't forget to query your hometown periodicals and send press releases to the appropriate editors. I once received a call 6 months after the fact from one local newspaper columnist who had kept my press release and wanted to feature my book in a full page piece on local authors. Too cool!

3. Stop by bookstores and introduce yourself to owners/managers, showing them a copy of your book and offering to sign stock. This is a clever way to sell books - people are much more likely to purchase signed author copies and get this juicy tidbit: signed books can't be returned! So the bookstore will keep those copies until they sell, rather than sending them back to the distributor to make way for newer books coming out a month or two down the road.

4. Readings and signings don't draw as many people as they once did, so come up with creative ways to spread the word of your book. I shot a dozen "2-minute Stress Busters" that we'll begin posting on YouTube in July and continue through September. Hopefully, people will like these humorous little stress-reducing tidbits from my book and tell their friends, creating a viral effect.

Okay, so what are some of your promotional ideas? I'd love to hear them.