Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Herding a Book to Press, Part 2

Deb's new book releasing Feb, 2013
As I mentioned in my last post, the process of getting a book to press is a lot like herding snakes.

If you haven't read it yet, scroll back and catch up by scanning my last post. There. Now we're all on the same page ... when the real work begins: book release day.

But before I say another word, what do you think of the brand-new cover for Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolate? I like it very much - especially the surprise butterfly, which is symbolic of the freedom from fear we talk about throughout the book. Kudos to the Barbour design department - great job, guys! 

Okay, back to snake herding. Preparation actually begins about two months before release date when you need to get your publicity/promo plan set in place.

I usually order about 500 (or more) bookmarks with my new book featured on front, endorsements and a list of my other books with my website on back. Full color both sides, glossy and nice. No wimpy paper bookmarks, please. Remember, this is your best and most inexpensive form of advertising. Create something you can be proud of, and pass them out liberally. If you buy them in bulk, they'll only run between 10 - 15 cents each. I use Print Runner online.

Then, begin to make connections with media outlets, bloggers, and book review sites. If you or your publisher can get your galley to reviewers ahead of your release date, all the better. Then you hit the ground running as soon as the book hits outlets, posting your glowing reviews everywhere you can. (Ignore any that aren't glowing ... there will always be at least one.)

Either hire a publicity firm (I use LitFuse Publicity Group) or do the legwork yourself, but it's a great idea to do a blog tour of at least 50 well-traveled sites (LifFuse sets up an 80-site blog tour for me) to get the word out about your book. I also do a Facebook party (which LitFuse arranges and runs) with awesome giveaways, which attracts a lot of attention and gets your readers revved up.

(Not to mention yourself - FB parties are boatloads of fun!) 

And you're off to the races. Advertise your speaker services - featuring a topic related to your book, of course - and accept all the invitations you can. Plan to devote about four months immediately following your book's release to all the traveling and promo related to spreading the good news. Most publishing companies have PR departments which can help you, but the lion's share of the promo responsibility falls on the author.

Once you've got those snakes wriggling in the right direction, you're ready to tackle herding something really challenging.  Like 2-year-olds!