Swoon Author Danika Stone: 5 Tips for Self-Promotion
When you receive that magical call telling you that your book has been selected for publication, your whole world is turned upside down. In those first weeks and months you’re caught in the thrilling (and terrifying) process of editing your drafted manuscript into something saleable. If you’re like most people, you’re either buzzing with excitement or wracked by imposter syndrome. (Or both!)
Marketing and publicity are the last things on your mind.
But there is a point when that manuscript is polished and it’s time to share it with the world! How do you get the message out? If you’re like many writers, marketing and publicity are a foreign process. Here are some of my tried and true tricks for sharing your story—and yourself—with potential readers.
1.) Build a brand… YOU.
Yes, it sounds weird, but your readers want to know about your process and what goes into those books. If you have book events or signings, they’ll need that personal connection to find out about it. Whatever approach you try, keep it genuine, not canned. Let people know the REAL you.
2.) Don’t overload promotions.
You’re on social media, so it’s time to sell, right? Well… yes and no. A good rule of thumb is 80/20, meaning 80% of your posts should be about other people / content / books / life things, only 20% should be promoting your books. Do more than this, and you’ll seem more like an infomercial than a real person. That NEVER works.
3.) Try out a preorder campaign.
If you have to spend money on one item, make it a pre-order campaign. Keep it simple and easy to participate in and—if at all possible—make it international. Bookmarks / postcards / stickers are all flat and cheap to send, plus they get people excited about your book. The more of a push you can get at the beginning, the better your book will do!
4.) Remember that you’re part of the publicity team.
If you come into marketing expecting someone else to do the work, you’re doing everyone a disservice. The best thing you can do is to pull your fair share. Want to participate in a big event? Tell your publicist, certainly. Have some smaller venues that might fit? See if YOU can set it up. There are so many ways you can support and market your book: Send out invites to signings, create press releases, make Eventbrite online reminders, call up your local radio stations and newspapers. Each bit of promotion might feel like a drop in the barrel, but together that effort adds up.
5.) Help other authors.
Of all my suggestions, this is the biggest. The more you do for others, the bigger your writing community grows, and the better EVERYONE does. So stop stressing about your own progress and give someone else a leg-up. Step back, breathe, and remember why you started writing in the first place.
How about you? If you’re an author, what promotions and marketing do you do? And if you’re a reader, what do you want from authors you follow? Share your thoughts in the comments below.