Ways for Authors to Promote Themselves and Their Book(s)
by Vivian Zabel
an author has a book released through a traditional publisher or goes the
self-publishing route, he/she must promote that book. Publishers may point the
way, but the author does the work. Promotion may appear overwhelming, but many
ways to help a writer promote exist. Now, an author does not try all the
methods and tips at once, but one at a time to find what works.
tip all promoters suggest is writers must begin promoting themselves before
they ever mention a book. Possible readers must know the author and be familiar
with the name before they will be interested in any book. In fact, many tips
are repeated from source to source.
article will cover only five suggestions,
but the sources are listed at the bottom of the text. Writers can and should do
research to discover their “perfect” way or ways to promote themselves and
their book or books.
Tips and Suggestions
1. Start early, not too late: Promote yourself by becoming an
interesting person, one who shows interest in others. Cathy Presland states, “Comment
on threads in Facebook groups or on other people’s threads to build your
reputation as an expert.” Using material researched, for background or facts
used for a book, to build a reputation as an expert allows an author to
“double-dip” with one’s work.
According to Tony
Levelle, a writer should begin as much as three years, or as soon as possible,
before any book is released: “… start building a network of supporters and
reviewers. Keep track of everyone you meet as you research and write the book.
Pay special attention to, and make notes about, those who demonstrate a genuine
enthusiasm for you and your project.”
problem many authors have, says Brian Feinblum, is they “don’t think about
marketing until the book is already written.”
2. Start a blog and a website: Every
writer needs a blog and website, before any book is released.
A blog should help build the reputation of the author as an expert in
one or more fields. A blog shouldn’t be used to “pound” readers with the book.
It shouldn’t be “buy, buy, buy.” It should be somewhere for readers to want to
read and learn more about the author and what the author knows and shares. For
example, an author could write in-depth posts on a topic researched for his/her
book, referencing the book and linking to it at the end of the post. If the
book is not finished or even written yet, the author can still post information
about the research, creating a useful amount of knowledge over time
All authors need a website dedicated to themselves and their
book or books, which they update regularly. All information should be correct
and complete. Tonly Levelle gives a list of what such a website should include:
* A book blog with updates and corrections concerning the
book. It should include responces to reader comments and suggestions.
* Sample chapters from the book (I disagree with this
one. I suggest using short stories or articles linked to the book).
* A link to where the book could be ordered online.
* The authors media kit.
* Book reviews and blurbs.
* The author’s schedule of appearances, such as at
bookstores, speaking engagements, and conferences.
* Contact information.
3. Write an outstanding, well-written
book: All the preparation, all the promotion, all the planning in the world
means nothing if the book isn’t the best it can be. An exceptional book will
create word-of-mouth publicity.
4. Create a Media Kit: According to
Levelle, a media kit should include the following information –
business cards that include the author’s contact information.
head shot by a professional photographer or talented amateur.
short biography, 100-150 words, to tell readers why the author is qualified to
write this book.
“one sheet” with a glassy print of the book cover and a description of the book
(think back cover blurb) as well as a few short reviews and recommendations
Prepare to do a heavy load of work: Since even well-known,
famous authors must promote their book, ALL authors must be prepared to do the
major portion of promotion and marketing for their books. Authors should find
as much help as possible from anyone and everyone, but authors must realize
that the hard work is theirs. [Brian Feinblum]
Authors can find hundreds of
suggestions and tips for promoting and marketing their books. Each should find
and use those which work for him/her, trying, and ignoring unusable ones,
keeping those that do work.
book means the most to the author, and, therefore, the author needs to promote
and market his/her book.
Feinblum, “Promotional Pitfalls,” The
Writer, September, 2018 page 16
Levelle, “15 DIY Book Promotion Tools
You Need to Know,” WritersStore.com
Cathy Presland, “50 (and more) Ways to Promote Your