Writers are people who like to get lost in story, usually a solitary activity. I love writing my books, even revising them. However, I’ve never been much of a salesperson. And, as you who subscribe to my blog well know, I’m not much of a blogger. Marketing a book, once published, is a job for a different sort of person. For the independently published author, however, and these days even for the traditionally published author, marketing becomes an essential next step. That is, if s/he want people to buy and read the books.
One aspect of marketing I’ve enjoyed, and written about here, is reading my book to groups of children and answering their questions, which range from those about the writing process, to those about my dog, Toto, and much more. Schools are a great venue, and school librarians good people to contact. Several schools in the Santa Cruz area have PJs and Pages events, these are evening events which include parents, so the writer/reader can also sell books.
Bookstores, in my experience, are reluctant to schedule readings for independent authors, but a great place for readings by traditional authors. My friend Eric Hoffman just did a fantastic reading of his newly published picture book, A Dark, Dark Cave, at Bookshop Santa Cruz. But even with a major publisher, he’s having to organize his own book tour.
Blogs, specifically a virtual blog tour, are said to be a good way to get your book out in the world. There are many blogs devoted to writing about books and bloggers willing to review books. I had the good fortune, and a little help from my friends who voted, to have Toto’s Tale featured this month on the Writer’s Inkwell blog. Writers can hire an agent to organize a blog tour. I haven’t tried this.
For indie authors, the Independent Book Publisher’s Association (IBPA) is worth joining. They offer marketing tips and opportunities to advertise and to display books at national book and library conferences. They also give a discount to place books on NetGalley where reviewers, teachers, and librarians can read them on line and review them. I’ve had several positive reviews posted on Goodreads and Amazon by people who read them on NetGalley.
And finally, I’ve found my network of family and friends to be wonderfully supportive of my book and my efforts to get it out into the world.