Tell the World!
Your book’s ready to go. The writing and rewriting, the careful reviewing, the professional editorial work—it’s all done. The cover, the printing, they’re underway even if they’re not finished yet.
Let’s call it Your Book.
It could be with a traditional publisher, a large multi-national one like HarperCollins or Penguin Random House, in any of their divisions or imprints. Or a smaller one—the list is long and includes well-known houses like Graywolf Press and the Canadian publisher House of Anansi. Your Book could also be published by a hybrid publisher, like Bellastoria Press. Or maybe it’s self-published. It could be print and digital, or digital alone.
We’re focusing on fiction, but most of the promotion ideas here would work equally well with non-fiction.
There are so many publishing options these days. And there are more options for promoting your book than ever. Even if you’re with a traditional publisher, you’ll need and want to do some promotion of your own.
The authors I’m interviewing for this blog are all very successful at promoting their books in a variety of ways, from the traditional, tried-and-true, to newer media possibilities and some inventive and personal approaches.
We have to note, of course, that in these days of the Co-Vid pandemic in-person promo activities are not really happening. Some of what we discuss should be held in reserve for later, when the world has recovered.
Promotion strategies include:
· Websites (which have become increasingly complex and sophisticated) and newsletters
to readers who subscribe
· Social media—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
· Interviews, e.g., with the press or on radio or TV programs
· Contests, often run by authors through their sites or newsletters. Prizes can include free signed books, of course, but also specially designed things like bookmarks and
· Appearing at conferences
· Readings and signings—at a bookstore, a library, or even a place that’s relevant to the
· Meeting with reader groups in person (see note above!) or by phone or increasingly on-
line through Zoom and other conferencing sites
· Ads. These can also be placed on free sites.
· Endorsements, receiving them and giving them
· Joint promotions with other authors, which often involve the sharing of websites
· Blogs, on your own site, your publisher’s, as a guest appearance on another author’s or
on a site that’s relevant to your book (e.g., devoted to a particular subject that is
significant to some aspect of the story, often concerning historical background)
· Podcasts, either by yourself or jointly
· Hiring a marketing or PR professional
· And, as I mentioned, many authors have come up with their own strategies…
I’ve interviewed a number of authors, requesting information about their own promotional procedures, as well as their suggestions and advice. I’m presenting their responses in alphabetical order.
I applaud the generosity of these writers for sharing what’s worked for them in getting out the word, so to speak. And for recognizing that in the increasingly difficult world of publishing and of selling books, co-operation matters more than competition.
The author interviews will appear in alphabetical order, with the first four in this post and the next five, plus “The Last Word” from Ann DeFee in the following blog due out in March.
ANNE MARIE DUQUETTE
Anne Marie Duquette has sold 24 fiction books, 20 of them with Harlequin, and one humorous non-fiction book. Information on them can be found on Paperbackgems.com. Her Minigems.net site offers free dog-focused short stories.
· Anne Marie, what do you consider the most effective book promotion you’ve done?
In 1994, I had three books out in one year with Harlequin. I was living in Florida at the time, and Harlequin arranged press coverage for me for the title Neptune’s Bride. In addition to two other interviews, a TV crew came to my home and I was a special feature on the evening news. That was the same year I sold a treatment to Paramount Studios for
“Star Trek.” There was a lot of buzz about my book and “Trek” sale, and Neptune’s Bride did very well.
· You’ve been published by a large traditional publisher and by a small press. Do you
handle promotion for books published by these various sources in the same way? Or do
you do anything different?
I had four novels published by smaller presses. It was quite a while ago, and social media then was not nearly as advanced as now. I advertised the books on my website and in some local newsletters—all that was available. My sales were dismal, yet my editors believed in my stories. All those publishers have gone out of business, and the rights have reverted to me. I intend to take advantage of that and relaunch them through Amazon.
· Explain Paperback Gems. Would you consider that your website?
Yes and no. It does have my bio and a list of my credits and covers, but it’s only two bare-bones pages of facts. What I’m really proud of is my Minigems.net site. It contains complete, previously unpublished dog short stories, both fictional and true, including a novella and a few extras, like how my family (including my dog) is dealing with Covid, and a comfort page for those who have lost a beloved pet. Readers can not only enjoy some light reading, but get a real handle on my writing style and personality. If they like my short works, I hope they’ll have an interest in my full-length books.
· I love your inclusion of animals and as you’ve mentioned, you offer free dog-related
stories to readers. Has this been a good source of promotion?
In the past, it certainly was. The old address was Minigems.scriptmaina.com, and my reader “hits” were in the thousands. Then I went on a ten-year hiatus due to health problems. My books were no longer on the shelves, and although some paperbacks were available online, the website hits dropped from thousands to mere hundreds. At present it’s been renamed Minigems.net and been revamped. It’s now online and designed to meet both the readers’ and my needs for future projects, as I’m healthy and writing again. And yes, my new books will all have dogs in them!
· Do you have a regular newsletter?
I always used my linked short story site as a way to communicate with my readers, but it wasn’t a true newsletter. That’s an idea I intend to pursue, connecting with other newsletters that pertain to my very difficult topic, suicide, in the four-book saga I’m working on, tentatively titled “The Suicide Club.” With three of these books near completion, I’ve already reached out to some organizations.
· The idea of an author “brand” has become increasingly important. How would you
describe yours and is it a factor in your promotion?
I won’t use my old persona from the 25 books I published before my hiatus. My new goal is to be identified as an author whose characters are “special needs,” with their emotional support dogs. This specific “special need” is suicide ideation. Military veterans with PTSD are just the barest tip of the iceberg! As I mentioned, I’m writing a series called “The Suicide Club,” books about the huge part of the iceberg under the water—men, women and even children tackling this serious mental issue. According to NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, suicide is the third leading cause of death among youth aged 10-24 in the United States, a grim statistic.
Everyone knows that dogs and family can be a very important support system. However, contrary to many popular fiction plots, a dog and/or “true love” doesn’t cure mental illness. Medical professionals and statistics show it’s usually a lifelong struggle, but that doesn’t mean there’s no happy ending or promising future. Just the opposite!
I know, because that was, and continues to be, my lifelong story. That ten-year writing hiatus I experienced was due to severe clinical depression my doctors couldn’t stabilize. Yet despite dark times and hospital stays, my support system of family, dogs and my medical team have given me, on the whole, a fantastic life filled with joy. This is what “The Suicide Club” will show, minus the misconceptions and myths that surround this subject.
· What about reader contests?
I know many “big name” authors have them. I like the idea. Now that I’m venturing into mainstream fiction as opposed to category, it’s something I hope to explore.
· Have you been doing book readings and signings at bookstores? Are you participating
in reader groups?
In the past, I certainly did, until I went on hiatus. I looked into a new reader group just this year through my local library, but due to Covid, those plans are sadly on hold.
· Do you belong to any writers’ groups? I know you’re a member of DWAA. How valuable
have you found that, especially in regard to promoting your books?
I’m a member of the Writers Guild of America (WGA). And yes, I just recently joined Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) and immediately volunteered to judge fiction to learn what others are doing in this specialized niche. (I judged RWA books for years.)
The dog fiction was fantastic. Much to my surprise, I also received 25 non-fiction articles to judge, but as I’ve written dog non-fiction for my website, and have a degree in journalism, I dug in. Not only did I learn what’s been selling in the market, but I was educated on canine topics that really impressed me. For example, St. Louis has comfort therapy dogs from an organization named DUO. These dogs join children on the witness stand, children who’ve suffered sexual abuse, so the victims can feel safe while testifying in the same room as their abuser. There is so much for me to learn from other dog enthusiasts!
· How important is social media to your book promotion?
I may not have used it in the past, but I certainly intend to use it now. Bookstores are sadly closing by the hundreds across the country, and both digital and hard-copy novels are being advertised and ordered through social media. I’ve looked into sites such as Facebook as a means of advertising and selling. Social media is here to stay, getting larger every day, and it’s definitely the way to go.
· Finally, any other advice or suggestions?
Yes. For new authors, or authors like me “getting back in the game,” learn all you can about social media. I also plan to devise marketing strategies as I write my story instead of after I finish it. I hope to capture reader interest in as many ways as possible in this digital age and tempt browsers with great stories. Thank you to my readers for all their support in the past. I hope to connect with you again soon!
· Brief Bio:
Publishers Weekly bestselling author ELIZABETH HEITER writes both psychological suspense (the Profiler series) and romantic suspense (the Lawmen, Lawmen: Bullets and Brawn, Tactical Crime Division, and K-9 Alaska series). Her research has taken her into the minds of serial killers, through murder investigations, and onto the FBI Academy’s shooting range. Her novels have been published in fourteen countries and translated into eight languages; they’ve also been shortlisted for the HOLT Medallion, the Daphne Du Maurier award, the National Readers’ Choice award and the Booksellers’ Best award and won the RT Reviewers’ Choice award. You can find her at www.elizabethheiter.com.
· Elizabeth, what do you consider your most effective promotional strategies and
This has varied by book – in part because I write two genres (suspense and romantic suspense) and in part because book releases (and what’s effective) vary based on what else is happening in the world (trends you can connect to, world events, etc.). But there are certain “essentials” I do for every book. First, I update my website, initially listing the new book under my “Coming Soon” section to help drive pre-orders, and then moving it to “Latest Releases” on release day. I also highlight it on my home page (both with an image of the book and a rotating banner). I send newsletters, using a similar strategy (sending out both pre-release and release day blasts). I always share the book on social media, do at least a few blogs and send it to my “Street Team” (a small group of enthusiastic readers who help get the word out). I also send out both print and digital ARCs (Advance Reader Copies), which I get from my publisher, to reviewers before every release. I generally do at least one ad digitally (usually on Facebook, sometimes also on Fresh Fiction) and one in print (usually in “The Strand Magazine”). I also generally do a giveaway of some kind and I create promo materials for each book (usually a bookmark or postcard that I can easily include when I send out books). Plus, I have pens branded to my name that I use at book events and include with giveaways. I have hired a PR firm for a few books and had mixed results, but I would do it again if I had the budget for a given book and less time to spend on publicity myself. I’ve also found endorsements to be important (both from other authors and from good reviews in well-known outlets).
· Tell us about your website. What are its primary goals? And what does it typically
The primary goals of my website are to give readers a comprehensive, simple way to find information about my books. I want it to be easy to navigate for a reader who just wants to find and buy a book, but full of “extras” for a reader who wants to know more about the various series and go behind the scenes. I provide a way for readers to contact me, “Buy” links for every book, links to foreign editions (a certain percentage of readers who come to my website every month and open all my newsletters are from other countries, looking for foreign editions of the books), fun extras and information on events. I also have my tagline front and center–that’s a short line that sums up everything I write and gives readers a quick way to understand what they’ll get if they pick up one of my books. Mine is “Strong heroines. Deadly villains. Killer suspense.” You can peruse my website here: www.elizabethheiter.com
· Do you promote a series of books in a different way from a “one off”?
Whether I’m promoting a “one off” or a series, I always make sure I’m clear about the fact that every book can be read as a standalone (and I always write them that way!). It means I don’t turn off readers who aren’t caught up on the series but are interested in a particular book. When I promote new books that are part of a series, though, I do connect back to the series (for example, reminding them of the character from the last book who is the hero or heroine of the new one). When a new book in a series is coming, I find that it’s also a great time to promote the first books in that series so readers who like to read the stories in order can get caught up before release day. I’ve also found that first books in a series tend to promote well anytime.
· You’ve done readings and book signings in the past. Are you doing “virtual” versions of
these now, during our pandemic?
Since the pandemic, I’ve had two books released (one that was brand-new and part of a multi-author mini-series and one that was a re-release of an older book in a duo with another author–this second one was also a reprint of the first in a particular series). For the first of those, I did a reading online and shared it across my social media platforms, connecting it to the popular #BookTalk hashtag (as part of that hashtag, I also read from another author’s book, which was a book I’d enjoyed reading myself). I’ll have another brand-new release in December (the second book in a series), and for that one, I’ll likely do another reading–and/or possibly a “live” online event with questions. When we’re not in a pandemic, I do a “launch party” with every new release, which is an in-person event at a local bookstore, including a short talk and/or reading, a Q&A session and a giveaway.
· What about reader groups? Have you been involved with any in the past? And what
As I mentioned, I have a small “Street Team” of dedicated readers who get ARCs of each new book and help promote both online and in their local areas. It’s a great group—I love the group!—but the time commitment on my end to use it to its full potential has been a struggle. (I see a lot of potential here and would love to grow the group, but I haven’t been able to carve out enough time for things I think would be beneficial, like an active group platform and more specific engagement with them on my part.) I also belong to a multi-author online reader group that involves 30 authors of romantic suspense. That one has been a lot easier to keep up with – the commitment is two posts a month, plus additional engagements I sign up for (such as giveaways, book clubs, etc.). I’ve gotten some good traction with new readers there (it’s a great way to cross-pollinate readers) and collectively we’ve hired an assistant to manage it, so that has been a constant in my promotions as well.
· Do you send out a newsletter?
Yes! My first book came out in 2014 and I started building my newsletter list before that. Now, when I send out a newsletter for a book that’s up for pre-order, I always see a sales bump. I love newsletters because they give me direct access to my readers, without needing to worry about the changing algorithms of social media or rely on publishers to do a specific promotion. I always send them out at least once for a book pre-release and on release day. I also send newsletters for big events and special giveaways. In my most recent newsletter, I also included a survey asking readers which characters from my series they wanted to see get their own books in the future.
· The term “branding” is used a lot with regard to author promotion these days. How
would you describe your brand? How do you maintain it?
I consider brand to be the promise I’m making to my readers. Because I write more than one genre (and may want to expand more in the future), I try to focus my brand on things that I think will always be part of the books I write. My tagline (“Strong heroines. Deadly villains. Killer suspense.”) sums up my brand nicely–you’ll always get thrills from my books, whether you’re reading my straight suspense or my romantic suspense. And I’ll always have a focus on strong, courageous women (whether they’re law enforcement or so-called ordinary women thrown into extraordinary circumstances, whether they’re strong physically or morally and emotionally. Or all three.). I try to show this to readers through the choices I make on all of my properties (website, newsletter, social media) – everything from the colors I use to the images to the way I describe my books.
· You’ve done some informational pieces primarily focused on your research (e.g., FBI).
Has that been a good way to connect with readers?
I love doing informational pieces on my research. I spend a lot of time trying to get the research right for the books, and I’ve found at my in-person events that when I invite questions, there are always a lot about the research. I have definitely found that to be an effective way to connect to readers and it’s a great way to showcase something connected to a book without being hyper-focused on selling the book. I’ve used this in my “behind the scenes” features on my own website, on blog posts describing the process of researching a particular book or series, and on podcasts and radio shows talking about how the FBI (which I researched extensively for my Profiler series) would approach a real case when one of the books in my Profiler series (Seized) dovetailed with a real, similar situation.
· How involved are you with the various types of social media? How effective do you find
it as a promotional tool? And is it more effective now than in the past?
Social media is great for connecting with readers and others in the industry, but it can also take up a lot of time. I’m on social media almost every day, but I try to focus on each platform differently and only use so many. I’ve found Facebook to be the place I connect most with readers; on Twitter, I connect more with other writers and industry professionals, though there are definitely readers here, too. And so far on Instagram (which I’ve started this past year), I’m finding a mix. I think for me it’s been more distracting lately than in the past, but I’m not sure about its being more effective. I do think the current climate (with the pandemic limiting in-person events) has made for some creative approaches to social media and promotions (such as multi-author online events, pass-it-on style hashtags, and more of a focus on video). When it comes specifically to promotions, I do the least direct promoting on Twitter (usually I share book releases, blog links and cover images there) and the most on Facebook (where the entire focus of my page is my brand–here I do a lot of engaging with readers by asking questions, sharing things about myself and giving sneak peeks at the books).
· Do you belong to any writers’ organizations and if so, do you find that valuable from a
promotion point of view?
I belong to many writers’ organizations (International Thriller Writers, Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime). I think they’re extremely valuable from an industry perspective, but I also find them helpful for promotion. They’re useful both as a way to connect with other writers and get new promotion ideas and as a way to directly promote (through in-person panels and signings at conferences, as well as reader-focused events done directly through the organization or through connections made there).
· Do you run any reader contests?
I run reader contests pretty regularly. I do some through my newsletters and on my social media. I also do some through places where I blog regularly, like Fresh Fiction, and through reader growth platforms such as BookSweeps, which is the only one I use currently, because I’ve found it to be effective in getting me new readers who are engaged (e.g. they open newsletters and click on “Buy” links). I’ve also done some contests on platforms like Goodreads. Usually, I do straight giveaways (enter for a chance to win) rather than contests (provide some kind of correct answer or other submission to win). When I do a giveaway or a contest, I always give away either a signed book or something else directly connected to my brand, because I want to avoid lots of entries from people looking only for a free gift card.
· Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Promotion is tricky. I see a definite sales difference from the promotion efforts I do (separate from the ones my publisher does). But it can also be extremely time-consuming. I try to make a list of promotion efforts for each book several months in advance of the book’s release, so I can begin crossing off items as soon as possible and stay on track (also, things like ARCs for reviewers need to go out well in advance of release). I dedicate more time to promotion and social media efforts leading up to a new book release. But I also try never to lose sight of the fact that time spent promoting is taking away from time to write, so with every book, I’m trying to find the right balance.
· Brief Bio:
Kate’s personal history and business experience enable her to write fiction with an extensive and often first-hand knowledge of the subjects informing her stories. Her books include Silver Linings, published by a small press, and eight books in Harlequin’s Heartwarming program, among them the “San Diego K-9” series. Her stories have won many awards and been popular with readers. You can reach her at www.kate-james.com
· Kate, what would you say has been your most effective promotional approach so far?
First of all, thank you for inviting me to contribute to this post!
As you note, irrespective of how an author gets his or her book published, actively promoting the book is vital for success. In fact, even the large multi-nationals with their powerful marketing units expect their authors to be front and center in promotion. My answer to this question is that the most effective means of promoting is to use a variety of approaches. “One size does not fit all.” It’s essential to connect with readers, and readers have different preferences and comfort zones. As such—although I’ve learned that some approaches have considerably greater impact—diversity is important. You provided a terrific list of options. I have utilized most, if not all, of them to varying degrees. I would also add virtual book tours to the list, as I have had great success with them.
· How do you go about encouraging that all-important communication with readers? How
do you connect with them?
It’s important to understand your target audience; that is, who it is you are writing the book for. The genre or type of book you write will largely determine your readership, and depending on that, your readership will have different demographics and preferences. For example, if you write for the young adult market, your readers will be young and most likely social media savvy. In contrast, if you write clean, wholesome romance, the average age of your readers is likely higher and their use of social media might be more limited. Your marketing efforts should be targeted accordingly.
Above all else, you have to remember that your readers enable you to do what you love—to write books—and you owe it to them to be approachable, genuine, responsive and respectful.
· You’ve been involved in various joint promotions. Would you tell us about them?
Joint promotions are terrific for extending your reach and attracting new readers. In my experience, joint promotions can also be tremendous fun for the authors, building author community and support of each other!
With my first books, it was of great benefit to me to have some highly successful authors participate in some of my promotional efforts. For example, Brenda Novak and Heather Graham have both been incredibly generous with their time and support. As my own reader following grew, it gave me the opportunity to “pay it forward” and work with some up-and-coming authors through joint promotions.
I have received much positive feedback from readers with respect to author interviews, and joint blog posts, book-release parties and giveaways.
Here are some examples of events and prize packs…
· The idea of an “author brand” has become increasingly popular. What are your thoughts
about author brands?
Writing is a business. As with any successful business, the brand matters. Your brand is essentially your promise to customers—in an author’s case to his or her readers.
While social media has many benefits, it also has some negatives. One notable negative is the degree of anonymity it can provide. This, unfortunately, can result in some people behaving in a disrespectful manner, saying things they would never say in person, up to and including bullying.
There are times when an author might receive a less than positive communication from someone; even if this were to happen, it’s important to take the “high road” and never respond in kind.
Anything authors—or anyone, for that matter—puts out on social media can and will reflect on them. Even if it’s later deleted, the way social media operates makes it nearly impossible to remove entirely.
Authors should think carefully before putting anything into cyberspace that could reflect negatively on them or on their brand.
· Have you been active in book signings, readings, and meetings with reader groups?
Have you done any online?
I absolutely love book signings and other opportunities to meet readers in person! I have had some fantastic opportunities. My very first book signing was at Canada’s CN Tower.
I have also had a number of book signings at various Chapters stores. (Chapters is Canada’s largest book retail chain.) The very first signing I had at a Chapters was a great experience, as my book sold out in under an hour. The general manager of the store told me that was an unusual experience. I was able to leverage it into signings at other Chapters stores . . . and each of the other stores ordered more of my books!
The feedback from store management was consistent. It had to do with engaging with customers. They told me there were authors who would sit at the table, waiting for customers to come to them, rather than greeting everyone who entered the store. To have a signing at a major store and not engage with customers is a missed opportunity. I also always have a sign-up sheet for my newsletters to ensure I can maintain the relationship.
I was also truly fortunate to be invited to the Harlequin distribution center in Depew, New York, to speak to the Harlequin team and sign books. It was another fantastic experience.
· Any other suggestions?
Appreciate your readers and let them know that you do. Don’t take them for granted! There are so many wonderful authors/books to choose from. I am always honored and appreciative when a reader chooses to purchase one of my books. After all, without readers, authors would have no audience. So . . . heartfelt thanks to everyone who has chosen to read one of my books!
· Brief Bio:
With 30 published or soon-to-be-published books and novellas, Geri has learned to be flexible when it comes to promotion, but remains steadfast in creating emotionally intense reads. Geri is a US Naval Academy graduate and Navy veteran; find out more at www.gerikrotow.com
· Geri, I know your website is an important part of your book promotion. Can you tell us a
little about it? Do you have a newsletter as well?
My website is the only piece of on-line real estate that I own and have complete control over. It’s a place for my readers to explore the backgrounds of my stories, find out what’s coming next and discover a new-to-them book or series I’ve written. A website is crucial for an author and should include newsletter sign-up, “buy” links across all platforms and social media contact information. I release a newsletter with each new book, and update my Site News more regularly, which readers also subscribe to.
· Are you currently running any reader contests? What kind, what are the prizes and how
do you choose the winners? Have you done many in the past?
I’ve organized quite a few contests in the past, but these days I limit them to when I’m a guest author at another, purely promotional site. I do like to have random giveaways for my readers, but this is increasingly difficult as the social media algorithms prevent posts of that kind from gaining a wide enough audience without paid advertising.
· How valuable do you/have you considered conferences as a promotional tool?
Conferences can be especially valuable, if they’re reader-focused events. It’s always wonderful to meet readers in person and to find out how different characters and stories touched their lives. Reader conferences also give me the opportunity to provide specialty items to keep my name familiar. Pens, bookmarks, stress balls, the like.
· Are you participating in any online reader group discussions these days?
I’m not currently but definitely have plans for a Geri Krotow reader group in the future.
· I know you take part in signings at a charming bookstore near you (which has an
adorable bookstore cat!). Could you describe their value to you in terms of promotion?
How blessed am I that I have THE indie bookstore only 15 minutes from my house! Cupboard Maker Books in Enola, PA, has received multiple awards including RT and RWA Bookseller of the Year, and yes, fosters adoptable kittens and cats. There was a pandemic kitten birth(s), and all the cats have found loving homes. The owner of the bookstore, Michelle Haring, has been instrumental in supporting my local sales by hand-selling my books. She’s focused on my Silver Valley PD series for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, as it’s set in a fictional town in Central Pennsylvania. I’ve gained hundreds of new readers this way. I can’t recommend working with your local independent bookstore highly enough!
An additional service to my readers is that they can order any of my books that Michelle has in-store and I’ll personally sign them, while Michelle will ship them. On my website, I’ve also included a direct link to Cupboard Maker Books for all my books (the print version). The link utilizes BookShop, the online indie-bookstore site.
· Your social media presence—how regularly do you post? And what is the intent of these
posts? (To advise readers of upcoming books, bring readers to your website, send them
to online bookstores, etc.)
I try to post daily, or at least several times a week. Mostly the posts are to bring a lift to my readers (and me), often including snippets of my private and writing life: knitting, dogs, our parrot, flowers, my garden, favorite tea and coffee. I post cover reveals and announce when a new book is out. I try to be diligent about consistency.
· Amazon—I’m asking everyone this (not to provide advertising—as if they need it--but
simply because it’s such a major part of the book business now. Does it play a role in
your promotion? What and how?
I include Amazon print and ebook/Kindle links for all of my books, and I maintain an Author Page on Amazon.
· Geri, do you have any other recommendations for newer authors?
If you haven’t done it already, “park” your name for your website today. GoDaddy and other services provide this. Pay as much as you can afford for a professional to do your website, preferably a team that has experience with authors. Take part in online and (when the pandemic is over) in-person workshops; take advantage of social media and website promotion opportunities.
I’d like to add that I’ve recently had two major media appearances. One on our local TV station under the Author Spotlight, and one in a major print and digital publication, “Military Officer Association of America” (225K subscribers).
These are the kinds of opportunities I’d encourage every author to pursue and to prepare for well in advance. Know what your message is, your brand, which books/series you want to push. And I suggest that If a photographer comes to your house, use a book background!
Most importantly, write the next book to the best of your ability. Promotion is fantastic and a necessary part of the writing life, but without a great story, it’s meaningless and in vain. Invest in yourself, as a writer, an author, and a business owner. But most importantly, as a writer.
Join us soon for Part 2 of the interview, which will contain advice from authors Debbie Macomber, Stella Maclean, Brenda Novak, Tara Taylor Quinn, Sheila Roberts and Ann DeFee.