Book Marketing Tips -- Part One
- If you are being traditionally published, many of your author deadlines will key off the publication date and your publishing house’s internal schedule. Confirm your pub date and ask about what deadlines (besides editorial) you need to be aware of. When is your author photo due? Publishers may have a standard “Author Questionnaire” they use to help with publicity. When is that due? Leave time to complete this thoroughly.
- Author photos: My advice is to make sure you *really* like the way this comes out. If you have it done professionally, leave time for a reshoot. I hated my first round of author photos. A few weeks later, we tried again outside with better results. These two articles offer more information: Your Author Photo: How to Project the Right Image and Demonstrate Your Author Brand with a Professional Headshot.
- Write a biography that you can use on your jacket cover and online. Some people have different versions--short, long, funny, serious.
- Consider setting up a Goodreads Author account. Even if you decide not to use Goodreads, having an author account provides a presence for readers and allows you to run giveaways if you choose. Include your bio and your author photo. If you blog, you can link your blog so that the posts automatically show up on your Goodreads Author page, which is another way to reach readers. Library Thing and Booklikes are also options to reach book-loving folks (although I haven't managed to keep up with my presence there).
- Set up an Amazon Author page. This is another place to include your bio and author photo. You can also link your blog and Twitter account so that recent blog posts and Tweets show up on your author page.
- If you are active on social media, update your bio and author photo on the various platforms. The bios don’t have to be identical (given word length restrictions, etc) but should be consistent enough that readers recognize you. You can mention your book as “Available (date) from (publisher).” Just remember to go back and change it when the book launches!
- Most email programs allow you to create a signature line--this is another place to mention your book and the publication date.
- If you are not active on social media, now is a good time to experiment with various platforms and build an audience on the platforms you enjoy. Try to use a consistent user name (preferably your author name) across different types of social media.
- Do you have a website? This is a big topic in and of itself, so I’ll refer you to Jane Friedman’s article, The Basic Components of an Author Website, to start. I use my author name as my URL, YvonneVentresca.com. You can also consider buying the domain name for your book's title. For Pandemic, I have a basic page that connects back to my main site.
- Decide if you would like to do an online book tour, and if you will coordinate it yourself or hire someone to do it for you. Jen Halligan PR set up my BFWL blog tour, which is going on now and features a giveaway--a $25 Amazon gift card, a $25 Sephora gift card, a signed copy of BFWL, and the chalkboard I used to display the prizes. (Scroll down on the blog tour page to access the giveaway.)
Those are the first ten tips for marketing your book. There are more to come!