Thursday, July 29, 2010

Promote as if you were self-published

Regardless of what you write, whether you pen novels or columns, whether you are syndicated or piece-meal, whether you are self-pubbed or seek traditional routes,  you need to promote yourself as if you were self-published. And according to this blog at The Book Designer , you need to do it fast. For instance, if you are writing a book, you need to build your platform three years before you ever publish the book. (**Fantastic blog resource, BTW)

As a previous administrative director of a federal government agency, I lived to delegate. As writers we can't afford to delegate. Everyone expects you to be the ultimate resource for hawking your writing. Hey, you wrote the words, you want your message delivered . . . so learn how to deliver it.

You are in charge of finding your readership - nobody else.

Where can you find those people? Answer these questions:

- who do you work with online and in person
- who do you socialize with online and in person
- who do you communicate with online and in person
- who do you do business with online and in person
- who do you recreate with online and in person
- who do you relate to for clubs/hobbies online and in person
- who do you train/go to school with online and in person
- who do you share professional interests with online and in person
- who have you worked for/socialized with/recreated with/shared interests with in the past - online and in person?

Find a way to connect with them. Make it professional and subtle. Don't jump into a forum or chatroom and blare out you have something to sell. Relate, reacquaint, connect. Become a personality. Somewhere along this path you'll realize you make more sales via savvy social media than you will speaking in person. You'll save a lot of money as well.

A day shouldn't go by that you don't cultivate your potential readership and proclaim yourself as a writer. If it's what you want to do for a living, then live your life as if this profession is what molds you as a person. Self-promotion is not an afterthought . . . it's your future.


graywave said...

Great post, Hope - and so true. I wish I had started promoting my book 3 years before t came out, but I was very glad even of the couple of months I managed. Although I was commercially published, my sales would have been rather grim if I'd left it to my publisher!

Bill said...

Wonderful post Hope! This all sounds good but is it SO MUCH HARD WORK. I like the author's statement that you cannot do it all overnight, it takes small baby steps and I agree, otherwords you will burn out of steam fast!!!

I also agree with Graywave' post, the author is his or her best advocate for their work.

Susan said...

Please excuse my abysmal ignorance but what is a platform in the writing world? Susan

Anonymous said...

Hope it is vitally necessary to promote books as you've indicated in this post and others. It's not all that hard, either. I connect with bloggers who let me guest-post, with journalists and radio show hosts willing to interview friendly-to-the-press me, and with everybody who shares my airspace. I carry business cards with my E-book's cover and purchase info on it, share tips from the book with curiosity-seekers and generate a LOT of free publicity by simply being polite and friendly.

C'mon fellow writers, Hope's giving you the inside scoop about how to sell your worth-reading books. Give her a cheer!

Yocheved Golani
EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge.

JFBookman said...

Thanks for the shout-out Hope. Your list of questions is right on target. Regardless of how you publish, you as author are in the best position to promote your own work.