I know that many authors – and especially first-time authors – work hard to promote their books and constantly look for new ways to gain exposure. Promoting one’s book on a budget is an even bigger challenge.
Book promotion is an important topic, and I’m happy to stray from book reviews for a day for a guest post by Barry Eva. Barry’s book, Across the Pond, was published last October and was only available for purchase online. Less than a year and 77 Amazon reviews later, publishers are now offering the book with a buy back option to book shops.
Barry Eva, also known as “Storyheart”, was born in Barnet, Hertfordshire, England. In 2000, he left his beloved country and went to the USA to be with the woman he’d met and fallen in love with on the Internet. With his whit, oratory, and old-fashioned English charm, Barry is a much thought after interviewee on radio and TV. He resides in Connecticut, with his wife and two children.
Here are Barry’s thoughts on book promotion…
As all writers know there are many places on the web the offer you various services to help you become the “next best selling author”, and while many are there to help you, some other are just there to make as much money as possible from any unsuspecting author.
Plenty of places are out there, plenty of emails and contacts come your way. However, before you jump on the sometime costly bandwagon, just see what is there for perhaps less money or with a better service.
See what the best “BANG FOR YOU BUCK” might be.
BEFORE YOU START:
Before you go anywhere remember these words…
Marketing and PR doesn’t sell books – it gets you exposure!
As one of my fellow bloggers and radio hosts put it today…
Name recognition MAY equal book sales
Don’t think that just because you have your book being published you will be the next J.K Rowling. There are not that many authors out there who actually make a living from their books. So in other words:
“Dream of the day… but don’t lose touch with reality”
Before the ink is out of the bottle, let alone dry on the pages of your book you should have some items to aid your book promotion already set up.
You should look to set up the following:
My Space Page
There are plenty of places out there which will offer services for such things sometimes charging over $1000.
I received information from a “Marketing and Promotion” company, which offers many such items, their charge for setting you up with these services was $149.
Setting up these Social Networking options and locations costs “$0.00… Nothing… Zero”. Any person who has access to a computer can go on the internet, create exactly what these companies offer for nothing, and achieve the same results in under an hour.
There are many other “free” ways of passing on news VOX, XANGA, LIVE JOURNAL, MSN, AOL to name a few.
One other thing that is very important is to be author must be aware of how much time you can dedicate to social media. If you sign up for 50 sites, but never update them, then they’re useless.
While ping.fm helps you update multiple sites at a time, it is still limited in what it can work with, so authors really need to decide how much time they have and only sign up for the sites you can commit to.
Don’t forget, the more you’re out there… the more exposure, name recognition and “possibly” sales.
Every author “MUST” have a web page.
I did a VBT back in February a few days after coming out of hospital after major back surgery and for the month I was on my tour I visited places all around the world while in my sick bed.
There are many offerings for Virtual Book Tours I have been quoted up to three thousand for some tours; others I have seen offering seven days tour for $149.
However the best one I have found and one I highly recommend is PUMP UP YOUR BOOK PROMOTION. They offer three different levels; for $399 they will set you up with a full month’s tour, blogs, interviews and even radio show stops. Information about each stop along the way will be shared at several major sites. These are a great group of people I completed my tour with and have stayed friends with ever since.
These tours take a month or two to plan so book up ahead of time, and be prepared to be part of the tour, what you put in you take out. Put in nothing and you’ll get nothing.
You never know where one of your interviews might turn up. During my month I appeared in the Chicago Sunday Times and even the Wall Street Journal.
You will need to have some spare books to send for people to review
There are many available on BLOG TALK RADIO and blog talk radio is FREE!
Check out the http://www.blogtalkradio.com. Find shows that you think you’d like to be a guest on and contact the host; normally they will be delighted to have you as a guest. Sometimes this might be a month or even two ahead as most radio shows already have a guest list.
You do not have to visit any recording studio, just dial into a number which the host will supply and chat for however long the show lasts. I have been on shows where I have read a chapter of my book for ten minutes; I have been on shows that have lasted an hour. My own twice a week show “A BOOK AND A CHAT” is a thirty minute show.
TIP: When you find a show check out when the last aired show was, if it’s not been for a month or two, it might be even though it shows on “Blog talk radio”, the people no longer broadcast.
I have even found hosts looking for guests on Craig’s List.
There are numerous sources for reviews, the charges can vary greatly, but in many cases are just the cost of a book and the postage. Don’t forget those small blogs mentioned above.
While there are groups and services that do not charge and just need a copy of your book, others will ask for donations, or extra copies of your book, which basically is still charging. If you are going to pay for a review make sure it is a really notable site, and that they will allow you to use their review or even post a copy on Amazon and B&N themselves.
For the full article and more information on book promotion, please visit Barry’s blog – Across the Pond.