Recently, a fellow blogger asked me to write a blog entry about my experiences as a new author and what I would do differently. The idea intrigued me. As I considered what to write, memories came back to me as I revisited some of the mistakes I made with the release of my first novel.
If I had my way, I would go back in time and have a heart-to-heart talk with myself to discuss how essential promotion and publicity are to a new author. Authors should be visible, inviting and welcoming to their reading audience. They should not be afraid to tell people about their craft and what they write. I would use all the avenues available for promotion and try to find new ones.
Foolishly, I waited for my publisher to offer some direction or guidance, but that didn't happen. They are way to busy to guide new authors through the process. It was up to me to make things happen and honestly I did not know how.
African-American romance author Kimberley White explained it best. "When you become an author, you are now an independent business owner." It is up to an author to push their own product. We sell a completed, hopefully entertaining story that readers will pass along to other readers. Word-of-mouth good press is and always will be the best advertising you can receive. Cultivate and use good industry and reader reviews to your advantage.
Book signings provide one avenue to make readers aware of your book. Many new, exciting and talented self-published authors use different techniques to advertise their manuscripts. As authors we have to make ourselves available to every outlet that generates an opportunity for our names or titles to be seen or heard. The Internet provides a wonderful, inexpensive way to reach your core audience, take advantage of this resource.
What are your thoughts on the subject? Do you know of different ways to attract readers? I'd love to hear from you. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember, don't be a stranger.