FOR HER EYES ONLY, the 3rd and last book of my Psychic Triplet Trilogy, is an October 2008 release, and I workin’ it.
Let’s define exactly what “workin’ it” means for an author in “hot-spot selling time” and the tools needed to be moderately effective.
In â€œhot-spotâ€, the month prior and the month of pub date, you’ll be updating your website and blogs frequently, sending e-newsletters, answering e-mail, keeping busy at MySpace, Facebook and others, making appearances, sending out contest prizes, traveling, and generally overloaded to the max–even if you’ve planned well for the hot spot.
Note: You can do a terrific amount on your own at low cost. Else, many well-published writers use professional publicists and many do little for promotion; they would rather use the time to write.
You’ll need planning tools (I canâ€™t do without my PDA):
Building a set of promotion tools takes time and energy. Be aware that even light promotion calls for sturdy dedication. The very first decision for a writer who wants to promote is if they want to do it themselves. Promotion is a true time-sucker (technical term).
Note: I do not endorse building a website for the purposes of promoting a writer, who has not yet been scheduled for publication. The risk is high, and could leave the writer out a very embarrassing limb.
Early preparation tool box:
â€¢ write articles for your groups; contact your group’s newsletter editor early for good placement
â€¢ create a blog, i.e. blogger.com and actively post on other blogs (freeskins.blogspot.com is an excellent freebie skin)
â€¢ collect friendly readers e-mail; develop a potential e-newsletter for excerpts, notifications, etc. Yahoo serves well.
â€¢ develop excerpts and keep reviews handy, keep a friendly reviewersâ€™ list
create a promo item, something to mail and for appearances, i.e. bookmarks/postcards. VistaPrint.com has great freebies. *Due to high postage costs now, we will be seeing less mailings.
â€¢ develop a handout about your book(s) and you, your website and blogs, etc. (printer quality is fine)
â€¢ develop longer and shorter bios to have on hand, at a moments notice
â€¢ use databases; you’ll need them for contacts: readers/librarians/book sellers/reviewers
â€¢ publicity shot: casual may be acceptable now. This should be quality work, studio or not.
â€¢ clothing for appearances. (Since FOR HER EYES ONLY, AT THE EDGE, and A STRANGERâ€™S TOUCH use Celtic motifs, Iâ€™ll be wearing that jewelry.)
â€¢ Develop a wider community, i.e. Facebook, etc. Associate OUTSIDE your usual groups. (Find me at Facebook).
â€¢ Contact other blog owners and schedule to be a guest
â€¢ If you wish to be contacted as a speaker, develop programs that stay within the scope of your personal experience. If charging as a speaker, have rates ready in formatted form.
Critical: Repeat–Keep that website and blog updated frequently.
â€¢ When that first book comes out, establish book lists that include title, pub date, publisher, ISBN. Develop a plain one for promotion, and a private one to collect the kudos or any awards, list sales to foreign countries, for your personal reference. This list is essential and difficult to rebuild down the road.
â€¢ At a book signing: take a notebook to be used for the collection of e-mail addresses; place it in front of you with already one e-mail address on it, providing a starting point. Use those addresses to invite readers to your e-newsletters.
Promotion hot-spot is absolutely hectic. Do everything you can to prepare for it. I’m truly workin’ it now with FOR HER EYES ONLY due on October’s book shelves.
Bio: From Cait London, newly NYTs extended after almost 70 books. Find her at http://caitlondon.com and caitlondon.blogspot.com
Thanks, Kitty. And Tamara, my post here, answering your question somehow disappeared.
I would wait until contracts are drawn, a date set for publication prior to getting a website, because there is the pseudonym issue, taken for all sorts of reasons, i.e. my publishers wanted one, but there are other reasons, too. So you would want the website to reflect that name. Websites have to be kept up, and without a book scheduled, or perhaps anything can fall thru in this business, it is just wiser to wait until one is definitely scheduled. Say a publisher takes 2 years to stack your book, or longer; how do you update that website meanwhile? And anything can happen, as I’ve said, lines canceled, books dropped, whatever. We hope not, but things do happen. Just play it safe and wait until you’re absolutely certain you have a publisher, a pub date, and everything is a go.
Excellent article, Cait!
Why do you recommend to wait on building a web site until a writer is scheduled to be published? I’ve heard the opposite said, so I’m curious.
Thanks for sharing this great information. I’m not good at some kinds of organization, so I’m taking these recommendations to heart. It was interesting that you don’t recommend websites for non-pubs. I’ve been worrying over getting a site up, but now it doesn’t seem as crucial. I’ll just spend that time finishing my WIP.
Stay Dry! And good luck with the last of the Psychic Sisters!! Can’t wait to read it.
I’m here in the flooded Midwest with T-storms expected. But I’m looking forward to dialog and questions, so let’s get busy!
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