This whole “promoting” thing just isn’t my thing. It feels like tooting my own horn. Or going door-to-door with a case of encyclopedias.
Sure, I mentioned every stage of writing this book on my Facebook page. I posted about my release date on social media forums, but it felt superficial.
How do you promote your release date? What do the pros have to say about it?
The most important thing to do, they say, is build up an email address list. When they time is right, blast these people with information about your new work in well-timed increments. Sounds so easy, doesn’t it?
As of this writing, I have seventeen addresses on my email list. Yes, as in NOT EVEN TWENTY.
And I’ve done everything the experts recommend except create a pop-up for every visit to my site. (I hate pop-ups. Don’t you? I don’t want to be that person.)
Creating an Email List
Every page of your website should have a prominent display for signing up for a newsletter.
I can check that off. Except…I fear I may have confused people because I have a space to follow my blog posts (and 200 people do follow it) right above the newsletter sign-up.
The newsletter sign-up is a relatively new addition to the site. I’m getting ready to mail out only my second newsletter this Friday. It announces – you guessed it – the upcoming release. And offers links to my site and the purchase pages.
The logic behind collecting email addresses is that people are asking YOU for something. They WANT to hear about your upcoming books and events. You aren’t spamming them with information they never asked for in the first place.
I hear mixed things about using social media to promote your book’s release date.
First of all, you should have a presence on your media sites of choice BEFORE you start slamming everyone with requests to purchase your book. Show up and talk to people about things that interest you.
Share their Tweets. Like their posts and pages. Be authentic.
When you’re ready to release your book, don’t hammer your feed with the same link over and over again. I’m aiming for once per day for ten days leading up to the release. Then once per day for the first week.
After that, I hope people will be Tweeting or posting reviews about my book. Then I can share their comments, keeping the subject alive without looking like all I ever do is shove my book in people’s faces.
There might be a science to this, but I don’t know it.
Okay, I failed at this.
I tried to find some people – even friends and family – who would willingly read an advanced copy of my book and post a review of it.
My sister and three of my writing friends signed up. I don’t know if any of them will actually finish the book (well, my sister did), or write a review once the book is up on Amazon and Goodreads (which it should be tomorrow or Monday, April 27).
I sent them an email offering a link to a private page on my website that listed simple things they could post each day on the social media venue of their choice. I tried to keep these blurb-ish statements short enough for Twitter. Most of them include links to the order page or my website.
The truth is – I don’t want to promote Reflections from a Pondering Heart. It doesn’t feel like the story belongs to me.
It is an important story, though. I want people to read it. I pray it helps them gain a better perspective of people from the Bible we often ideal-ize.
They can’t read it if they don’t know it exists. They won’t know it exists unless the word gets out. Somehow.
Aren’t there some Book Promo Brownies who take care of this sort of thing?
What would you add to this discussion? What do you feel is the best way to promote your book’s release date?
Additional Resource: Book Publishing Guide