Promotion is such an important part of selling your art and without it your book sits and waits for readers, alone on a virtual shelf.
Duh, you say? Yet you do the bare minimum to get your book up and running, or you do too much of the wrong thing, trust the wrong people and spend copious amounts of money with little result. You don’t need to work hard…well you do, but more importantly you need to work smart while enlisting TRAINED professionals to do the tough, time-consuming work for you.
This is going to piss off a lot of bloggers on the net but the truth is, writing a blog and hosting blog tours for authors does not a publicist make. There is a reason promotions and book marketing is a skill…it takes a tremendous amount of research, knowledge and knowhow to get the work in front of the right people. And yes, blog tours work, as do cover reveals and giveaways, but remember it is all a numbers game and the winner is always the one with the growing bank account – usually the blogger who sold you on their services. However, that doesn’t mean it is all for not. I do book tours after all, but I have a masters in marketing and communications, so if anything, I am at the very least qualified to give this advice 😉 .
So who and what should I trust? And what should I do?
Well you go with a professional, someone who understands the industry. Rather than just looking to save a buck by hiring a blogger who offers really cheap book blasts, hire an actual publicist to get you what you need, or find a qualified person who is getting started in the industry and see if they can help with your budget. Yeah, it might cost you a bit more, but the results will be worth it. Have them work to get you interviews, schedule guest posts, handle your social media blasts and set up a fan page. They will talk to your local bookstores and work to get you signings, or perhaps get your swag in those book bags at conventions. There are numerous ways to sell a book outside of the book tours and cover reveals and although I HIGHLY recommend them as well, you should have someone out there pushing you in front of readers, because the readers are who you need to dazzle.
Furthermore, you need to focus on your image, what you say, when you say it and how you appear to the public. Everything, down to your headshot and Twitter cover. A publicist or trained marketing/communication professional can assist. They know what works, what the public wants and how to communicate your messages effectively. For instance, most people don’t know how to draft a media kit; what true market analytics entail; benchmarking; proper website design (not from a web designers prospective but a marketing perspective); how to analyze the current platform and help you build one that will entice readers and eventually publishers. You need someone to help you engage your audience so you are a significant presence, not just some indie author that no one wants to review, because your cover is homemade and you have two suspect reviews on Amazon. Did you know you are more likely to have a book reviewed if a publicity company sends out requests as opposed to sending those Goodreads invites?
There is a lot to be said for having solid representation. And beyond all of those previous points, you get time to write because you won’t have to spend all that time hustling your own book.
If you want to learn more about what an honest to goodness publicist or communications specialist can do for you…email me. I would be happy to help, guide and assist in any way I can.
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