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Help requests > How to get publicity?

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message 1: by Angela (new)

Angela | 5 comments I am a self-published author who is having a challenging time getting my book reviewed, stocked in local bookstores, and placed in the library.

I cannot afford to hire a publicist at $3,000/mth so I am learning as I go.

The biggest challenge is letting readers know the book is out there.

Anyone have any advice?


message 2: by Nancy (new)

Nancy (NancyJCohen) | 2 comments Yes, register for the RT Booklovers Convention in April in Orlando and attend my workshop on Self-Promotion. http://www.romantictimes.com

Self-pubbed books are harder to promote. Booksellers won't have you for signings and reviewers are reluctant, but there are many online sites that might accept your work. Internet opportunities abound for promotion these days.


message 3: by Carl (new)

Carl Brookins (carlw) | 23 comments Nancy is correct.
Web site, blog, Face Book, My Space, participation in online newsgroups. Make many public appearances, where-ever you can get a gig.
place books on consignment in stores, attend conferences.
$3,000 for a publicist? Wow, I've never spent that much per year and won't. Besides, word of mouth is still, as numerous surveys confirm, the best advertising. We still build an audience one reader at a time


message 4: by Marc (new)

Marc (AuthorGuy) | 19 comments Don't forget to simply talk about your book wherever you go, mention it wherever you can. Keep cards in your pocket to hand out if anyone looks remotely interested. Look around for local craft fairs in your area, or conventions for your types of books, and get in and sell your books directly.


message 5: by Werner (last edited Jan 10, 2009 08:42AM) (new)

Werner Angela, your local newspaper might be interested in doing a feature story on a local author who's recently published something. Check over some back issues for similar stories to get a by-line; that could serve as your contact person. You might also want to cultivate a relationship with your local public library, donate a copy of your book, and let them know that you'd be interested in doing a book talk and book signing sometime. Often, they'll be glad to sponsor an event like that featuring a local author. Those are venues that worked for me with my small-press novel.

Best of luck with your book!


message 6: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (paguthrie) | 26 comments Couple of good yahoo groups:

RWCList@yahoo.com about 700 writers on there, very helpful people.

Check on other Yahoo writing sistes. I'm a mystery/ suspense author. I'm on Murder Must Advertise (www.mmm@yahoogroups.com) But there are dozens.

I also think the newspaper route is good. Go to library poetry/excerpt reading nights. Market to places that are similar to your topic.

I also think that donating a copy of your book to the library is a great idea.

Good luck


message 7: by Laurel-Rain (last edited Jan 11, 2009 07:58AM) (new)

Laurel-Rain | 11 comments Werner, your ideas are great! I actually did do some of what you're suggesting...I wrote to my local newspaper and sent copies of a couple of my books, with reviews and press releases. They did a blurb on me in a feature on local authors a few months later. I donated a copy of each of my books to my local branch of the library and they put me in touch with the person in charge of buying for the branches. That individual did buy some copies of all my books, which are now in the branches. Then, a few months later, I was invited to the library -- the one to which I donated books -- to participate in a panel discussion, followed by a book signing.

Because of my website work (various ones to which I belong), I was invited to another book signing the next month.

And so it goes...


message 8: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (paguthrie) | 26 comments Good for you Laurel.

This is a great group, isn't it?

Patricia A. Guthrie
Waterlilies Over My Grave 2008
In the Arms of the Enemy 2007


message 9: by Laurel-Rain (new)

Laurel-Rain | 11 comments Yes, I've found so much information and support here.


message 10: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (paguthrie) | 26 comments Hi All. Favor to ask:

http://www.critters.org/predpoll/,


Hi everyone. I've been nominated for "best thriller of 2008" for Waterlilies Over My Grave from the Preditors and Editors Readers Poll. Now--I just need votes!

Would you mind going to the above web address, click on Thrillers and vote for my book Waterlilies Over My Grave. I would appreciate that VERY MUCH.

Patricia A. Guthrie
Waterlilies Over My Grave
In the Arms of the Enemy
"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."
Dr. Randy Pausch




message 11: by Angela (last edited Jan 14, 2009 07:38PM) (new)

Angela | 5 comments Werner wrote: "Angela, your local newspaper might be interested in doing a feature story on a local author who's recently published something. Check over some back issues for similar stories to get a by-line; th..."

The local library rejected my donation based on the lack of book reviews from traditional media. I am in the process of trying to get a traditional book review without having to pay $800 for the NY Times to review it.

I appreciate all the information and experiences everyone has shared. I have found an online website www.armchairinterviews.com that will review my book. I have just mailed it overseas to their European book reviewer and am eagerly waiting for the review to show up in a few weeks.

A girlfriend and fellow writer will be hosting a book signing event at her house later this month. She suggested giving away free copies of the book in exchange for posting reviews on amazon.com.

Again, thank you for all the advice!



message 12: by Werner (new)

Werner Angela, I'd heard of librarians who insisted on having traditional book reviews in hand before they'd select books for purchase, or libraries that had that requirement as a feature of their written collection development policy; but this is the first time I ever heard of one that demanded reviews before accepting a book as a free donation! As a librarian myself, I apologize, on behalf of the profession, for the rudeness and stupidity of some of my colleagues. I can only say that most of us aren't like that, and sincerely appreciate donations.


message 13: by Laurel-Rain (new)

Laurel-Rain | 11 comments Wow! I, too, am stunned that any library would reject "free" books! I don't know where you live, but perhaps my good fortune happened because I live in a relatively small city -- pop. under 500,000 -- and I played the "local author" angle.


message 14: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Kulman (AndreaKulman) | 5 comments My local library told me that it is too expensive to catalog the books. I told them I would donate the book and the cost to catalog, still nada. However, another library accepted it and placed it on their shelf and now other libraries here in Michigan (including my local) are able to borrow it. You have to find the "right" person. The funny thing is- I did not even have to donate it to the other library- they purchased it on their own. YAY!


message 15: by Angela (new)

Angela | 5 comments Wow!

I will continue to see if I can get my book placed in the library. I am thinking of joining the Friends of the Library, a volunteer group that helps with raising funds for the library, and see if that will help lead me in the right direction to find the right person, etc.

If not, I might try to expand my search to other libraries outside my county, including locations where the book takes place.

Thanks again for sharing all of your experiences.


message 16: by Laurel-Rain (new)

Laurel-Rain | 11 comments Yes, I think finding the "right" person is key to entry. My key person happened to be a client of my daughter's (she is a hair stylist). We were both reading, while waiting for our appointments, and she noticed my bookmarks (part of my publicity package for my novels). Our conversation led us to a discussion of the branch library where she works, and incidentally, just around the corner from where I live. She suggested that I come in on her scheduled work days, and she would introduce me to the head librarian. And that was how I gained "entry".

Angela, I think your idea of volunteering sounds like a winner. Who can turn down someone who does so much for the library?


message 17: by James (new)

James Nevius | 1 comments A friend tried to get her book into her local library and the resistance she met with didn't have to do so much with cost as with power. The library had one book buyer who wanted to make EVERY decision. It wasn't based on popularity or reviews, just this particular librarian's desire to play tastemaker for the entire community. So, there are many things to keep in mind when you are turned away.


message 18: by Erin (new)

Erin Quinn (Erin_Quinn) | 5 comments Hi, another good publicity tool is to run a contest on your site every month. You can spice these up by adding chocolates, etc to your book giveaway. If you have more than one book being released, you should always give away the older title--not the new one. (has to do with people entering a contest thinking they will win so not running out to buy the book psychology).

Anyway, I also have a group over on Shelfari called give aways http://www.shelfari.com/groups/28081/... and you can post your contest there. It doesn't have a lot of discussion and it's just getting going, but I post my contest every month and my entries have more than doubled. I also add a giveway book to the goodreads give aways every month--the disadvantage is that you don't get the names/addresses for your mail list from that, but it does drive traffic to my website. Anything to build my reader base.

And last but not least, cross promo is especially effective. I try to feature another author every month on my site. They donate the book of their choice to my contest and in exchange they are featured. What is cool about this is that you can then post in various discussion groups about the great author you are hosting. You might have noticed that most discussion groups are very anti-author self promotion, but if you are talking about someone else, they are open to it. When I host an author one month, they host me another and then we go out and talk each other up. (Readers Digest version of how it works). Make sense?

If anyone in this forum is interested in doing cross promo, let me know. My contact info is on my site, www.erinquinn.info

Erin


message 19: by Laurel-Rain (new)

Laurel-Rain | 11 comments Your ideas sound great, Erin! I checked out that Shelfari group and added it. Now I just need to create some buzz about contests, which sounds like a wonderful way to stimulate interest.


message 20: by Erin (new)

Erin Quinn (Erin_Quinn) | 5 comments Laurel-rain wrote: "Your ideas sound great, Erin! I checked out that Shelfari group and added it. Now I just need to create some buzz about contests, which sounds like a wonderful way to stimulate interest."


You might also want to put your books into the goodread giveways. That generates a lot of traffic to my site as well.



message 21: by Robin (new)

Robin (RobinSullivan) | 14 comments Mod
Angela wrote: "I am a self-published author who is having a challenging time getting my book reviewed, stocked in local bookstores, and placed in the library...."

Reviews are difficult for self-publsished some reviewers won't accept them. I have a few posts on my blog about reviews that you can see here:

http://write2publish.blogspot.com/sea...

As to bookstore - are you POD (print on demand)? If so you will probably have a really hard time as bookstores are used to being able to return unsold copies and POD generally will not accept them. Some POD's allow you to select "returnable" - if you are going this route then definitely take that option. I would suggest that you ask them to "try out" a small number - say 10 - 20 for a signing - and tell them you'll do as many signings as it takes to get them all sold - if they see some traction they might carry it full time after.

Library is actually pretty easy. (Though I've not worked this channel much - I know an author who got into 200 or so libraries just by contacting them. I'll put this on my list of posts to do for my blog in the near future.




message 22: by F.D. (new)

F.D. Crandall (FDCrandall) | 25 comments I too am self-published and I'm having the same problem. Everyone is so helpful here so I'm just going to tag along as this thread grows.


Angela wrote: "I am a self-published author who is having a challenging time getting my book reviewed, stocked in local bookstores, and placed in the library.

I cannot afford to hire a publicist at $3,000/mt..."





message 23: by Lisette (new)

Lisette Brodey (lisette_brodey) | 2 comments Werner wrote: "Angela, I'd heard of librarians who insisted on having traditional book reviews in hand before they'd select books for purchase, or libraries that had that requirement as a feature of their written..."

I took my novel to a local library and the woman looked at me as if I'd crawled out from under a rock. It didn't seemed to matter that I was VERY local. I didn't press it; five other libraries had very gracefully accepted and I'll never beg anyone to take a donation, esp. when I do pay for the books.

I just wish the local libraries would have some place in the library where readers could see which local books are in circulation. The library across the street from where I went to high school took my book out of circulation because nobody knew it was there. I know so many people in this area and I know it would have been taken out if people knew to look for it. :(

Nothing easy about any of it.


message 24: by Beckie (new)

Beckie | 6 comments Wow! Thanks for the tip about Book Tour. I just signed up and listed my next two events. Thank you so much! What a great site!


message 25: by Quinton (new)

Quinton Wall (quintonwall) | 7 comments So many good ideas --- thanks for sharing! I have been getting a lot of interest from 3 primary sources.

1) setting up a Facebook Fan page (see http://www.facebook.com/advertising/?...)
2) setting up an Amazon Connect page (see http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html...)
3) Keep John Kremer's book close at hand (see http://www.amazon.com/1001-Ways-Marke...)
4) twitter & blog a lot! - network, network, network
5) add a signature to any email you send out linking back to your site/s

Hope that help, and I would love it if you all joined my facebook 'fan' page. I will certainly return the favor: http://bit.ly/theseedofhopefan

Quinton Wall
Breakthrough debut novel, The Seed of Hope, available for pre-order now: http://bit.ly/theseedofhope
Connect with me on facebook @ http://bit.ly/theseedofhopefan
Get exclusive book tweet updates by following @quintonwall
http://quintonwall.com



message 26: by Cliff (last edited May 18, 2009 09:12AM) (new)

Cliff Ball (cliffball) | 8 comments I work for the Wichita Falls Public Library and we take all kinds of new authors' books as donations, probably because our Collections Librarian isn't even remotely picky about what we put on our shelves. We also have a major author about 20 miles south of us(Larry McMurtry), which probably helps to keep everyone from having snobby attitudes about POD and self-published books around here. Heck, I e-mailed Midwestern State University last year for my very first novella, which had no LCCN, and they bought a copy and placed it on their shelf, probably because I'm a student and told them! lol


message 27: by Bernadette (new)

Bernadette (bernadettesimpson) Quinton wrote: "So many good ideas --- thanks for sharing! I have been getting a lot of interest from 3 primary sources.

1) setting up a Facebook Fan page (see http://www.facebook.com/advertising/?...)
2) sett..."


Hey Quinton-
Good advice. I have not looked into Amazon Connect and it seems to be temporarily unavailable. What are the benefits of this program? How does it work? I'll have to check back into in a few days.

I 'fanned' you on FB! Check out my Facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/An-ABC-...

Bernadette Simpson
author and publisher of An ABC Escapade through Egypt
http://www.bernadettesimpson.com




message 28: by Quinton (new)

Quinton Wall (quintonwall) | 7 comments Bernadette wrote: "Quinton wrote: "So many good ideas --- thanks for sharing! I have been getting a lot of interest from 3 primary sources.

1) setting up a Facebook Fan page (see http://www.facebook.com/advertising..."


Thanks for the fan post. Amazon Connect is basically a way author's can blog directly on Amazon's page, and interact with their audience. check out http://bit.ly/theseedofhope for an example.

Good luck!

Quinton



message 29: by A. Colin (new)

A. Colin Wright (AColinWright) | 29 comments Quinton wrote: "Bernadette wrote: "Quinton wrote: "So many good ideas --- thanks for sharing! I have been getting a lot of interest from 3 primary sources.

1) setting up a Facebook Fan page (see http://www.faceb..."


Looks like good advice except that I'm having trouble with both facebook and amazon connect.

Colin Wright

www.sardiniansilver.com
www.acolinwright.ca





message 30: by Quinton (new)

Quinton Wall (quintonwall) | 7 comments A Colin wrote: "Quinton wrote: "Bernadette wrote: "Quinton wrote: "So many good ideas --- thanks for sharing! I have been getting a lot of interest from 3 primary sources.

1) setting up a Facebook Fan page (see ..."


What sort of problem? Can I help?
Also I would love it if all the authors on this site registered for each others facebook fan page etc? I will certainly return the favor, and help us all grow our network of contacts.

Quinton Wall
http://quintonwall.com
Breakthrough debut novel, The Seed of Hope, available for pre-order now: http://bit.ly/theseedofhope
Connect with me on facebook @ http://bit.ly/theseedofhopefan
Get exclusive book tweet updates by following @quintonwall



message 31: by Bernadette (new)

Bernadette (bernadettesimpson) Amazon Connect is Author Central now and seems to be up and running.



message 32: by Bradley (new)

Bradley | 9 comments Promoting is as simple as getting out there and talking to people. Talk to them and then work in your book. I sold 40 copies of my book at my former place of employment. =)

Dreamsbane of Tamalor by Bradley James Simpson


message 33: by Dwayne (last edited Sep 17, 2009 01:29PM) (new)

Dwayne Kavanagh | 5 comments The advice on this thread is amazing. I have a publicist and she is working very hard for me. There is always so much that we can do. I appreciate all the advice.

I did Talk Radio and had a local news paper article published. That was great exposure but I think the key here, is frequency...You have to try and get every cylinder firing. I'm working on more talk shows, book signings and readings. The book release party was a great way to get the books into readers' hands.

I set up a Facebook group as well as a fan page.
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/gro...

http://www.facebook.com/pages/edit/?i...

I'm giving away free copies here on Goodreads via a contest.

I have a web site.
www.dwaynekavanagh.com



message 34: by K.L. (new)

K.L. Brady (KarlaB27) | 1 comments Hello All,

Some great advice here. I too am self published and don't have a lot of money for a publicist. I have just a few suggestions.

1. If you're POD, use Lightning Source. It's a subsidiary of Ingram and will allow you to access bookstores. You can designate your book as returnable and stipulate the standard industry discount (at least 40% if you want stores to stock your book).

2. Check on sites like meetup.com and Yahoo groups for book clubs. So many now are willing to support indie writers they just need to know who you are.

3. Set up a Kindle edition of you book and sell it very cheaply as a start up rate. Then hit the kindle sites and advertise it. I sold 14 kindle books yesterday alone. I didn't make a lot of money BUT it'll help start generating word of mouth and some reader reviews.

My book has been out less than a month now, but it was ranked #95 in African American books on Amazon yesterday. It pays off if you keep plugging at it.


message 35: by Sandra McLeod (new)

Sandra McLeod (SandraHumphrey) | 19 comments Hi, Quinton
I tried to visit your author page on Amazon, but I couldn't get the link to work (could be my computer). While I was there though, I tagged your book.
Sandy


message 36: by Linked (new)

Linked Authors (linkedauthors) | 2 comments LinkedAuthors International Association is a not-for-profit,
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message 37: by Bradley (new)

Bradley | 9 comments My library does not turn away free books. I finally got the courage up and did it. They were happy and surprised to know I have a published work. Try it. =)


message 38: by Holly (new)

Holly Weiss (HollyWeiss) Hello. My book, Crestmont is listed as historical fiction and is doing well. Two librarian friends have said I should explore the YA category. my main character is 22 yrs. old with family estrangement issues and several characters are teenagers. Set in the 1920s, it is a "clean read". Any pointers on how to explore the YA market?
Thank you


message 39: by Christa (new)

Christa | 12 comments Angela wrote: "I am a self-published author who is having a challenging time getting my book reviewed, stocked in local bookstores, and placed in the library.

I cannot afford to hire a publicist at $3,000/mt..."


Hi Angela, I am an independent author as well. I have an ebook and paperback version of my novel. I haven't tried the library or bookstores but I am active on Amazon, Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook. I have a website and a blog. A fellow author of mine is in the process of doing a blog tour, visiting book blogs. The aim is to promote his own books but also to raise awareness of the many book blogs which cater to self-published authors. And most of those do book reviews. He emphasizes ebooks but many of the blogs accept both paperback and ebooks for reviews. Check it out. Here is his website with the information. Click on the Win Me icon and you get a list of the blogs:
http://www.hauntedcomputer.com
Good luck!
Christa Polkinhorn
Author of Love of a Stonemason
www.christa-polkinhorn.com


message 40: by Bradley (new)

Bradley | 9 comments For whatever it is worth. I do reviews. Being a stay-at-home dad makes it hard for me to write, but my boy does not mind me reading. =)


message 41: by Bradley (new)

Bradley | 9 comments You could try contacting Otis directly. Oh great captain and creator of Goodreads. Or you could look into the "librarian" status chat groups where they look into that kind of stuff. =)


message 42: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (lindsay_edmunds) | 6 comments Self-publishing authors (that includes me in a few weeks) can get practical advice and cheerleading from JA Konrath's blog, A Newbie's Guide to Publishing

http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/


message 43: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (lindsay_edmunds) | 6 comments A fellow author of mine is in the process of doing a blog tour, visiting book blogs. The aim is to promote his own books but also to raise awareness of the many book blogs which cater to self-published authors. And most of those do book reviews. He emphasizes ebooks but many of the blogs accept both paperback and ebooks for reviews. Check it out. Here is his website with the information. Click on the Win Me icon and you get a list of the blogs:
http://www.hauntedcomputer.com
Christa Polkinhorn
Author of Love of a Stonemason
www.christa-polkinhorn.com


Christa, thank you for this link. Scott Nicholson is doing some impressive work.

Lindsay


message 44: by Christa (new)

Christa | 12 comments Yeah, I know. Besides, he has a great sense of humor and some of the comments are hilarious. It's fun and, hey, you could win a Kindle reader!
Christa


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