I've spent the better part of today surfing the Internet on ways to promote my first book. Believe me, there are plenty of ideas out there. Just Google "Promoting your Book." Then choose any of the links. You'll find something you can use whether it is a new book or one you published two years ago. One article told a story of someone making a best seller's list and increasing sales a year after publication.
I'll list a few of the ideas I found. First of all be in contact with your publisher's promotion department. Learn what they plan before you jump in and take over. Many ideas I found deal with self-publishing but some address how to help the publisher promote your book. All ideas work for publisher generated books.
1. Start locally. Contact as many local media as possible. Create interest in an interview with you even if you have to write an article yourself. Don't depend on a press release but pass them a hook that gets them interested in your book.
2. Identify your audience. Before an attempt to promote, decide which audience best suits your book. In my case, audiences include children, parents, museums, elementary classroom teachers, libraries, parenting and senior magazines and history teachers even as high as middle school. Under each of those headings I could add organizations which support the audience - PTA, school media managers, library associations and magazines. There are many more to consider.
3. Make your own advertisements. Create business cards and bookmarks focusing on your book. You could even make bumper stickers with the name of your book or a personalized T-shirt to wear while grocery shopping. Style a license plate holder with the name of your book or your book's website. Contact local bookstore event managers to line up a book signing. Design a button that advertises your book and wear it constantly. One of the Chicken Soup books that carried two of my stories sent each author buttons to wear. They created a lot of interest.
4. Book signings. Don't just sign books. Prepare a presentation to tease the audience into purchasing your book. In my case, I've already planned a PowerPoint presentation. If that isn't possible, I'll take a Russell print and do some of the activities from the book.
5. Be sure you have an elevator pitch ready to answer the question "What is your book about?" On our cruise, several new acquaintances questioned me. I have a short description that I think creates an interest.
6. Network. Don't pass up any opportunity to speak or network with organizations such as book clubs, churches, Newcomers. Drum up your own speaking opportunities.
7. Write magazine articles about your book subject. I've sold articles on playing games in an art museum. I think I'll remarket the articles and include information for buying the book to play some of those games at home with your children/grandchildren.
8. Here is a small list of blogs or websites with information pertaining to promotion
www.adlebooks.com/kremer.htm - an interview with John Kremer on promotion, platform, networking and speaking
http://www.promotingyourbook.com/ - No BS guide to promotion
http://www.promotingyourbooks.com/ - similar to above but with several focuses
www.bobbaker.com/qu/10ways.html - an article on promotion
Whether promoting a new book or an older release, consider bumping up interest in the ways I've suggested or those from the websites.
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