The Promo Zone

self promoCan you sell your novels without promoting your work? Possibly, but discoverability is such a huge issue in the current avalanche of books and other media available to your readers that the question is “why would you handicap yourself by not promoting your books?” After all, you should be the person most passionate about them. Share that passion.

With Hero Duty releasing on 1 June, I’m thinking hard about what promotion means in 2014.

Back in 2010, when I started with Carina Press it was relatively simple — although it didn’t feel it at the time. You nabbed your website address, built the site, learned to blog, joined Facebook, panicked about it, joined Twitter, panicked about it, and then, hoped for the best. You probably joined or organised a few blog tours, too.

These days all of that is taken for granted as part of an author’s job. [We’re busy people] Personally, though, I doubt the effectiveness of blog tours. Instead, pick two or three blogs that resonate with the book you’re releasing and focus on quality posts there. Be super-nice to the blogs’ owners and their audiences. Include a giveaway if possible.

HeroDutypromoBut to go back to Facebook and Twitter (and Google Plus), they’re evolving to focus on and favour posts that share images. So, even if as an author your focus and skill set is words, start thinking visually. I’m using my procrastination time to create graphics that can be shared during Hero Duty‘s release week. As you can see, the graphics don’t have to be complicated. Aim for bright, eye-catching and easily re-shared.

Most of all, remember that promo isn’t all glitz and glamour and an immediate pay-off. Build your platform (I hate that phrase, but it’s like any cliche: using it, you understand what I mean) across all social media; interacting most on the social medium where you’re most comfortable. Be real and be there.jbay



16 Replies to “The Promo Zone”

  1. So wonderful of you to share your experiences with us daunted newbies. LOL Not sure I needed another procrastination pursuit. 😉

    And if you ever catch up with Doctor Who's TARDIS, put me down for a visit. 🙂

    1. Tardis! thank you for supplying one of the many gaps in my memory 🙂 I'll go steal one now!

      D, I still feel like such a newbie and in some ways I can't imagine ever losing the feeling. Everything tech-social media-ish changes so fast. It's continuous learning. No wonder my memory has tardis-sized holes!

  2. Thanks Jenny
    I'm going to investigate that site. I tend to use photos or share graphics but creating my own would be good. I live pic monkey for adding text to photos but I'm no expert. Good post. I also doubt the value of blog tours. I think they get you followers and facebook likers so they build your platform but don't necessarily sell books which is why you wanted the platform in the first place.

  3. Great advice, Jenny. I'm just starting out so your sage words are quite timely for a newbie-pubbed author like me! I love FB, don't get Twitter (but am trying), and have been kindly invited by a few fellow RWA established authors to appear on their blogs…so perhaps I'm on the right track after all…Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

    1. It sure sounds like you're on the right track, Amy Rose. As a very reluctant venturer into social media one thing reassures me, no matter what I get wrong, as long as I'm always polite, it can be fixed! Politeness seems a very under-rated virtue *dismounts from hobbyhorse* 🙂

  4. Great advice, Jenny. I must say I look at all the groovy graphics on Facebook and have major envy. Need to work out how to do them. You must come and visit and show me! 🙂

    1. Would love to! Would love to go to the Sydney conference and finally meet you there, but not going to happen this year *sigh* The only problem with graphics is that creating them becomes an addictive procrastination tool 🙂