But there’s no harm in sharing!
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Pure Slush Books, Truth Serum Press and Everytime Press are micropublishers. They publish books, but in a small way. They are not major publishers, nor do they have a major publisher’s resources. Which means promotion of your book must be inventive, and in the long-run will be largely up to you.
Authors of print books Pure Slush Books, Truth Serum Press and Everytime Press have published have contributed to the list below, in action and in writing!
A short and insightful article on book promotion, written for Black Heart Magazine, can be found by clicking here.
There are many ways you can promote your book. These are just some …
1. Have a launch party for your book. This should include
- readings from the book (which you can record and then upload onto YouTube)
- a cake with the book’s cover on it (photographs well, tastes even better).
- other drinks and snacks, which may be relevant to the plot and / or characters of your book
- holding the launch at a time and place people can make it without taking time off work, so in the evening or on a weekend. (Evening works better.)
2. Get people who buy it to send you pictures of it, that they don’t mind being shared on Facebook. Someone purchased a Pure Slush book and then took a picture of it on their boat in the Pacific and this was posted online, with a snappy caption about the book travelling all over the world … and where next?
3. Encourage people who’ve read it to write a review for their own site, someone else’s site, and/or Amazon – if they’re a friend or family member, encourage them to declare the tie so it’s credible.
4. Give away copies of the book on a site where they give an in depth review and have a decent readership – be sure to promote this and link to it in Facebook groups and on twitter etc. Encourage discussion in the comments.
5. Write guestblogs where you can mention your book (without it being too blatant a plug) and something that would interest a reader in it. Write about your path to publication, tips, warnings, highpoints, lowpoints (in an amusing way), and any particular favourite pieces. Think about what interests you in other people’s blogs and interviews and see if there’s anything similar you can do with yours.
6. Approach other websites and see if they would be interested in doing a podcast of one of the stories in your book (so long as there’s some kind of mention of who’s publishing the book and where the listener can buy it).
7. Have other short pieces or chapters published on other sites and make sure your book, the publisher, and where to buy it are mentioned in the bio – especially if it’s a site where you’re likely to be interviewed too. The more a reader gets to know you and likes you, or feels a connection with you, the more interested they’re likely to be in your book and the more they’ll root for you and it.
8. Get some flyers made – Vistaprint are cheap (well, they were at one time and may still be) and can look professional – make sure there are no typos, and ask cafés, libraries, shops etc if you can put them up. Enclose one or two with every signed copy you post off.
9. And further, if you are having a launch or another promotional event, list the websites or locations where your book is available to purchase on a flyer. It can be hard knowing how many copies (as an author) to have for sale at such an event, so a flyer like this can be very useful.
10. Have the cover on your business card, and discreetly hand it out whenever you can.
11. If you see an interesting article, preferably with images, that has a strong link to something in one of the stories in your book, link to it online and mention that. Don’t try for a hardsell approach, let people ask you about your book and respond nicely. An example would be when Gill Hoffs came across an article on drowned villages, and wrote a little bit about being fascinated with them and how they helped inspire The Rabbit and the Dam in her book.
12. Ask cafés or other small businesses that sell locally produced items if they would consider carrying a copy or two in return for a set percentage. With their permission, take a nice photo of your book there, and post it with a thank you and where to find them online. Gill’s was in the Daisy Cupcake Café in Ayr, and she made sure to mention how delicious their cakes were and what her favourite flavour was. A blanket thank you is boring, be specific, and help promote them in return.
13. Ask sites / journals that have previously published the stories in your book (if any) if they would help promote the book in some way. Be gracious, and make sure you give them an ‘out’ so they don’t feel cornered, and you don’t have your feelings hurt if it’s a no.
14. Perform readings at open mic nights and literature festivals, with business cards, flyers, and copies to hand – and change in case someone buys some.
15. If there’s a special offer on the site printing your book, mention it as a heads-up to anyone considering buying a copy from the site.
16. Establish a Pinterest site and include photos of things that are relevant to your book’s plot, characters, setting or development.
17. Establish an Instagram site (see 15. above).
18. Include a taste of page, with great quotes from the stories or chapters in your book.
19. Approach websites that include reviews and book interviews to review your book and / or interview you about the book.
20. Promote the book on your own site or blog and personal social media channels.
21. Promote the book online, on social media, and in other ways:
- tell your email networks about your book, and include a direct link to your book’s webpage. This includes family, friends, writers, and groups;
- put a note on your Facebook or other social media pages, if you have them … and include a direct link to your book’s webpage;
- tweet on Twitter if you have a Twitter account too;
- put a note on the pages of any online groups you may belong to;
- advertise in online writers’ forums, and include a direct link to your book’s webpage;
- advertise it on your blog, if you have one: don’t just include the link, but actually mention your book on your blog too;
- send a text message to your contacts and include the link;
- wherever you list or mention your book, include a brief description of what your book is about, or even better, include a telling excerpt that won’t give the plot away.
21. Design colouring-in sheets, based on your book’s cover and / or artwork, to hand out at your book launch or elsewhere, for both children and adults.
23. Schedule readings at local bookstores.
24. Approach local radio stations about appearing on one or more of their programmes. Local / community radio stations often have arts (or writing specific) programmes who are always looking for local writers to come on and talk about their writing.
25. If you are appearing on local / community radio (see 23 above), make sure you contact local bookstores and arrange for them to stock copies of your book. This can be either on consignment (so you would place copies with the bookstore yourself, and the store adds a profit margin) or the store would order copies from wholesalers / distributors.
26. Approach your local library to stock your book. Many libraries are part of library networks, but then multiple copies can be purchased and made available. Libraries can also be great places to hold a book launch.
27. Hold a launch or reading or other event if your is book set in a certain place or town or location, at that particular place. This provides more interest for readers, possible buyers and also local media.
28. Contact local media and run the “local writer has a new book out” angle by them! This is even better if your book is set locally too. Ask to be interviewed, or give a copy for them to review.
29. Have a public countdown ’til your book is available to buy. Social media is great for this … “Only 21 days ’til insert book title here is available to buy”, etc, “Only 20 days …”
30. Launch your book in conjunction with a local eventbeing held by another business or organisation. This will depend upon the nature of your book … is it a cook book about baking cakes? Then launch it with a local fair or fête with a cake stall and a cake bake-off! Or simply promote your book at the event. Is your book about the history of your local town? Then launch it at the town’s annual birthday celebration/s.
31. Write a press release. Bloggers find it very useful for adding info to a bio (of you as a guest) and a brief bit about the book you are promoting.
32. Approach schools, colleges and universities you used to attend (especially if they have creative writing courses) and
- ask to visit the institution as a guest, and while there read from / promote your book
- offer to chair or participate in discussion panels
- pursue the idea of your book being listed on the institution’s reading / study list.
33. As per the last point above, approach any education institution to include your book on the institution’s reading / study list.