After years of work, book publication day can feel like the end of a long journey. It’s tempting to sit back, relax, and move on to the next writing project. But publication is only the beginning. The next part of the process, promoting your novel, can be a tricky area to navigate. Should you start a blog? Use giveaways? Hire a skywriter? I’ve tried a few different strategies with various results. Check out the list below for my thoughts on what’s worked for my indie novel, 27 Days to Midnight.
- Social media
Social media is a very powerful tool for authors. Before your book is published, set up a Twitter account dedicated to your writing and look at the kinds of things experienced authors in your genre post about. They promote their books, certainly, but they’re mainly focused on creating entertaining content. Twitter followers don’t want to read endless book advertisements. Instead, try posting about your writing techniques, what you’re reading, or how your cat won’t get off the keyboard. If you have an interesting Twitter account, people will assume your book is just as engaging. Plus, it’s an excellent way to connect with other authors!
I don’t use personally Facebook for promotion beyond my group of real-life friends, but I know writers who have had success with it. Just be sure to use separate accounts for your personal Facebook and your professional Facebook!
- Blog tours
Blog tours are the online alternative to physical book tours. Instead of traveling between cities, you move from blog to blog, with guest posts, interviews, excerpts, giveaways, and/or reviews at each virtual destination. I’ve found them to be one of the most effective ways of promoting a book. They’re organized through book promotion companies, who will choose bloggers for your tour based on their fit for your book and their interest in participating. If you have a new book that needs reviews or if you want to build hype for an existing book, tours are a great way to spread the word to a wide network of readers. Keep in mind that bloggers will give honest reviews of your book. Some may like it, some may not!
- Events and festivals
While online marketing is easy and popular, it shouldn’t be your only tool. Sometimes, there’s no alternative to physically promoting your book. Try contacting independent bookstores in your area and asking if they hold book signings. You can also volunteer to hold writing workshops or Q&A sessions to help new writers along.
An indie bookstore held a fantastic launch party for my book. I invited all my friends, posted flyers downtown, and talked about it on social media. I ended up selling out of copies! I also connected with some great bookstore employees and met another author who became a friend.
Many cities will also hold festivals to promote local artisans. This includes authors! There is usually a fee to participate, but you’ll be able to market your book to a wide audience. I’ve sold many books like this.
- Word of mouth
No doubt your family and friends are already eager to read the book you’ve been working on. Pull them into the promotion too! Ask them to talk about it with people they think might be interested (friends, coworkers, etc.). Offer to sign books if anyone is interested in buying one.
- Other strategies
There are other promotional strategies that I haven’t tried yet. Things such as contacting a local newspaper, donating books to libraries, and going on a physical book tour. Many authors also create writing blogs to discuss book-related topics. This can be an effective way to build a fan base. Personally, I prefer using Twitter instead of a blog, since it saves time that I use to write and read in my genre. But if blogging is something you’re interested in, I know authors who swear by it! Try out different ways of promoting your book and see which ones work best for you.
About 27 Days to Midnight
27 Days to Midnight
by Kristine Kruppa
Publisher: Giant Squid Books
Publication Date: May 3rd 2016
Genre: YA Steampunk Adventure
Everyone in Dahlia’s world knows when they’re going to die. Except her.
Her father has never shown her the pocket watch counting down the days she has left to live. When he sacrifices himself to save her from her scheduled death, Dahlia abandons her comfortable home and sets off after his murderer to uncover the secrets her father died to protect…and the time research that could bring him back to life.
Then she meets Farren Reed. She should hate him. He’s an enemy soldier, a cowardly deserter, and the most insufferable man Dahlia’s ever met. Still, she needs all the help she can get, and Farren is the only chance she has to find the man who murdered her father. But Farren has only twenty-seven days left on his watch.
In that time, Dahlia must recover her father’s time research, foil a psychotic general’s plot, and learn to survive in a world that will never be the same. But the research holds secrets more dangerous than she had ever imagined. She will have to choose what is most important: revenge, Farren’s life, or her own. And time is running out.
About the Author
Kristine Kruppa is a mechanical engineer, writer, and world traveler. Her days are spent
designing cool new car parts, but her evenings are filled with writing and cats. She has traveled solo to seventeen countries on five continents. Her other hobbies include hunting for the perfect cup of coffee, exploring used book stores, and accidentally climbing mountains. To keep up with her adventures, follow Kristine on Twitter @kskruppa.
(Author photo credit: Sunny Wong)