Wednesday, August 11

Are You Ready To Promote?

what right do I have to post about the promotion of a book when I haven't sold a book? I'm a reporter in real life, so I have a few contacts ... and when I come across something useful I like to pass it on.
So, without further ado, a few tips for promoting online:

First, timing is everything! I don't just mean 2 months or 2 weeks before a book release, I mean specific times of day. A new survey from Cambridge University found that the word "book" is Twittered (that social platform where you micro-blog in less than 300 words) most in the evenings. In fact, researchers found that 'book' out-Twittered movies during evening time period. You can read all about the survey here.

Second, what should you promote? In a micro-blog like Twitter or Facebook, keep it short and sweet. Use a shortened URL to direct readers to your website. Use a post like: Details on my new release (you could even use the hook) and then place the short URL after. And keep the updates coming. If you're running a contest, Tweet and Facebook it. Figure out hash-tags for Twitter so you're posts will be linked with other posts. Be as conversational as possible and update your own blog (if you have one) regularly and consider posting 'cutting room floor' scenes or other snippets... blog with friends who are releasing around the time you are and invest a little time in researching review and author blogs to see which blogs might give your book a slightly higher profile.

Third, speaking of book promoting on blogs, consider a blog tour. Sign up to guest-blog in places like Goddess Fish or other hubs.  Visit reader and writer blogs and join the conversation. No, that doesn't mean just a 'yeah, me, too' type comment. You need to add something to the conversation. Check in regularly with your writer's lists (RWA chapter lists, groups like Shirley Jumps 'Just Write It', etc.)

Promoting on the Internet does mean an investment of time, but the rewards are there...just do a little planning and you'll be great!

Any other ideas for social promoting, how to save time (so you can write that next book!) while promoting or the Internet in general? Drop a line in the comments...


  1. First thing to remember, the agent is a human being, not a god. Just talk to her like a normal person. Long ago I used to call up the food editor of the Washington post to pitch food articles and be all nervous w/ my heart pounding. try to relax.

    Second, be able to describe your book in a few sentences. Let her know your writing background. When I sold a single title (after writing tons of Harlequin Intrigues) I was pretty sure I had to write the whole book to sell it. So I focused FINISHING THE BOOK before pitching to an agent. sorry about that, but I think they want to know you can finish a long project and pull off what you said you were going to do.
    Rebecca York

  2. Great post Kristi....I'm still working on twitter...going to just have to buckle down and DO IT....

    and good point rebecca...finish the'm a fine one to talk there!


  3. Thanks for coming by Rebecca! Great tips, I so agree!

    Carrie, I have Twitter-envy. Have an account, like it well enough but I don't really 'get' it. sigh...

  4. Rebecca York came by our blog!!!!
    Holy crap!!
    I'm stoked.
    Do people still say that?!!!

  5. Kristi,
    I can't think of anything I'd rather not do that promo!

  6. Good post, and I think Rebecca's right about finishing. I have to admit, though, it's a whole lot harder dealing with a rejection on a finished product than on a partial. Guess it's just part of the crapshoot of our chosen profession.

  7. I'm going to side with the expert on this one. Everything I've read, everything I've heard points to finishing the book first. You'll have plenty of time to pitch it while writing the next one. If an agent requests a full, they don't want to wait who knows how long for you to bang out an ending (and if you rush, will it be any good?) Patience is a virtue I completely lack, but sometimes it fits the bill.