Today, authors must self promote their work if they hope to sell the end product after months or years of hard work. The days of receiving a hefty royalty check from a publishing house seem to have gone by the wayside for the majority of authors. Of course, if you're a famous author who has signed on to write a series or if you're someone who is in the news, there's a fairly good chance that a publishing house might pay millions to be able to tell your story.
Promoting books or even just promoting yourself as an author is hard work. And I think that's something most people don't really consider. Writing is work! Sure, the creativity muse wakes me up each morning and guides me to my computer, but as a self-employed person, a writer needs discipline to create the final product.
So once that book is written, an author needs to establish a relationship with the media. Authors need to set their work apart from the other 150,000+ books that are published each year.
How do you do this? Create promotional pieces that generate buzz!
Step one is to make a list of media outlets you'd like to reach. Do you simply want to have a listing in a magazine that offers book reviews? Or is your ultimate goal to make it on the Today Show and have Meredith, Ann, or Matt discuss your work with you while you're sitting in the studio by Rockefeller Plaza? Are you listed on Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.com?
Next, you need to consider marketing materials, including postcards, book marks, business cards, posters, and book trailers - which seems to be the latest craze in book marketing. I've seen several on YouTube which are fantastic!
Reviews are a vital part of promotion. Submit your work to reputable book review sites and magazines. It appears that many newspapers are cutting book reviews, but regional newspapers might be a good place to generate book buzz.
Host a book signing at book stores or libraries. Even offer to read from your work while you're there. Hopefully, that will generate even more interest which will lead to increased sales.
Authors need a website to showcase their work. Why not write a blog about your book? Or while you're working on the book, why not blog about your progress?
Press releases to the media offer an outlet to announce the publication of your work. I know that Author House sends press releases when books are released, and I'm sure other publishers do the same. If not, create your own. After all, you are a writer.
You get out of it what you put into it. This is definitely true with self-promotion, but if you want to establish yourself and make your work stand out, an author must learn to set himself or herself apart from the others.
All it takes is creativity.