Friday, August 24, 2007

Be A Road Runner! By Rob Walker

It takes infinite energy and speed to gather any sort of momentumfor a book, and so nowadays one does not begin at the beginning of what seems the marketing cycle. Instead one begins well before the book is published. There are many steps you can take to get some notice for your book before it comes out in publication. Notice the public in publication? Get on the"wire" wherever you can find it and spread the word. No easy task, I know. I have done it for over forty books. Begin small and build up. Begin with family and friends. If you can get anything early from your publisher in the way of say covers, get them. Posters, get them. If not consider making your own. No time for shyness here. While working at the local Starbucks on your next opus, put up your sign. You would be surprised how many people it will attract and you can drop your card on them--remembering to put the pub date on the back and maybe where the book will be availalble. Push this out to family and friends. The business card with your book cover as backdrop is the easiest and quickest way to get the word well as the cheapest. If you have garnered any early reveiws and they are great and short, say two or three paragraphs, or if you have cudos from other authors or peers, duplicate and laminate those suckers and hand them out. Then move past the local scene.

Your next job is to get on the computer and contact every local newspaper in your area about your upcoming book, and use the"platform" or nuts and bolts of your mystery to entice a story out of a reporter. Then go for the larger newspapers. Send each a NEWS item in the form of a NEWS release. The more pointed the"nonfiction" elements of your story, say if it is centered around child endangerment or the condition of the nation, or financial ruin in the housing get the idea. Play up the angle a newsman can use. You can't get discouraged either when, after sending out fifty or even a hundred News Releases you get two responses.

Of course, today we all know to BLOG and on our blogs we can BRAG about our latest and its coming out when, and where, and who's behind it? We also have our websites where we can play it up big. Every bookstore needs a marquee so we writers can have our names in lights. Borders could take a lesson here. For years I have said bookstores oughta have overhead marquees upon which it is stated who is signing when.

Every ounce of your advertising imagination is needed to sell a book. Murder Must Advertise is a wonderful source of inspiration for marketing. On this site everyone talks about successes and failures in this area. A place to learn from. Good luck with the hardest part of writing -- selling it with a look.

Rob Walker

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