Advice for authors:
Recently I have discovered the pains of promotion. Becoming published, undoubtedly, was the hardest hurdle to jump through. But now you’re here! What’s next?
Promotion, promotion, promotion.
Let me preface anything I’m about to write, by saying, that while promotion is essential to the success of your novel, you don’t want to cram your book down people’s throat. There’s a time and place for everything.
Example: one of your co-workers great-grandmother dies, it probably isn’t a good idea to show up in black, coincidentally holding a brand new copy of your book. “Hey….sorry to hear about Grandma Beatrice, but maybe you wouldn’t mind distributing copies of my novel since there’s a huge crowd here today.”
Think about an awesome song that just came out. We love it when it comes on the radio, but after hearing it over and over and over, you get tired of it. Your book is no different, trust me. When you use your social media outlets, mix it up with other interests, not just, “Buy my book, buy my book, and please buy my book!”
I try not only to promote my own novels, but others as well. My interests mainly are in reading, so I like to share what I’m reading and I like to reach out to other authors and help them promote their books, too!
Onward and upward!
If you are traditionally published your publisher should submit ARC’s (advanced reader copies) to reviewers. If you’re self-published, you need to have some of these folks lined up beforehand. Look up different promotional/tour companies that will help promote your book. This usually comes with a fee.
Regardless if you’re traditionally or self-published, you still need to try and line up reviewers willing to read and review your novel. Look for reviewers in your genre on Twitter, FB, Goodreads.
The critical piece of reviewers:
First: submitting a request to a reviewer is much like submitting your novel to literary agents and publishers. Follow their guidelines! Make sure that your novel falls into the genre’s they read, otherwise you are wasting their time and your time.
Secondly: Be prepared to send them a FREE copy of your novel once a reviewer has accepted your request. Your publisher may provide you with X-amount of free copies, if not, then you must buy or gift the reviewer. Most reviewers will not purchase the book themselves, and that makes sense to me.
Thirdly: Once reviews have been posted to sites such as GR, Amazon, B&N, etc. smile at the good reviews, and do NOT, under any circumstances, ever reply to a bad review. Think reverse-Nike mode: JUST DON’T DO IT! Period! You can do this instead:)
Let me ramble on regarding bad reviews. If you’re published and someone other than your mother is reviewing your book, you need to brace yourself. You will at some point receive a harsh review. It’s just a fact of life. Remember, it’s not what happens to you in life, it’s how you react to it. You can go on GR and Amazon right now and search for a NY Times Bestseller, check out the reviews, and I’ll bet you my next paycheck, there will be more than one scathing review, and I mean brutal.
Having reviewed some novels myself, I don’t have it in me to write horrid reviews. If I cannot make it through a book, I usually just don’t write anything. But I’m not every reviewer. They are all different.
When shopping for a novel, do you read the reviews? If so, how does that sway your decision in regards to buying or not buying?
Recently, I purchased a novel from Amazon and the reviews were pretty bad, but it was in relation to the poor grammar/misspellings, etc. I bought the book because the pitch was interesting and when I stumbled across the poor grammar, I knew it going into the book and was able to overlook it because I’m not an editor, I’m a reader and writer and was looking for the story, not all the flaws. Of course, most folks are not like that but I’m only speaking to how everyone is different.
I also want to mention with promotion that it’s a wonderful idea to participate in blog hops. They attract attention to your website and your books. Plus, it’s fun! And speaking of blog hops, here’s the next one I’m participating in:
Stay tuned for details on prizes!