by Lori Soard
Promotion can be time-consuming and confusing for authors. How much is too much? How much is enough? When it comes to promotion, too much is never too much. What does enhance or decrease from effectiveness is the TYPE of promotion. Here are a few tried and true tips I’ve learned along the way.
1) Hire a publicist as soon as you have the extra funds. This might mean using 10% to pay the publicist rather than an agent.
2) Promote yourself not your book. By the time you print postcards, bookmarks, or any other item, mail it out, and someone actually LOOKS at it, your book’s shelf life will more than likely be over. Instead of increasing sales, you could be losing out on sales on your current release. Instead, promote your name. Always print your web address on any promotional material. If you must put the title of your book, this should be in addition to your name in bold letters and your website.
3) Create a catch phrase. This is probably one of the hardest things to come up with and the help of a good publicist or advertising agency can be well worth the small amount you’ll have to pay. Think of some of the best known authors and what their catch phrases are. Stephen King is the King of Horror (see the play on words? King is the King). My catch phrase is Read Cutting Edge Books by Author Lori Soard (play on words again–cutting edge and the last name Soard <pronounced Sword>).
4) Utilize unusual promotions to get media attention. The odder the better. This is where a good publicity firm can really come into play. My PR firm has come up with an online slumber party this year for my birthday. Radio and newspaper media have already been in contact. It’s different. It’s really hard to find something unusual though, so I always turn to the professionals.
5) Unless you believe it might be detrimental to your career or homelife (for example posing in Playboy probably wouldn’t be on my top ten list of things to do in my lifetime), then never pass up a promotion. But please do use common sense.
Finally, if you just can’t afford a promoter right now, at least inlist some of your more creative friends and family members to help you come up with some unusual ideas. Remember, contests are always popular. People love the chance to win anything. Good luck and happy promoting!