You’ve finally polished, edited and submitted your novel and, lo and behold, it was accepted and published. Now it’s time to start promoting it, right?
You should have started a year ago. Drum up interest in your novel before it’s published. Use your blog, guest blogs, your website, Facebook – anywhere you can. Make that new novel surge out of the starting blocks like Secretariat. As a matter of fact, unless you plan on writing just one novel, it is a much better idea to promote yourself as a writer than to promote just one book. Let people get to know you via some of the methods I suggested above. Don’t pester! Don’t make every post a ‘Buy Me’ post. Be yourself (Unless you’re an asshole, but even assholes need to sell books).
Contact local bookstores, coffee shops, library groups for a book signing or a reading. If you are a member of a club, say VFW or American Legion, send copies to troops in Afghanistan or Iraq. Try to get the local paper to cover it. Be creative but not abusive. Join an on-line writer’s group but don’t just push you book. Make friends. Help them and they will help you. Remember, they have books to sell too.
Most importantly, remember family and friends. My first novel, God Seed, had no promotion but word of mouth. My 86-year old mother sold over a hundred copies in my home town by carrying a copy in her purse and saying to everyone she met, “You need to buy my son’s book.” She knows everyone and is well liked, so it worked for her. It might not work for you. Someone might just bop you in the nose for being pushy. It helps to be 86.
Carpe Diem – Seize the day. I say, “Seize the moment.”