This week Kelly and JJ talk about promotion and getting the word out about your book, including whether or not to put money into your own promotion, hiring a publicist, making swag, or putting out a newsletter. We also announce a brief hiatus for the month of March, but we'll be back in April with our next Query Critique episode, so send us your queries!
Once again, apologies for the audio quality. This time it's Kelly's mic on the fritz. Looks like we need to upgrade our equipment!
Promotion is getting the word out about your book
Marketing has money to spend on your book and can be focused inside the trade; publicity is public-facing.
Ways to promote your book:
Make a book trailer
Send yourself to conferences, speak on panels, network with other authors, and gain exposure
Why do authors need to do promotion if their book is being traditionally published?
Authors can devote their undivided attention to their one book, but publishers need to focus on an entire catalog so their resources are divided. Lead titles get the most resources, so if your book is a midlist title you might need to step up and do some more promotion.
The publishing machine will keep chugging in the background, and publishers will step in to help you if your efforts seem to be generating results.
Nonfiction authors can benefit from hiring a publicist or a freelance speaking agent.
Books with commercial hooks generate a lot of buzz
Word of mouth generates hype
You cannot buy hype. You can buy exposure, and exposure can lead to hype. It's hard to hype something that no one's heard of.
Promotion can be exhausting. It requires a lot of time and effort and mental energy. Only do as much promotion as you can reasonably do while taking care of yourself.
You can use your hobbies to help promote your book. If you draw, post sketches of your characters. If you blog, dedicate a series of posts to your work. Make GIF recaps!
Part of promotion absolutely involves product-pushing at its core, but when you're doing promotion you are the face of your book and your brand, so find ways to be authentic do promotion in ways that interest and excite you so that you don't get burned out or become robotic.
What We're Working On
Kelly is editing a client manuscript.
JJ is working on...Book 2! And just finished an essay for a mental health anthology edited by Kelly Jensen.
What We're Reading
American Street by Ibi Zoboi
Dawn Study by Maria V. Snyder
Off Menu Recommendations
BBC is streaming the audiobook of Colson Whitehead's novel The Underground Railroad
That's all for this week! We're taking the month of March off from recording so that JJ can finish writing the sequel to WINTERSONG and Kelly can get caught up. We'll be back in April with a query critique episode, so send your queries to email@example.com for a chance to have it critiqued by us on the podcast! Thanks for listening!