As an author, we’re so excited to get our book published so people can read it. Many people think that an author can now relax after their book has been written and begin their next book, but it’s not so. At this point an author’s responsibilities are just beginning. An author must promote his or her book by doing FIVE THINGS that will enhance the book’s success.
1. Create an attractive website. People want to know who the author is and what other books have been written. This is a way to introduce yourself to the public. Make sure that your site can be loaded easily. If it can’t be loaded within 10 seconds, visitors will give up. Make sure your images are optimized for web view. Don’t make the site too busy or visitors will feel overwhelmed and give up.
2. Give lectures! Public libraries are an excellent place to begin. They present programs every month for children, teens, and adults. The Friends of the Library usually sponsor events that will educate the public. Remember, when you come up with a program, it must be original, something different that hasn’t been overdone.
When I told various libraries that I could teach a writing class, they said it had already been done. I finally came up with another idea in which I could educate the public and promote my books at the same time. I told them that I could teach the public how to write their family stories, their ancestor’s experiences, and autobiographies. Instantly, they were interested.
The most important thing is to begin in your own area and gradually spread out. You need to make a name for yourself for some libraries to pay for your services. So begin at home first. Remember to ask the libraries to order your books before you arrive. That way people can check them out and get to know you. I have now toured 17 states presenting my program, and my books are in bunches of libraries.
3. Enter contests. This makes your book have more credibility. My first book, “Melinda and the Wild West,” was one of the top ten semi-finalists for the “Reviewers Choice Award 2007.” Because it won an award, people will become interested in reading the book.
4. Send your book to reviewers. Pick reviewers who only review your genre, otherwise it’s a waste of time. I have found many reviewers who have blogs and all they do is post reviews after reading a book. Their followers trust their opinion so this is a good way to go. Ask them to post it on Goodreads, too. It is well known that someone will read a book just because a friend suggested it on Goodreads.
5. Write articles for the Internet and newspapers. You must publish articles so you will be recognized as an author and it will also enhance your web presence. These articles are important for your book’s success, for the one reason that people are getting to know you. Articles help you and your book to stand out and be noticed. There are some excellent websites to write articles. You may try: American Chronicle, Articles Base, Amazines, and Search Warp.
Why does writing articles on the Internet help you as an author? More books are sold on the web than anything else, so a good web presence is important. Before I began writing articles on the Internet, I would do a Google search for my website and my name. It wouldn’t come up. After I began submitting articles, my website popped up on the first page of a search. I was shocked that writing articles could make such a difference.
How do you begin writing for the web? The American Chronicle is a great one because it has twenty-one other chronicles that your articles will be published on. First, you need to send an article to the Chronicle as evidence of your writing skills. They will e-mail you back and let you know if you’re accepted. The other article websites don’t ask for any samples. All you have to do is just sign up and begin writing.
Next, you can search newspapers and journals by going to newslink.org. Find out which ones are interested in the subject you’ll be writing about. Contact the editor and ask if you can write an article for their newspaper. Have an article ready because they’ll need a sample of your work.
Remember that your goal is not to charge them for each article, but to get your name out there so people will know who you are. Once they read a few of your articles, then they’ll become interested in knowing more about you and your book. If you have to begin writing articles free, then do it. You have to pay your dues before you’re recognized. The goal is to get your name out into the public with a good byline.
What is a good byline? Along with your name, you can mention your book and provide contact information—such as your website. Here’s a sample byline: Written by Linda Weaver Clarke, author of Melinda and the Wild West, a semi- finalist for the “Reviewers Choice Award.” To contact the author, visit www.lindaweaverclarke.com.
Remember that an author’s duties don’t stop when the book is written. It’s just beginning. There are thousands of books published every year but you need to get out into the public’s eye and be recognized before your book will be noticed.