How to Promote Your Book

For the last two days, fellow literary agent Nathan Bransford has featured guest blogger Michelle Moran on How to Promote Your Book. I cannot recommend these two posts highly enough. They ought to be required reading for all writers, especially those with a contract in hand, and no idea what to do next. Read part one and part two. Some gems:

Several months before your book is released, be sure to find out if your house will be purchasing coop, and if so, for which weeks. Knowing these dates is incredibly important, because this is when you are going to do the most publicity and (if you are spending any money on your own) marketing. You’ll want to work the hardest to promote your book during the two or three weeks when it’s most visible in the stores.
Every author receives copies of their own book after publication, and the day these arrive at my house are the same day they leave, signed to several dozen reviewers I’ve met online. Along with signed copies, I also ask the reviewers if they would like a guest post on a particular topic of their choosing (or a generic one), a Q&A of their own making (or, again, a generic one), and whether they’d like two free books to give away on their site.
Whenever something upsetting occurs, always discuss it with your agent first, then have the agent speak on your behalf. Emotional people make bad business decisions, and throwing a wobbly on the phone to your editor (however close the two of you have become) definitely ranks in the bad decision category.

Now, Michelle’s ideas, while genius and required reading, as I said, aren’t the only ones out there. What other marketing or promotional ideas have you seen out there? One of the most successful author-propelled campaigns I can think of is John Green’s Brotherhood 2.0. Not just a one-off book trailer, but a year-long project that’s seeing a definite result in sales of his new book Paper Towns. Between crafting the perfect prose, are you thinking of promotional ideas? You should be!

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