Why are you afraid to promote yourself?

If you have been signed to one of the big New York book publishing houses, congratulations! This post isn’t for you — it’s for the other 99.99 percent of us who are self-publishing and/or e-publishing.

If you’re an author, it’s essential that you have a blog — even something simple like this one. Why? You need a place to post a longer summary of your upcoming work. Some call it a blurb, others a summary … agents like to call it the pitch. It’s your chance to get potential readers interested in the book.

You can’t do that in 140 characters on Twitter. You need either a blog like this or a page on Facebook. I used the tools at WordPress.com to get this blog up and running in five minutes. It is not fancy but it gets the job done.

But you would not believe how many Twitter profiles I’ve seen that mention the person has an upcoming novel but no link to a blog or Facebook page! It doesn’t matter if you’re six months away from publishing — in fact, it’s better.

Here’s why. Blog software like WordPress notifies you when someone leaves a comment on your blog and — best of all — WordPress tells you their email address. So if they leave a comment about how your novel sounds really interesting, they’re not going to mind if you politely email them after the book publishes to let them know. People will send you messages on Twitter — maybe they do author interviews or they review books. Pretty soon you’ll have a Microsoft Word file of potential buyers and people who are willing to help promote your book.

* * *

You can read more about Signs and Wonders at this post. Are you on Twitter? Follow me at @alexadena

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7 Comments

Filed under ebooks

7 responses to “Why are you afraid to promote yourself?

  1. Thank you, thank you! What a great post and you said it so well. It’s easier than ever to self-promote (just like it’s easier than ever to publish) but I know I don’t take it as seriously as I should and I’m quite sure I’m not the only one. I’m in the process of structuring my workday to include time set aside specifically for promotion and social networking. I am worse at time management than I am at self-promotion but I’m working on that too!

    • You’re on the right track, Summer. You have to carve out a few minutes every day — it can be as few as 15 — to do promotion. (You can call it “finding readers” if that makes it more palatable 🙂 I started the blog a month ago and the post summarizing “Signs and Wonders” has about 150 views so far. Not a lot, but every little bit helps, right?

  2. You’re so right – you have to do some sort of marketing every day. Blogging is a very good way – and enjoyable! Posting daily has made a huge difference to the number of people reading my blogs. Sometimes I think I should be writing my novel instead, but you need to do both on a daily basis.

  3. I started my blog last spring for exact reasons you stated. I am not the most prolific blogger, but I get steady hits. Also, nothing beats checking my blog stats and finding that someone found my blog by Googling my name and book. 🙂

    • Two or three times a week is enough. The most important thing is for the blog to exist so you can have a link to the book description. Wow, I can only imagine how cool it is to find out someone Googled your name or book title.

  4. My blog is http://barbarajrobinson.blogspot.com but I enjoyed reading about promotion and look forward to reading more of your blog. I hope you’ll follow mine. Thanks for friending me. Blessing, BJ

    • You’ve got to check out Barbara’s blog to see the house — wow. I’m going to guess it’s in Mississippi or Alabama, maybe Louisiana. I lived a little bit in southwest Mississippi when I was younger and that house reminds me of that area.

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