Book Tours and Launches and Blogs, Oh My!

It’s really getting into the nitty-gritty here, with my novel ‘The Cross Of Santiago’ due to launch on September 16th (*clutches keyboard nervously*).  I’ve been trying to give you a bird’s eye view of what goes on in the life of a self-publisher and what’s involved in the process of getting your manuscript from MSWord to ebook.  And in that vein, today I’m going to chat a little about promotion.

Bloggers and, more importantly, their reviews, are the life-blood of the unknown, debut, self-publishing author.  (Have I said that enough times already?)  Unless your social circle reaches far and wide, the launch of your book onto the market will resemble something of a very small drop into a vast and uncaring ocean.  So that’s why creating a buzz and spreading the word about your book is so important.

Cue my launch day party *trumpets playing*.  I will hopefully be featuring on 10 different reader blogs and hosting the odd give away for good measure.  I’ve signed up with a US company to do this, but you could equally contact bloggers directly and set up your own launch.  As this is my first time at the rodeo, I’ve decided to hook up with a book tour company who will arrange everything for me in advance.  They create a press kit which includes the book cover, the blurb, an excerpt of the book and the author bio.  This press kit is sent out to various bloggers and those that are interested in hosting will sign up for the launch.  Ta-dah!  Ready made launch party.  

Then comes the all important blog tour and reviews (did I mention how important they were?)  Two weeks following my launch, I have arranged to go on a virtual book tour (no packing necessary!) with another company.  As the book tour company is UK based, I figured they will have a completely different set of bloggers on their lists, which will hopefully help me to reach a wider audience.  On my tour, I’ll be getting up close and personal with 5 bloggers, doing interviews and writing guest posts, as well as receiving what I hope will be positive reviews.  

Exposure is the name of the game – the more people that hear about your book, the more chance they’ll have of giving it a second or third look and hopefully, buying it.  I’m not sure how I feel about bombarding people with tweets, but I’ll try anything once, so I’m going to join a ‘Tweet Team’ on World Literary Cafe.  It’s a simple system that involves retweeting the promotional messages from the other people on your team (10 in all).  It allows you to broaden your reach and hopefully promote your book in much wider circles.  At least that’s the idea, but the results remain to be seen.

Self-promotion is probably one of the most difficult aspects of publishing your book.  Unlike big publishing companies, we don’t have marketing departments or marketing budgets for that matter.  But this can work in our favour.  We are closer to the reader and far more accessible when it comes to social media, etc.  Yes you have to try harder and shout louder to get your book some recognition, but there are so many inventive ways to connect with your audience, the challenge is to discover what works best for you.

Stay tuned for more details on the launch and the book tour…

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