Sunday, November 28, 2010

Promote Thyself

With Bonded In Brazil coming out in March 2011, I am exploring marketing and advertising options. There are quite a few, thank goodness, for a stay-at-home mom like myself who needs to utilize the internet as much as possible and promote on the cheap.

My goal is to take advantage of options that require the least amount of money/work but get the biggest bang for my buck. This greatly depends on establishing an online presence.

Here's what I've come up with so far...

Blog--There are plenty of free blog sites available, and they are all pretty user friendly. This is a place to not only promote your work, but to sell yourself as well.

Website--Again, free sites available for you to build a website. I use Yola and paid for a custom domain name. I can also have a blog on my website and plan to link my blogspot posts to my website blog soon.

Toolbars--By installing a nifty, multifunctional toolbar onto your website/blog, you can further personalize your space and, perhaps, allow visitors to customize their experience at your site. I use Wibiya. This toolbar also gives visitors the option to share on Facebook, "like" me on Facebook, tweet, and even be greeted with a pop-up message that I can update as often as I want to.

Social Networking--Facebook, Twitter, Myspace are all free and allow you to connect with multiple people in seconds. A lot of social networking sites can be connected to each other, meaning what you post on Twitter can automatically be posted onto FB, etc.

NetworkedBlogs--How cool is this? Register with NetworkedBlogs and whenever something new is posted on your blog, it gets thrown up onto Facebook automatically. Multi-tasking at its best.

Cross-link everything.

Forums--Use forums, like Absolute Write, to get to know other writers, learn industry news, AND promote. Have a link to your blog/website, a link to your book, and a book cover pic in your signature. Whenever you post a comment, your information is out there for anyone to see. Advertise while you socialize. Fun stuff.

SheWrites--A networking site for female writers. Not only can you socialize and shamelessly advertize, but they also have a community blog for all members and they post members' books on their bookshelf. Membership is free, btw. Check SheWrites out.

Pay it forward--Sometimes the best strategy is the selfless one. Interview authors on your blog, invite guest bloggers, review a new book, brag about your friends' successes, buy a friend's book and leave reviews on sites where it's sold. You can also help a friend by appearing on their blog. This drives more traffic to their site and gets your name/book out to their contacts. This is mostly about advertising your friends' work, but you drop your name where ever you go, thereby increasing your online presence. Plus, you make your friends happy :)

Book signings--This might be a worthy option IF your publisher provides the books. If the bookstore where your signing is being held does not carry your book, they might be willing to order copies for the signing IF the distributor allows returns and IF your book is distributed through Ingram or Baker & Taylor, which is a must for some of the bigger chains.

Blog tour--Schedule a blog tour to take place at the release of your book. Try to guest star at a different blog everyday for as long as you can arrange--a week or two or three. Click here for a great resource on blog tours.

Giveaways--People like free stuff. Have a drawing for people who comment on a specific post. Give away a free copy of your book to whomever is chosen (at random). I've even seen authors put together gift baskets with all kinds of neato stuff for first place, a copy of the book and a candle for second, and just the book for third. Get creative. You might even be able to get some of the giveaway items for free from a local business. Giveaways are always a good idea for blog tours!

Participate in a writers group--Bonded In Brazil was shared within a writers group. I know if anyone from that group gets published I'll buy a copy. NOTE: to the OVNW members, I do not expect you to buy my book just because I'd buy yours. I'm just very sentimental :)

Reviews--There are tons of places wanting and willing to review your book. This might cost you a copy of your book unless your publisher covers this expense for you. The review itself is generally free.

Conferences--Rub elbows, give out business cards, etc.

Writers association--Find a local one, pay the small yearly fee. They usually have newsletters, meetings, conferences, workshops, and many other ways that you can promote in your state/region.

Press Release--Google author press release. Put one together and send it to local papers. You can send a copy of your book or make it clear a copy is available upon request. Have a press page on your website. See mine for an example--it's not complete yet, but you'll get the general idea.

Speak/teach--Call libraries, schools, local book stores and see if they have an interest in having you for an event or a workshop or a reading of your book.

Knowledge is power--Take the time to educate yourself about the business you're in.

Be consistent.

Return the favor.

Always be gracious and grateful.

If you have any other promotion ideas, feel free to leave them in the comments.


  1. Great information Rhiannon!
    John Capraro

  2. Awesome post, Rhiannon. I'm putting a link on our writer's group website to your post.

  3. Glad you liked it, John and Vonnie :)

  4. Sounds like you're doing your homework. Keep it up and thanks for all the info.