Every once in a while, I’ll look up from my keyboard, stare out the window, and daydream about having a PR team.
. . . .
When my first book came out in 2012, I had only one burning plan. It was THE PLAN. I was gonna have myself a blog tour. I figured it would be a great way to get my new book in front of the audiences I wanted to woo.
Visibility. That was the target.
I researched book blogs and review sites and other authors in my genre and I emailed each one, announcing my soon-to-be released book and asking if they’d be interested in hosting me. I had review copies. I had graphics. I had blurbs and links. And I had a mountain of hope in my soul.
And nearly had a coronary as the responses came in. The huge majority were happy to help. Would I like to do an interview or send in a guest post? I responded enthusiastically. Of course I would—I’d love to! I ended up booking a full month of blog stops… and I could not wait to get started.
Looking back, I wonder how I survived it all. I learned very quickly the tremendous amount of work that goes into a blog tour. The emails. The organizing. The scheduling. The writing of guest posts and original material. The visits to each stop, several times a day, to thank and engage and respond. The reminders to my socials to invite my readers and friends and family and the strangers who friended me on Facebook and everybody within shouting distance to visit that day’s stop.
Work, work, work, work, work.
Was it effective? Sure. The book got a ton of exposure, and I met readers and bloggers along that tour who have stuck by me since. Most of all, I attained the main objective: visibility. I even learned loads of new stuff, including the most important lesson of all—you can never do too much promotion.
. . . .
Because promotion is still a key element in the success of my books. I’m an indie writer. I’ve published novels with small presses, self-produced several ebook anthologies of my shorter work, and am preparing to enter the final stages of production on my first self-produced novel. (And, because I have so much free time *snort* I’m developing a poetry chap book.)
However, I don’t get to just sit and write and plan and produce…I have a backlist to promote. I will always have a backlist to promote. Difference between 2012 and today is that now I have a handful of irons in the fire, and I simply don’t have the time to run an exhaustive blog tour.
. . . .
THUNDERCLAP and HEADTALKER are another no-cost way to make a big noise with a single message. These crowd speaking platforms allow you to create a message, enlist the help of fellow social media addicts, and launch a campaign that, if successful, will get your announcement sent out on a particular day and time by everyone. People can “donate” a Tweet or a Facebook status to promote your message. Hit it just right, get enough help, and you just might start to trend. I created a Thunderclap and a simultaneous Headtalker campaign to promote free Kindle days for my last release, along with a slew of other promotional efforts. The bulk of my downloads came shortly after those campaigns went live. Never underestimate the power of a crowd.
Remember that great philosopher, who said it best: “What is the sound of one Tweet tweeting?” That’s deep thinking there.
. . . .
I query Bookbub for each of my promotions but have yet to get my golden ticket from them. (Kind of like the good old days, when I’d send out submission after hopeful submission, only to get yet another form rejection. Ah. Good times…)
Entire lists of websites like these can be found with a simple search for “free sites to promote ebook”. Some of my favorites include Fussy Librarian, Awesome Gang, Ebook Soda, Ebook Lister, and Book Gorilla.