Any self-published author will tell you that promotion is an uphill struggle. You would have thought that writing the book would be the hard part, but once that manuscript is all polished, the beta readers are happy and you’ve made those final edits, the real battle is about to begin. How do you let people know about your book? How do you cut through the noise and competition to find the readers who you know are the perfect fit for what you’ve written?
The COVID-19 pandemic may have put a stop to some of the old favourites like readings in local shops, but the book shops and the readers are still out there and there are plenty of ways you can get to them. Here are a few ideas to help you get started…
Use Social Media Wisely
We have all seen those social media profiles set up by authors that are nothing but adverts, 24-7, and we’ve all wondered just how effective they are. The fact is that you are going to need to use these channels to shout about your work but if your feed is nothing but self-promotion, you aren’t going to get anyone to follow you, let alone engage with what you are putting out there. Make sure that your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram channels are personal, not just professional, and try to show that you are as much of a fan of the kind of things you write about as the people who you want to read your book. Remember to engage, relate and discuss. Don’t just be a scheduled Tweet machine.
Get Creative Locally
If you want to get the word out to people near you, then you must not be afraid to get creative. Even if you can’t leave a sneaky copy of your book in the local café right now, you can still find a way to let your neighbourhood know about your work. Say you’re hosting a live-reading of your work online, or running a masterclass, but your social media efforts aren’t paying off. Well, get creative and try leaflet printing! With a good leaflet, you can tell people who you are, that you’re a local author, and make it clear to fans of the genre you’re writing in that they don’t want to miss out.
Don’t Be Afraid To Reach Out
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the challenge of getting your work out there, remember: you are not alone. There are many, many authors who have found themselves in the difficult position of promoting their work during a pandemic and the wonderful thing about the writing community is that it is so friendly, welcoming and supportive. You must not be afraid to ask for advice.
It’s also important to have no fear when it comes to reaching out to reviewers and blogs to ask for coverage. While sending entire proof copies out without a covering letter is not the way to go, an email explaining why your work would be a great fit for their site and their readers is always a good idea.