Mindy L. Klasky,
Bruce Holland Rogers,
and Vera Nazarian
Mindy L. Klasky,
Bruce Holland Rogers,
and Vera Nazarian
of the members of the Publicity And Self-Promotion For Writers list offered a
few tips for Vision readers:
self-promotion technique that has proven most successful for me is to
cross-promote my writing self with my "other" selves. At my day
job, I am a librarian, and I used to be a lawyer. I routinely speak to
librarians' groups, have my books reported in library- and law- trade
publications, have articles in alumni magazines, and so forth, all because the
world seems to be fascinated by how this librarian-lawyer spends her time
outside of the office. This cross-promotion was most evident in April,
during National Library Week, when my firm hosted a signing for my new book
(over 100 copies sold at a gala event with wine, cheese, and a reading), and two
other libraries asked me to speak in conjunction with the American Libraries
Association national them, "Writers Live at the Library." Of
course, the specific form of promotion within these engagements is similar to
that which we all practice in various venues: I bring sample chapters,
bookmarks, and business cards, and I do my best to sparkle!
of you already know about the guerrilla marketing kit I'm sending to people who
pre-ordered my book for writers. One element of that kit is a button that
features the cover of the book. Fans of the book can wear the button and tell
people who ask about it about the book.
I've been wearing a much simpler button, one with www.shortshortshort.com
on it. That's all it says, although it's arranged vertically:
someone asks me about it, I tell them about the web site with my stories. If
there is time, I mention the email subscriptions to my short-shorts. And I hand
them a business card with the URL on it. Sometimes I forget that I'm wearing the
button until someone asks about it. In the last 24 hours, a gas station
attendant, a computer salesman, and a grocery shopper in the produce section
accepted my card and promised to take a look at what I do.
many will go to the site? Will that lead to any actual subscriptions? I may
never know for certain since I don't ask subscribers how they heard about me. My
experience is that the vast majority of subscriptions sell to people who already
wearing the button is a fairly passive sort of promotion, and I do enjoy wearing
my Writer identity out in public with strangers. And it costs very little. I
used a pin-on name badge to make my button for under $1.
contemplating a www.shortshortshort.com
bumper sticker for my car. :-)
to a year's worth of Bruce's short-short stories for just
USD. Full information at:
general, though, I've found that promotion works best on one of two tracks:
personal track, where you reach one person at a time, but you already know them
or you are meeting them face-to-face.
mass-media track, where you are reaching a large audience of people who will
already be interested in your work, or an even larger audience of the general
public who will mostly be uninterested in your work, but whose numbers are so
great that if one in a thousand buys your book, your sales spike.
outside of these categories may be worthy of experiment, but I think we're best
off putting our efforts into one of these two tracks.
I write an unsolicited publicity email to someone I don't know, I generally say
something like "I hope this message hasn't been intrusive." (I
don't do this, of course, with media contacts. It's their job to receive
publicity!) I do this both to apologize in advance, but also to invite
people to tell me if it has been intrusive. And people do.
recently emailed over 100 Amazon reviewers who had reviewed books similar to my
newest, just letting them know that the book was out there. I had one
person reply with irritation, and over a dozen have written to thank me and with
promises to check out the book. That's a ratio I can live with. And,
of course, I send one message, and that's it. Repeated mailings to the
same person about the same book... that's over the line in my view.
generalize this to other publicity efforts. If you're at risk of
over-doing it, ask if you're overdoing it. You'll hear back. You
still need to calibrate the feedback. Some people you'll hear from believe
that writers should do no publicity, that it's unseemly, that we should wait for
the world to discover us. Someone will always think that you're doing too
helps to remember that your main job is to write new work. That can also
restrain you some and help to prevent your doing too much publicity, whatever
too much is.
have to make a choice to act like a confident person in certain public
circumstances. I've been doing that for years. I am really a shy and
introverted person, believe it or not.
at conventions I put on this "persona outfit" a role that helps me
just be outgoing and to forget what kind of a shy mouse I might be deep inside.
Now, this is easier said than done, and I don't think everyone can do it.
For those of us who really cannot bring ourselves to be this way, there are
various online situations where we can be just as "loud" or brassy or
vibrant or whatever it is we are aiming for.
there are definitely things that can be done. For example, have you
considered running a regular Blog, or Online Journal? You can join the
number of hip folks such as Teresa and Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Charlie Stross,
Cory Doctorow, and so on.
Teresa's Blog, "Making Light":
Blog can be as personal or as impersonal as you make it, and it will get you
enough addicted readers and an ever-increasing regular audience as long as it
manages to hold people's interest, and you would be surprised to the amount of
boring stuff that can and does hold interest of certain readers. For some
people, nothing is boring.
are other online things, including the ones you mentioned, a website, reviewing,
hanging out in newsgroups at SFF Net and USENET.
and Self-Promo Grab Bag:
use your own best judgment when checking out these links. The advice
presented in all of them varies from mildly to moderately useful, and in some
cases it is merely amusing.
focus on Press Releases:
RWA member promotion tips:
to free daily promo e-zine here:
Wrote It, Now Promote It!
Art of Self Promotion:
Think Outside the Box, By Lori Van Pelt
& Writers Rank Monitoring Service:
Elements of any Promotion Plan:
Publicity Tips for Mystery Writers
& A with Publishers
Ways to Make Your Next Book Signing an Event!!
the Amazon - Decoding Sales Ranks
Publicity for Your Book
and Ready: A Guide to Publicity Materials (last updated 04/03/2000)
the Editor - Author Network - November 2001
by eMail - Internet Publicity
join the Publicity And Self-Promotion For
Writers list either:
to this page:
they can send an e-mail to: