Everyday Book Marketing: Promotion ideas to fit your regularly scheduled life
By Midge Raymond
Ashland Creek Press
Reviewed by Karl Wolff
Hooray! You got your first book published (or self-published). Now what? Unless you are one of the few author misrepresented in the mainstream media as a flash-in-the-pan bestseller author, you probably still have your Day Job. Bills still have to be paid. While having a book published is a massive ego boost and a concrete validation of one’s worth as a writer, people still have to buy the damn thing. And people will usually buy a book when they know it exists. Unless one is working with the promotional department of a major publishing conglomerate, that means doing promotional work yourself.
Despite the ominous factors already built in against a newly published author — the hundreds of thousands of books published each year; the Internet’s hugeness; the public’s demand for free stuff … and they want it NOW!!! — there’s hope and practical advice out there. One also needs a perspective adjustment and realistic goal setting. Not everyone gets to be like the author of Fifty Shades of Grey. To clear things up and offer practical advice for working authors, Midge Raymond has written Everyday Book Marketing: Promotional ideas to fit your regularly scheduled life.
Raymond offers a variety of ideas and venues for book promotion: social media, book clubs, readings, signings, and so on. She breaks the book down into different sections: pre-book launch; the book launch and beyond; and interviews with authors, publicists, publishers, and librarians. If you’ve been published and have nothing planned, don’t worry, Raymond has creative strategies for that situation. The digital age has revolutionized the concept of book promotion. In the past, when one published a hardcover or paperback, there was a limited window of opportunity for promotion. I remember going to a writing conference and the speaker told us that the shelf-life of a romance novel is about a week. If it isn’t selling, it gets pulled. Ebooks change the metrics. They last forever, in a manner of speaking. Even after the initial hype has died down, one can keep promoting the eBook.
After each chapter Raymond offers practical advice in the form of “Five-minute Marketing” and “Everyday Marketing.” Even with a busy social life, kids, family, etc., one can set aside five, ten, or fifteen minutes to promote one’s book. There are also exercises and strategies if one has a longer amount of free time available.
The interviews provide a real-life context for the various marketing ideas. One sees it from various perspectives. Being an author is very much a relationship-based economy. Connections are key. Forge relationships with your local librarian and seek out idiosyncratic venues for book readings and signings. The biggest thrill readers get is close contact with their favorite authors. An obvious venue is a convention (like science fiction and fantasy conventions, mystery conventions, etc.). Authors can also meet with members of book clubs. With technological innovations like Skype, geography doesn’t have to be a barrier. So finding and nurturing these relationships are a fundamental aspect of building a fan base and a personal brand.
Everyday Book Marketing is an indispensable resource for aspiring authors, novice authors, self-published authors, and even authors from large mainstream houses with their own promotions departments. Midge Raymond has written this for authors still bound to the Day Job and those with already full social calendars. Even five minutes thinking about how to promote your book will make all the difference. The practical advice contained within has more worth than many other alleged guidebooks that come across as nothing more than thinly veiled self-help books. Keep your goals realistic and schedule five, ten, even fifteen minutes to think about how to promote your book and you’ll do fine.
Out of 10/8.9, because of its specific niche appeal; for aspiring writers, published and self-published authors, a perfect 10.