One Definition of PromotionPromotion keeps the product in the minds of the customer and helps stimulate demand for the product. Promotion involves ongoing advertising and publicity (mention in the press). The ongoing activities of advertising, sales and public relations are often considered aspects of promotions. (Source of Information)
I wasn't going to go for a clinical definition of the concept, but simply something basic. I do think there is a lot to be said with this defintion.
As it points out, the central idea is to keep the product in the minds of the customer. I think the biggest issue many new writers face is that readers will simply stumble across their writing. They slap a website up there, the information shows up on those online bookstores such as Barnes and Noble or Amazon and the readers will just find them. Sure, that does happen every now and then, but with the huge influx of the self-publishing opportunities out there, this becomes an even bigger challenge.
I think Leah Hultenshmidt of Source Books said it well at a conference I attended with her. She noted that marketing was really trying to bring your book through all of the muck out there. You have to claw your way to the top.
Now, when it comes to ways to promote, there really is not one single way to do so. I should also note that promotion of your book also depends on the genre. In other words, if you are pitching a non-fiction book, you will take the story one place, and if it is a historical story, it will go somewhere else.
With that said, there are a lot of small things you as an author can do.
- guest blogging
- personal blogging
- speaking at conferences
- teaching workshops
- personal websites with give-a-ways
- talking and chatting to EVERYONE
- book signings
Give-a-ways are fantastic but the prizes have to be worth it. A signed copy of an unknown author will simply not cut it. People WANT prizes.
When it comes time for contests, you make sure to volunteer to help out and provide feedback. Do not remain anonymous and make sure you let people know who you are.
What you will often find (and any of you published authors can chime in here) is that you will devote a great deal of your "once private" writing time to promotion.
It should be important top note, however, that promotion is not an over-night activity. It takes a long time to build a following and yes, you have to have something worthwhile to share. If your writing isn't good, then all the promotion in the world will not save you.
I would love some additional ideas here. Tell us some of your secrets when it comes to promotion.