Friday, October 18, 2019

Look Outside Your Circle

Promotion and marketing is really an important part of your professional writing, and yet, so many writers really are not being successful with getting their names out there. The biggest reason is that they are in a closed system.

We talk extensively about getting your name out there. This is TRULY a proven step for increasing sales. The more your name is out there, the more people remember you, and there is an increased chance they will buy your book. If you are out of the readers' minds, you lose out on sales.

So what do we do? We emphasize using that social media we love so much. But here is the flaw to that approach.

The only people who will see your posts are those people who already follow you. You are simply not going to get new readers. You are, essentially, preaching to the choir. Your followers were already likely going to get your new book.

So, how do you get the word out to people who don't follow you? That becomes the big challenge.

You can try review sites, but again, unless people follow those review sites, your name is not making any forward movement. I also hate to break it to you, but most readers are not on those sites. It is all of you writers who are reading each other's reviews.

You can push to have your followers make sure to forward your name to their loops. This works great, but you have to be amazingly organized and VERY proactive.

Getting out to conferences and teaching workshops is always great, but again, you have to think OUTSIDE of your loop. Presenting just to your own writing chapter is not getting the word out.

So, for this Friday, I would love to hear what you do to get new followers!


  1. Yet-to-be-published, but I notice the influx of multi-author FB groups. Plus, authors who have their own group, will have guest authors come in and do giveaways and offer newsletter sign-ups or to like their page.

  2. For once I can give back instead of always asking questions. I'm not a Facebook lover, but I should be. I don't have a "page", and yes, I need one, but right now I just visit other people's or group's pages and tell them about "whatever" I'm doing. I always invite everyone to come to my event (even if they are halfway around the world). It's amazing how many friends of friends of friends find out who you are.

    But what I've discovered that really works is personal appearances! Get the local newspaper to write an article about you and your new book. Include contact information. (Be sure to make a website (--which I am still working on-- so folks can look you up.) Throw your own book launch party (if no one else offers). Ask to give a book talk (with a power point if you can do it) to anyone who will invite you --libraries, social and civic clubs, women's groups, senior centers, etc. Offer you and your book to a charity as a fundraiser for one day and be there to help sell books and sign autographs. If you write historical, offer to give a book talk at the local historical society or museum. Sign up for a table at the local book fair. Schmooze at the library "old book" sale. Rent a booth at the town festival and hold a "meet a greet" (with swag and some available books to sell). Write a monthly column on "something" for the local newspaper or ad circular for a year. (It gets your name in the public eye.) Ride in the local parade (rent a convertible and be a local celebrity). Don't go anywhere without great looking business cards.
    (I learned the error of this the hard way.)

    Getting known locally and making lots of friends opens door to new areas and opportunities. (So, you ask, does any of this really work? Yes, it does. I have the blisters and laryngitis to prove it.) Warning: be prepared to be exhausted.