Monday, October 20, 2008

A little - or a lot - blatant self-promotion

Got an email the other day from a student of mine, congratulating me on the local media coverage I'd got recently for my kids' book Meeting Miss 405 - a quarter page in the monthly library page promoting my book launch, two articles and one book review - and saying how lucky I am that the local press knows who I am and what I'm up to.

The truth of it is, I had to tell her, they don't come to you - or me.

Here's a tally of the promotional stuff I've done so far:
  • Attendance at the CWILL Fall Book Harvest - lots of postcards distributed promoting both the book launch/free workshops and school visits and the book itself.
  • 4 full media packages prepared and sent out to local papers - News release, one sheet about the book, author pic.
  • 1 media package plus copy of the book to local book reviewer.
  • 2 different PSAs (Public Service Announcements) emailed to three and seven papers respectively.
  • 11 packages sent out to local school librarians - one sheet about the book, a one pager about my school visits, costs, etc., handful of postcards with info. re book launch and workshops.
  • 12 or so emails back and forth to schools in the East Kootenays which resulted in two writing workshops for high school students and one author visit to an elementary school.
  • Emails and phone calls back and forth to bookstore to set up book signing in Invermere.
  • 4 visits to local bookstores to plan signings, and re book selling at the launch.
  • Poster produced and sent to Invermere bookstore for distributing in community to promote my book signing there.
  • News Releases sent to two papers in East Kootenays area promoting book signing session.
  • Emails months ago to ensure Chapters stocks my book at the upcoming Surrey Int'l Writer's Conference.
  • Emails to Conference trade show organizer to book table for book signing on Sat. night.
  • Postcards distributed to participants in two writing workshops I've taught in the past month or so.
  • 25 postcards mailed to various contacts re. Nov. 1 launch and workshops.
  • Postings on local writers' listserv.
  • Arm-twisting emails to anyone else I can think of, hoping they will show up for the launch just in case I end up reading to myself.

Wow! No wonder I'm tired!

The truth of it is that the more you can do to promote your own book, the more hands your book will find itself in, and the more you'll convince your current and prospective publishers that you'll put as much effort into pitching the thing as you did writing it.

I've now included a page on my website called Clips and Pics where I'm posting at least a jpeg image of any media coverage etc. that I get with links to the articles, etc. You will note it's all local, to date.

My book is in the hands of the Gods and my publisher when it comes to being reviewed by the professional journals, or showing up anywhere in the national media.

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