Guest post from Angie Bailey
Well, it looks like we’ve made it to part four of the four-part blog-to-book series! We’ve covered the importance of building a platform, networking, and writing a successful proposal. Of course your proposal was gleefully received and now takes the form of a real, live book. And it looks good. Congratulations! Now we’ll wrap things up with three important words: Get Out There!
You might be wondering what “getting out there” looks like, and I’m here to answer that question for you. You see, when you’re an author, you have to wear more than a few hats. One of those hats is “marketing genius.” My books were traditionally published, and – despite what some believe – publishers don’t have the staff or budget to help with a ton of PR and marketing. Most have a contact with which the author works, but it’s usually up to the author to do a lot of the legwork. With my two books, I initially passed along contact names and the publishing contact set up the signings. After a few months, I was solely responsible for setting up the signings and events. This is the “get out there” part.
Here are five tips that have helped me get the word out about my books. Of course, Mittens from Texts from Mittens is back with his own brand of advice, which you might want to take with a grain – or 12 – of salt.
Set up book-signings and speaking engagements
This is where you have to think outside the box. Think about the types of places you’d find your audience. Just because you wrote a book doesn’t mean you’re limited to events at bookstores. I write cat humor, so I approach pet food outlets and boutiques. I’ve also had luck signing books at coffee shops. If you’re setting up your own events, send emails to businesses that are related to any aspect of your book. You might be surprised at the results – I know I was!
Reserve booths at expos
There’s usually a fee associated with reserving booths or tables at expos, but it can be well worth it! I’ve had great luck at local book fairs, pet expos, and cat shows.
Mittens: Save your money and buy more cat treats.
It kind of goes without saying that you’d want to host a giveaway on your own blog. This is an easy way to get the word out about your book and directly reach your fans. Also consider trading giveaways or reviews with fellow authors and bloggers. Expand your audience!
Mittens: Just don’t give away anything important – like milk jug rings and ping pong balls.
Keep a supply of books in your car
You never know when you’ll run into someone who wants to buy a copy of your book. It’s definitely worth it to keep a small stock of books in the trunk of your car. I also toss a purple Sharpie in my purse. How can I sign a book without a purple Sharpie? I mean, really!
Mittens: Buy extra Sharpies and give your cat several of then marker caps. Keep a backup supply because cats like to bat caps underneath furniture, and humans aren’t great about retrieving things like that in a timely manner.
That’s it for my blog-to-book series! If you’re considering taking your blog to the next level, I hope I’ve provided you with a few helpful tips! Best of luck, and Mittens says you can text him if you have any questions. If he’s not napping, he’ll be happy to help you. Probably.
Angie Bailey is an award-winning author, blogger and humorist. She wrote Texts from Mittens and Whiskerslist: The Kitty Classifieds, and created the Catladyland and Texts from Mittens blogs.