How Do You Promote Your Book

A writer friend told me the other day that nowadays publishing a book is the easiest part of the process of writing because of all the facilities available to writers online, digitally. But the hardest thing is the self-promotion.

As a writer you have written a book or books, you have spent sleepless nights and worked so hard to give it your best. You have approached agents and publishers and for one reason or another all you got was rejection letters. You strongly believe in your work. To top that, you have written stories and articles either for magazines or your own blogs and have built yourself a career. Whatever your focus, you have overcome every hardship in the process of writing your book, and you’ve come out a stronger, more capable writer.

You digitally publish your book on kindle, but you’ve got one big problem. When it comes to self-promotion – that is, making you and your writing more visible to the larger world, how do you go about it? If you are anything like me you may wonder: Do I really have to do this? I mean can’t someone else do it for me? Isn’t my writing self-promotion enough?

But the sad truth is that these days, there’s no excuse for being ignorant of the way the publishing industry works. As M.J. Rose said:

“They (writers) need to understand that they need to promote themselves, and that there’s a way to promote yourself without acting like a used-car salesman. The key to becoming a pro is the same way to get to Carnegie Hall. Practice, practice, practice.”

All the writers out there who have self-published and made it big, like Joe Konrath, tell you that self-promotion isn’t as painful as you think. But it’s not always easy. So if you are anything like me, you feel it is easier to give out your book for free rather than spend hours on the internet trying to convince others to buy your book without feeling that you are being a pest. How do you promote your work then, without selling out compromising your integrity, without feeling humiliated?

As a writer I know that I should share my stories and my books with others. The same way I know that I should be out there playing the game like everyone else. But the truth is I just can’t escape from myself. Besides isn’t it damaging to my career as a writer to spend hours trying to sell my work? In the words of M.J. Rose:

“A writer can do an enormous amount of damage to him-or herself by putting too much emphasis on promotion and buzz. Being a writer is about writing, and, ultimately, you can’t shift that focus.”

So how do you go about it? How do you do it? What do you do?


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11 Responses to How Do You Promote Your Book

  1. Never had a book published so can’t help you. I think your post is very interesting though and I hope you receive some nuggets of help via these comments.

  2. kepagewriter says:

    I have the same feelings you do. It isn’t really in my nature to push myself forwards. I find that my blog is getting me some attention but I’m not sure that that relates directly to sales of my book.

  3. I know what you mean. I haven’t attempted self-publishing at this stage but it seems to involve an awful lot of networking and putting yourself out there – and yet not trying to oversell yourself or appear obnoxious. This article might shed a bit more light on how to get started:

    Hope it helps.

  4. I’m lucky to have a very supportive publisher so along with their web site & social media – I have local signings & readings to attend. I also find ways to promote my books in unique ways. Every avenue is worth taking advantage of.

  5. Jamie says:

    Touche. Outstanding arguments. Keep up the great effort.

  6. Writers tend to be solitary people, a little shy and self-deprecating, so self-promotion is very hard for most of us. I’m lucky to live in a city that supports its local writing community through school readings and writers festivals. Our local bookstore has a section just for local prairie authors and is always willing to bring us into their store to sign books.

    As great as all this is, we are rarely recognized outside our own province, so I followed other writers’ advice and started a blog. I joined Twitter, established a Facebook page for my books and one on Goodreads, all of which I rarely have time to update. Still, I don’t have a following like J. K. Rowling and probably never will. Short of calling up Oprah or Ellen and chatting up my books with them, I’m not sure what else I can do. If you discover anything that works better than what I’ve been doing, please let me know! 🙂

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