When I started this book blog almost two years ago, in June 2005, I wrote about topics that writers and authors wrestle with:
- Tips for a first-time book author
- Choosing a book title with a matching URL
- Crafting a sub-title (this was hard and I still don't love the one I ended up with)
Ya gotta learn how to promote your book
But what I didn't do (and what most first-time authors don't do) was give enough thought to how I was going to promote and publicize my book.
It's a process that should start many months before a book's publication date (six to eight months in advance, at least). And there are dozens of things you need to know to promote a book properly.
Bella Stander's Book Promotion 101
Over the weekend I had the chance to attend Bella Stander's Book Promotion 101 workshop here in Washington DC. It's an informal, hands-on event that was stupendously useful.
And even though it's eight months since my book was published (August 2006), there are still many things I can do to keep the buzz going.
She forced us (there were just eight participants) through the tortuous exercise of crafting a 30-second elevator pitch explaining why a reporter/editor/producer – or anyone – should care about our book.
She also invited several publicists, two authors and a media trainer as guest speakers to the day-long workshop. They were terrific.
I especially enjoyed meeting Kenneth Ackerman, author of Young J. Edgar, due out in a few weeks. He explained how he wrote his own jacket copy as well as the copy for Carroll & Graf's book catalogue.
His copy emphasized a key selling point of the book: his biography of the young J. Edgar Hoover is extremely topical, as it ties into 9/11 and the kinds of civil liberties issues we're facing today.
Book Promotion Resources
Be sure to check out Bella's Resources page for tips on Recommended reading, book blogs, etc. My favorite book on book publicity (first recommended to me by my agent, Elizabeth Wales), is Lissa Warren's The Savvy Author's Guide to Publicity.
If you're on the West Coast (and even if you're not), Bella's next workshop is in L.A. on June 16, 2007.