Monday, March 05, 2007

Traveling on the Publication Superhighway

When I pack for a trip, I figure out how long I'm going to be gone and what clothes I'll need. I usually run into a problem when I try to fit all my shoes in my suitcase, so then I color coordinate more of my clothing so that I don't take every pair of shoes I own along with me.

I recently had the same travel experience when House of Lies was released. Except this time, I was traveling on a publication trip and I didn't know what I needed. I had a website already when I signed the contract, so that was all to the good. But what else was needed?

There was a dizzying amount of information on yahoogroups, author chats, contests, and bookmarks. There were reviews to garner, book stores to woo. Newsletters to write, websites to update, myspace pages to set up. And with all the yahoogroups came an avalanche of mail. How's a new author to cope?

Same way you pack for a trip. You figure out where you're headed and you add one thing to your suitcase at a time. If you want to send out promo items, order these and be ready. If you're going to write a newsletter, start looking at other author's newsletters to see what types of informaiton you want to include in yours.

Figure out what your budget will be for promotional items. Chat with other authors about what they think are successful promo materials. The key thing to remember is that promotion won't happen on it's own. You have to get out there and spread the word. This is true for all presses, small and large.

So lets see, what's in my publication suitcase? Bookmarks, yahoogroups, chats, appearances, bookignings, a myspace page, my website, ads, and a newsletter. I added these items one at a time. If I want to add in book trailers or contests, I'm going to need a bigger suitcase!

Maggie Toussaint
House of Lies, ISBN 1601510310


Sara Freeze said...

This is excellent advice! I have been overwhelmed lately by all the information that's available on marketing and promotion; at the moment, I think I'm signed up for about 40 different Yahoo groups.

Sara :)

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Sara!

I've been in that place too. Don't listen to your inner self saying that this is your one shot. Do everything you can do, but do it well. That's more important than just tossing a bunch of darts at a moving target. Better yet, as time passes you'll find which promo methods suit your personality as you go along and it won't be quite so onerous!