Connect with Others to Promote Your Book

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March is National Small Press Month, which celebrates small publishers and showcases the unique voices of the authors who choose them. This makes March the perfect time to promote your self-published book! To help you take advantage of this, I am offering promotion advice and ideas on the blog every Monday this month. Be sure to check out the previous posts: Why March is the Best Time to Promote Your Self-Published Book, 10 Ways to Promote Your Self-Published Book in March, and Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Self-Publishing.

This week I’ll share an easy way to connect with others and promote yourself and your work — blog comments.

1. Find blogs.

Find blogs by fellow small press author, other people in the publishing industry, and people interested in the topic of your book.

2. Read the blog.

Read several posts to get a feel for the author and his or her readers. Never comment on a post without reading the entire post! You can’t contribute to the conversation if you don’t fully understand what the conversation is about.

3. Position yourself as an expert.

This gives people a reason to take interest in your comment. Just be careful not to act like a know-it-all. No one likes that person.

4. Be professional at all times.

Disagreeing is okay, but always be respectful about it. It’s okay for other people to have a different opinion.

5. Add value.

Make sure your comment adds value to the conversation. Simply commenting things like “Thank you” or “Nice post” don’t add value.

6. Be brief.

Now is not the time to write a novel. Keep your comments short and to the point.

7. Include a link.

This is key! Always include a link to your website or blog. If you don’t, you are wasting your time. The link is how you will promote yourself and your work and allows people who were interested in your comment to contact you.

8. Fill in all fields appropriately.

Each blog will most likely have an area where you can enter your name, email (most likely not published), URL, text of your comment, etc. Don’t change up the order on this. For instance, you shouldn’t add your website address to the comment box; it should only be placed in the URL field.

9. Share the love.

Mention someone else’s book/blog/website where appropriate. All of your comments should not be “pushing” your book. Vary your comments. Others will have more respect for you and know that when you mention your book or website, you are making an appropriate reference.

10. Never SPAM!

Write your own comments, keep them relevant, and stay away from any questionable “blog commenting” services. A good rule of thumb is — if you would be ashamed to call the blog owner and let them know what you’ve done, you shouldn’t do it.

Check back next week for more promotion ideas.

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 25 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Self-Publishing

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March is National Small Press Month, which celebrates small publishers and showcases the unique voices of the authors who choose them. This makes March the perfect time to promote your self-published book or start a self-publishing project! If you’re looking for project ideas, consider using self-publishing as an opportunity to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day:

1. Write a cookbook.

Food and drinks are one of the highlights of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. If you are Irish, consider creating a cookbook of cultural recipes, or have a little fun, and write a cookbook filled with “green” recipes.

2. Celebrate the history.

Many people don’t know the history of St. Patrick’s Day. If you enjoy history, consider writing a non-fiction or historical fiction book inspired by the holiday.

3. Create an Irish character.

Regardless of what genre you write, do a writing exercise where you create an Irish character. Consider how they will look, talk, and act. Do a little research by talking to some Irish friends, reading books with Irish characters, or watching movies with Irish characters. Avoid creating a flat, stereotypical Irish character.

4. Learn a new skill.

To write great stories, writers need to experience life. These adventures inspire stories and help create believable settings, characters, and plots. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, try something new such as learning Irish dancing or cooking an Irish dish.

5. Travel.

Travelling is another great way to bring new life to your writing. Book a trip to Ireland, or just visit an Irish pub you’ve never been to. Going somewhere different can spark your creativity, and help you create great stories.

Check back next week for more Small Press Month ideas, and be sure to check out the previous weeks’ post Why March is the Best Time to Promote Your Self-Published Book and 10 Ways to Promote Your Self-Published Book in March.

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 25 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

10 Ways to Promote Your Self-Published Book in March

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March is National Small Press Month, which celebrates small publishers and showcases the unique voices of the authors who choose them. This makes March the perfect time to promote your self-published book! To help you take advantage of this, I am offering promotion advice and ideas on the blog every Monday this month. Be sure to check out last week’s post Why March is the Best Time to Promote Your Self-Published Book.

This week I’ll share ten ways to promote your book during National Small Press Month.

1. Contact other independent published authors in your area.

Connect with other authors and combine your resources to fully exploit the opportunities during this month. There’s a lot to do, and four hands are better than two.

2. Send out a press release.

Send a press release to the local media (newspapers, radio, television) mentioning Small Press Month and your independently published book. If you secured some events, mention them in the release.

3. Follow up on your press release.

Be sure to follow up on your press release via telephone. Reiterate Small Press Month, your planned events in the community, and your Small Press book. Offer to send them a review of your book that they can use as a foundation.

4. Contact your local libraries.

Suggest they feature Small Press titles, including yours. Offer to leave a free copy with them, along with a sales sheet.

5. Contact local schools.

Tell them about Small Press Month. Mention that you are a local published author and offer to speak to their assembly about how to accomplish their dreams of being published. This is particularly effective if you have a children’s book you can then sell after the assembly.

6. Contact local universities and colleges.

This is the same concept as number 5— promote yourself and your book by sharing your knowledge of how to write a book and get it published. Sell copies of your book afterward.

7. Schedule a seminar or tele-seminar.

Schedule a seminar or tele-seminar on “How to Write and Publish a Book.” Offer a “Small Press Month” discount on the registration fee. Send out a local news release about your class.

8. Contact other sales channels.

Brainstorm and contact sales channels outside of the bookstore that may be likely to sell your book. This may include websites related to your book’s topic, gift stores, hardware stores, grocery stores, boutiques, etc. Look at your book and ask yourself where your readers may be shopping.

9. Use social media.

Create social networking accounts on Twitter, FaceBook, MySpace, LinkedIn, etc. Use the accounts to connect with readers and promote yourself and your book.

10. Contact the Learning Annex (or similarly themed Adult Education Program) in your area.

Offer to teach a class on the subject of your book. As a published author, you are qualified to teach on your subject since you are an expert. Your book may even be required reading for each student!

Check back next week for more promotion ideas.

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 25 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

Why March is the Best Time to Promote Your Self-Published Book

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March is National Small Press Month, which celebrates small publishers and showcases the unique voices of the authors who choose them. This makes March the perfect time to promote your self-published book! To help you take advantage of this, I will be offering promotion advice and ideas on the blog every Monday this month.

To get you started, here are five things you should do to maximize your  promotional efforts this month:

1. Order author copies.

Author copies are important at events such as book signings and giveaways. Be sure you have plenty on hand to support your promotional efforts this month.

2. Contact to your local bookstore.

Contact your local bookstore and inform them it’s Small Press Month. Encourage them to help promote books published by small presses by hosting events and offer discounts. Be sure to mention your book during this discussion.

3. Contact your local newspaper.

Contact the book review editor, features editor, the calendar editor, and business editor. Inform them about Small Press Month, introduce yourself and your book, and tell them about any events you are planning for the month.

4. Contact professional organizations.

If you belong to any professional organizations, be sure to share information about your planned events with them.

5. Get on the radio.

Reach out to local radio stations. Pitch an interview discussing your book and/or small press topics. Be sure to mention any events you have planned.

Check back next week for more promotion ideas.

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 25 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

Don’t Miss These Opportunities to Promote Your Book

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Book fairs are an excellent way to promote your self-published book, learn about the publishing industry, and network with other professionals. Even though the year is more than half way over, it’s not too late to promote your book at some of this year’s book fairs. Here are a few you might want to add to your calendar.

2014 Beijing International Book Fair

Show Date: Aug 27, 2014 – Aug 31, 2014
Location: Beijing, China
Deadline: Aug 05, 2014

2014 LIBER (Spain)

Show Date: Oct 01, 2014 – Oct 03, 2014
Location: Barcelona
Deadline: Sep 10, 2014

2014 Frankfurt International Book Fair

Show Date: Oct 08, 2014 – Oct 12, 2014
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Deadline: Sep 12, 2014

2014 Pennsylvania Library Association

Show Date: Sep 29, 2014 – Sep 30, 2014
Location: Lancaster, PA
Deadline: Sep 12, 2014

2014 Illinois Library Association

Show Date: Oct 15, 2014 – Oct 16, 2014
Location: Springfield, IL
Deadline: Sep 26, 2014

2014 New England Library Association

Show Date: Oct 19, 2014 – Oct 21, 2014
Location: Boxborough, MA
Deadline: Oct 03, 2014

2014 California Library Association

Show Date: Nov 07, 2014 – Nov 09, 2014
Location: Oakland, CA
Deadline: Oct 06, 2014

2014 New York Library Association

Show Date: Nov 06, 2014 – Nov 07, 2014
Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
Deadline: Oct 17, 2014
Many of these book fairs have deadlines that are fast approaching, so be sure to sign up soon.
In addition to these popular book fairs, look for local events where you can promote your book. County and state fairs are often a good choice as are hometown fall festivals.
I’d love to know, where do you plan to promote your book this year?
ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

5 Ways to Promote Your Book in March

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March is National Reading Month and Small Press Month. This makes it the perfect month to focus on promoting your book. Here are five ways you can promote your self-published book in March.

1. Read Across America Day

March 3 is National Read Across America Day, also known as Dr. Seuss Day. This is the perfect opportunity for children’s authors to promote their book. Schedule a reading at a local school, library, or bookstore. You can also get creative and host a Read Across America event for adults.

2. St. Patrick’s Day

Holidays are always a great opportunity to promote your book. Even if your book has nothing to do with St. Patrick’s Day, you can get creative with your marketing plan. Perhaps, host a St. Patrick’s Day give away or schedule a St. Patrick’s Day event. For instance, you could schedule a book signing, wear your favorite green shirt, hand out some Irish potatoes to your guests, and promote your book while “celebrating.”

3. Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2014

Bologna Children’s Book Fair will be held March 24-27. It is the most important international event dedicated to the children’s publishing and multimedia industry. Last year, the event had about 1,200 exhibitors coming from 75 countries and 25,000 international professional trade representatives. To learn more, visit http://www.bookfair.bolognafiere.it/en/the-fair/895.html.

4. Book Expo America 2014

Book Expo America will take place May 19-31. It is the #1 book and author event  that offers the book industry access to new titles,  authors, and education about the publishing industry. BEA is the best place to  discover new titles and upcoming books and meet face to face with favorite and  up and coming authors. To learn more, visit http://www.bookexpoamerica.com/.

5. Schedule an interview or book signing event

People won’t buy your book if they don’t know it exist, so schedule an event  that will help you connect with readers and gain some press for your book. Two great options are a radio interview or book signing event. Start by contacting local radio stations or bookstore to set up the event.

I’d love to know, how do you plan to promote your book in March?

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

Self Publishing is Easy, Standing Out Isn’t

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While there are many perks to self-publishing — easy to do, higher royalties, no rejection letters, and more — there is also a major drawback: competition. Self-publishing has become very popular, and it seems like everyone — new authors, previously published authors, professionals, even children — is doing it. While it is great for writers to have the freedom and control that self-publishing offers, it also makes the publishing industry even more competitive.

I’ll be honest about something — the majority of self-publishing authors aren’t best selling authors who make millions of dollars. That doesn’t mean you can’t be successful, but it does mean you need to understand the market, have realistic expectations, and work hard to make your book stand out. The solution is “simple”: write a great book, publish a quality book and do a great deal of marketing and promotion.

1) The Writing

Consider submitting your manuscript for a comprehensive, professional and unbiased review before having it published; actually the more reviews you have done, the better. They help you fine tune your manuscript to make it the best book possible.

2) The Publishing

As part of the publishing process, be sure to invest in professional copyediting and a custom cover.  If your book is riddled with typos and grammatical errors, it won’t be taken seriously.  If your book has a plain Jane cover, it could be overlooked.

3) The Marketing

This is the part many self-publishing authors miss.  Along with self-publishing comes self-marketing.  It’s not enough to just have distribution. The most successful self-published authors understand the importance of great marketing. Some self-publishing companies offer services to assist you with your self-marketing. Whether you choose to do it on your own, pay someone to help, or do a combination of both, this element of the process is an absolute must.

Don’t be discouraged!  There are many self-publishing authors who have had success, and you can too if you approach the process correctly.

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Manager of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

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