Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Connect and Promote Before You Publish

by Vanessa Lowry

Authors who revel in the solitary craft of arranging words to powerfully tell a story are sometimes uncomfortable with the activities needed to promote themselves and their book. The time to begin making connections and building relationships for marketing is BEFORE your book is complete. Small consistent steps make it easy.

Over the holidays, I saw a reference to making “new word friends” as a way to help your brain stay healthy and expand its connections. My word friend discovery was about adding words to your vocabulary, but I’m altering the meaning for this article. Here are ideas for using words to make new friends, expand your connections and create interest for your book prior to publishing. 

Create a Facebook fan page for your book. Setting up your book page will take about 30 minutes initially. Then 1-2 minutes each day to post. Post one quote or article a day that will be of interest to the target reader of your book.

Make it easy! Create a Word document with a list of quotes and article links. When you come across a quote or article that would be a good Facebook post, add it to your Word document. Each day when you are ready to post, just pull one item from the list you have created. Here are some ideas for how you find the items to add to your list of potential posts.
  • Set up a Google Alert for several topics, locations, or industries included in your book. Some of the alerts that come into your email can be added to your list for future Facebook posts. Setting up a Google Alert will take less than 2 minutes. Reviewing the alerts you receive each day can take a few minutes to many minutes. Allocate 5 minutes to scan and save the alert links that seem most appropriate. Trash the rest. Set up your Google Alert here: 
  • Post a question on LinkedIn related to your book topic once a month. After you have crafted your question, posting it will take about 5 minutes. You can also choose up to 200 of your contacts within LinkedIn to send your question by email. This can take 10-15 minutes to select your contacts and send the pre-formatted email. Be sure to thank all who post an answer and email each respondent again after your book is published. Add the best answers to your list for future Facebook posts. Get permission from the respondents if you plan to use a direct quote and/or want to include their name.

Let it be fun. If finding articles and posting on your Facebook page feels like too much work, cut back to a few times a week instead of every day. Keep your writing and promotion journey joyful, make new word friends along the way and arrive at your destination filled with enthusiasm for the next phase of your publishing adventure.

Vanessa Lowry is a marketing consultant, graphic designer, author, radio host, and speaker. She leverages nearly 30 years of design and marketing expertise to support book authors who are self publishing.

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