"There are many different ways for promoting a new book. Which do you feel is the most effective?"
This is a harder question to answer than it might seem.
What format is the book and is there a publisher seriously supporting it? ? Hard cover from a major publisher? Trade paperback? Self-published? E-book only?
What about the author? Is it her first, or does she have a string of books under her belt? Is she well-known or seeking to build some name recognition?
What does the book have going for it? Is it getting lots of national buzz? Winning awards? Limping along at the margins? Is it part of a series or a stand-alone?
What research there is seems to show that connecting with the readers by personal contact (bookstore readings, fan conventions, library talks, etc) is a great way to promote a book. It’s clear that many readers want to know something about the author, to feel that they have some kind of bond that stretches beyond the page, and that’s lovely. But unless the author has a private plane or an unheard of publicity budget, there’s a limit to how many readers one can meet. So, the next best thing is that someone who did meet the author recommends the book to his friends, a kind of chain linking contacts between authors and readers.
If it’s a hard cover book, the bookseller and publisher are asking readers to pony up serious money, made more so by the advent of cheap or free e-books. And that’s another promotion tool that authors are discussing in online forums: giving or selling lots of copies (hundreds, thousands) in the hopes of creating demand for the author’s other books. For that to work, there need to be other books ready for the eager readers who, one hopes, got hooked on the teaser book.
There’s more – much more – that authors spend oodles of time chewing on, but I’ll leave that for other Minds to tackle all week.
- from Susan
(author of Murder in the Abstract, The King's Jar, and (coming in the spring) Mixed Up with Murder - see, that's one way to promote books!)