February 21, 2008


If you’d like your book to sell to more people than friends, family and your 10th grade English teacher, you must get out from behind your computer and promote it.

If you’re lucky, your publisher will put some resources into promoting your book, but that’s not enough.

I know my publicist at Random House works hard on my behalf. How do I know? I’ve gotten several nice reviews from trade journals. Print, radio and TV interview requests have rolled in. And there are these great promotional buttons . . .

(cat not included)

. . . that will be distributed through direct marketing and in a couple major shopping malls.

But mine isn’t the only book my publicist is trying to sell. And even though my book has a great hook with the election tie-in, I’m still a new author with no following.

So . . . it was a happy coincidence yesterday when I took our oldest so to the library and noticed this gem on the shelf:

It’s a few years old, but brimming with information about how to be prepared for interviews, develop a marketing strategy, make vital contacts, sign stock in bookstores and more. The back section is loaded with Internet resources, helpful organizations, etc. And there’s even a section about how to get on Oprah – an author’s golden ticket.


The book so inspired me that I stayed up till one in the morning, scribbling pages of ideas about promoting my novel. I can offer writing workshops in schools . . . connect via the Internet with networking sites and message boards . . . get in touch with those involved in spelling bees and Scrabble tournaments, because those things play a part in my character’s life . . . write magazine articles offering writing tips for adults or election information for kids.

The list goes on, but the short version of my plan is this:

1) Let people know my book exists

2) by offering them something of value

3) and have loads of fun doing it.

Do you have any great book promotion tips? School presentation ideas that inspire students? Thoughts on finding time to promote, while still working on the next novel?

No matter where we are on the publishing spectrum, it's never too soon . . . or too late to think about book promotion.

And, by the way, who saw that fabulous eclipse last night?

Not that one! This one . . .



Anonymous said...

Wow! Congrats on your new book baby being born into the world. You must be over the (recently eclipsed) moon!

I haven't had a book to hawk (yet), but have read a few promotional books. The one tip that stands out for me is this: create a buzz by offering prizes for silly contests about your book, entering fellow bloggers in a raffle for a free signed book by mentioning your book on their blog - stuff like that.

People love free stuff and fun contests. Best of luck! Your book sounds perfect for my fifth grade class. :) KYM

Wild About Words said...

Dear Kym,

Thanks for sharing the great idea. I love silly contests! And have even done a couple on this blog. More to come . . .

I hope your fifth grade class enjoys the book. Maybe an author visit could be in their future?!

Best regards,

Anonymous said...

How about sending a couple of copies to some radio outlets, you know those Right Wing talk radio shows. Hannity has two daughters, might be a connection there. Your book is so much about being kid and not so much about politics.

I don't listen to talk radio as a rule but all it that you would need is one of these venues to mention the title and bam a couple thousand folks have heard about it.

Also self promotion nevers hurts. I know that where I live the newspaper types are generally too busy or too lazy to do much work on the human interest pieces. So sending a press release to your local paper could be all need to get a hook in there. You might even want to think Phila Pa. You know local girl does good story.

Phila Pa native Author Donna Gephart has release of first novel.

What about deal on PSU and the Blue and White magazine? They have all kinds of notes and stuff in it. Most of folk in the class of '87 have kids that would be of the right age.


Wild About Words said...

Dear PSU Chem E,

Great ideas, all. But I would expect nothing less from a great thinker like you. Some thoughts I'm already working on and others you suggested sparked renewed excitement in the promotion possibilities.

Thanks so much for contributing!

Ghost Girl (aka, Mary Ann) said...

Fabulous! Thanks for the book recommendation, Donna, and the helpful hints. And Congrats on your book, too!

Great advice from everyone, here.

Wild About Words said...

Thanks, Ghost Girl! It's great when we all work together to help each other, especially when it comes to promotion.


The Suprans said...


I wear your button every day, and get lots of questions about it. I tell everyone about your book!

I would love for you to speak at my school. My 3rd graders would really enjoy it!

Anonymous said...

your book is the best book I've ever seen in the history of the world.