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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A Higher Platform

Last month I talked about getting a platform started. I covered things like getting an author site started, getting business cards printed and setting up social media blasts.

All of that is necessary, but is not the end all. Below is a list of other things I did to market my book in advance and after it came out. Some were successful, others, it was hard to tell. I would recommend that you try some or all of them and see which ideas work for you.

  • Blog: I have had a blog for several years. I've found it keeps my writing fresh and keeps me writing on a regular basis. I post a couple times a week. Because I had an audience before I had a book, I used the blog to post teasers about the characters in the book. It got people curious and because I did it over about the course of six weeks, it was a great build-up to the book release.
  •  Conventional Radio: I was fortunate to have my writing instructor recommend me to the local NPR affiliate at WUWM in Milwaukee. I had an interview that lasted about 20 minutes. I can't say enough about air time. I had a number of people say they'd heard it and it prompted them to buy the book. This was a springboard to at least three other radio interviews. Getting that first one allows you to point to it when soliciting interviews from other stations.
  • BlogRadio: I did my own research and found out about a couple of stations that interview authors. It is probably a much smaller audience than conventional radio, but when it's free, some exposure beats no exposure. Plus I had a great time talking to the radio folks. 
  • Guest Blogs: Talk to your friends with blogs and see if they'll let you guest post or interview you about your book. Again, any exposure could lead to sales.
  • Library Notifications: I sent blind emails out to probably fifty libraries. Most of them bought books -through Ingram or the Publisher - but several also hosted me for presentations, which sold more books and got the word out.
  • Mail Chimp: Mail Chimp is a free service to make professional looking emails and send them out to large groups of people. Put links to your books in along with cover art and send it to anyone you know. People are more apt to buy if you put it in front of them.
  • Goodreads: Goodreads is a great way to connect with readers. Give a book or two or ten away as an incentive to get people to check out your book and/or spur interest. 

There are several other good, productive ways to market your book that I haven't covered. It's a full time job, but a rewarding one. 

With that, I want to say that it has been a great privilege being a guest blogger here at Sundown Press. This is my last post, but I am happy to be part of the publishing family at Prairie Rose/Sundown Press and look forward to submitting more of my work to them and others.

Thank You!

Jim Landwehr

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