EruditeFool

Official Blatant but Honest Self Promotion Thread

316 posts in this topic

If anyone wants some help developing their social media reach let me know. I've organically grown my site's reach over the last 6 months, and am starting to reap some rewards. PM me and I'll be willing to help out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If anyone wants some help developing their social media reach let me know. I've organically grown my site's reach over the last 6 months, and am starting to reap some rewards. PM me and I'll be willing to help out.

Hell yes, please. Will be in touch next week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've learnt a lot about marketing over the past few months. If anyone's interested, here's my advice.

The most obvious thing is to go with a decent publisher who will push the hell out of your book. If you're going down the self-published route, the best advice is to start early, and be prepared to work damn hard.

- Build a fanbase and mailing list, preferably before the book comes out. I've spent time contacting the top book reviewers, which is a good place to start imo, plus the press and other authors.

- Do interviews. Lots and lots of interviews. Papers, magazines, TV, radio, blog tours... I interview authors regularly, and my offer to interview anyone here is an open one. I don't charge - be wary of anyone who does.

- Attend events. If your publisher or an agent can set up a book tour, fabulous. There are companies that do it for you, but again, be wary of costs. You can set them up yourself, really, but it can be time-consuming. Also book fairs, school events, etc, are great.

- Offer preview copies, rather than the whole book. Proper reviewers should get a full version of course, but people you connect with on social media or whatever can make do with a teaser copy. You don't want to give it away for free too much.

- If you're doing self-promotion, social media is your best friend. Become acquainted with it. I had to learn how to utilise Twitter lately, and it is a brilliant tool.

Most of the above may be common knowledge, so sorry if I've insulted anyone's intelligence. :)

I've found self promotion to be the most difficult part of the process. I find I'm not nearly so interesting to others as I am to myself. I just don't get it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, congrats! I have added this to my (relatively short) to-read list.

Those are pretty good tips. As to marketing strategies, I'm happy to offer my own advice, which is that I have no goddamned idea what sells books. Reviews, I find, can spur sales, but in my experience they don't always. I tried paid advertisements, but that IMO was a waste of time and money from the start; how often does anyone read a book by an unknown author just because of an ad? I would be very unlikely to buy any more ads anywhere, without proof that they work.

Not to seem discouraging, but as a indie author the deck is stacked against you. No professional reviewer will touch your work, and most of the indie reviewers will be equally unmoved by your pleas. (There are a few sites that will pay you attention, and if you like you can PM me for some names.) Hell, there are some sites that won't allow indie authors to advertise with them -- they literally won't even take your money. It's insane.

Still, it's satisfying to have finished your work, isn't it? Yay you! And wait until you get your first email from a fan. :)

Hey I'm gonna PM you on the reviewers, I always have a hard time finding ones who will do it. Edit: Or I said I would, but the PM won't let me send. Oh well. You are right, when you get those legitimate praises that come in from strangers...man, that's the best. I just read those over and over again on shitty days.

Edited by Simon Steele

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey I'm gonna PM you on the reviewers, I always have a hard time finding ones who will do it. Edit: Or I said I would, but the PM won't let me send. Oh well. You are right, when you get those legitimate praises that come in from strangers...man, that's the best. I just read those over and over again on shitty days.

When looking for reviewers one day, I simply Googled "top book reviewers". People make lists of everything. There are also some big sites for fantasy in particular - Fantasy Faction to name one, and a couple of people review books on here I believe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey I'm gonna PM you on the reviewers, I always have a hard time finding ones who will do it. Edit: Or I said I would, but the PM won't let me send. Oh well. You are right, when you get those legitimate praises that come in from strangers...man, that's the best. I just read those over and over again on shitty days.

If you like, email me at trackerneil at yahoo dot com.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An author I'm working with is in need of an agent and a new publisher. We're working hard together, sending out query letters to agents, but if anyone has any advice on the subject I'd greatly appreciate it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An author I'm working with is in need of an agent and a new publisher. We're working hard together, sending out query letters to agents, but if anyone has any advice on the subject I'd greatly appreciate it.

I used Amazon Createspace and KDP.

Pros: Free as long as you have the files you need (or know how to create them) and either A) know what you're doing or B know someone who can walk you through the process.

Cons: I've made maybe 30 sales with 0 product reviews. Then again, I also had no advertising.

If you're looking for a Trad publisher, I knew someone a long while back who got in with Prometheus after applying to a lot of places. Maybe try them out?

Edited by EruditeFool

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used Amazon Createspace and KDP.

Pros: Free as long as you have the files you need (or know how to create them) and either A) know what you're doing or B know someone who can walk you through the process.

Cons: I've made maybe 30 sales with 0 product reviews. Then again, I also had no advertising.

If you're looking for a Trad publisher, I knew someone a long while back who got in with Prometheus after applying to a lot of places. Maybe try them out?

We'll more than likely be going down the traditional route, unless it goes tits up. I know the drawbacks of self-publishing all to well, though there will be promoting going on regardless. We've applied to multiple agents, just playing the waiting game at the moment. Ideally, we'll find a great agent, who will find us a great publisher, and do all the legwork while the royalties roll in. But that rarely happens. I'd settle for a decent publisher who actually knows what they're doing this time.

Thanks, I've never heard of Prometheus before, I'll check them out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

QueryTracker is a great site to locate and track agent submissions. The forums there are generally useful to get feedback on your query letter too. As are the Absolute Write forums.



Querying is a waiting game. No way around it.



Just don't go querying publishers first. If you send a proposal to a publisher and they reject you, that's one less door your agent can knock on later. Only approach publishers if you've given up finding an agent.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

QueryTracker is a great site to locate and track agent submissions. The forums there are generally useful to get feedback on your query letter too. As are the Absolute Write forums.

Querying is a waiting game. No way around it.

Just don't go querying publishers first. If you send a proposal to a publisher and they reject you, that's one less door your agent can knock on later. Only approach publishers if you've given up finding an agent.

Yes to all of this. It's how I got my agent. It took forever. Publishing moves at only a slightly faster pace than a glacier.

I'll just amend this. I don't think subbing to publishers, especially smaller presses, is all bad. I submitted to Pyr and was in the door (thanks to my first agent) at Thomas Dunne without an agent but I made sure to mention that they were under submission at those places when I queried agents. The thinking is that if the publisher likes your book enough to like it, you can then get your agent. (I think this is how Jon Sprunk or Brent Weeks did it, but don't hold me to it.)

Getting an agent is the way to go, in my eyes...but patience is the key.

Edited by Ebenstone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll certainly check those out, thanks Myrddin.

We're in the middle of a few things at the moment, but definitely focusing on agents at this time. I've sent a few friendly emails to publishers I know through my interviews, just to test the "who you know" theory. Worth a shot I guess. But yes, contacting publishers directly will wait. The author did manage to get a publishing deal before on her own, but she settled for a poor deal because she was new to it, and without representation. It's all a learning curve, I guess.

We're also talking about extending our services to authors and making a business of it. With the interviews, experience in marketing, PR work, social media management and lists of contacts between us, I'd go so far as to say we have a decent shot at making it work. To the authors (published or aspiring) here, what do you think is a reasonable amount to pay for promotional work and marketing on your behalf? There are some companies that charge an extortionate amount for not very much work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just don't go querying publishers first. If you send a proposal to a publisher and they reject you, that's one less door your agent can knock on later. Only approach publishers if you've given up finding an agent.

Actually, I got my agent because a publisher who'd reviewed my manuscript referred me. Admittedly, that professional relationship didn't work out in the long run, but it was a way to proceed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, I got my agent because a publisher who'd reviewed my manuscript referred me. Admittedly, that professional relationship didn't work out in the long run, but it was a way to proceed.

Agreed. It can be easier to get an agent with an offer in hand. A lot easier. Your manuscript would be read immediately, not put in a To Read pile.

My point is mostly order for querying in the traditional manner. Query agents first, then publishers (and if you get a bite from a publisher, go get an agent or a lawyer to make sure you know what contract you're signing).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If any British authors (or those willing to travel) are free on 7th March, there's a literary festival in Tamworth that's looking for authors. No payment can be offered, but there is the possibility for funds to be found for travel (to an extent) and accommodation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quite right. I was fortunate enough (damned lucky, actually) to get an offer from a publisher before finding an agent.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quite right. I was fortunate enough (damned lucky, actually) to get an offer from a publisher before finding an agent.

Jon, would you talk more to your experience? Did you query x amount of agents before approaching publishers? Or did you go right to publishers?

What was your reject pile like and how long from beginning to end?

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kinda self-promotion, but I've organised a Cornish Reading Challenge.



To get involved, simply pick up a Cornwall-related book, read it, and write about it. This can be a detailed review on your own blog, a comment below, a review on Goodreads, or a few lines on social media.


There's more on my blog, here. Be great for you guys to get involved! :)


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now