Sunday, April 11, 2010

Book Publicity

This past Friday, I blogged about a NY Times piece on illegal downloading of ebooks, a problem the book industry is having similar to what the music industry went through. I received an email from Simon Owens who writes the blog, Bloggasm. He invited me over to read a post he did where he interviewed several book publicists about whether ereaders like the iPad and Kindle will change book publicity.

The most interesting thing, to me, in his post came in the last paragraph:
These days, [book publicist Stacey] Miller identifies niche communities related to book topics and encourages authors to enter the comments section and become part of the discussion, linking back to their own book pages in the signature. In other words, book publicity is moving beyond the traditional reviewers and directly to the readers themselves.
What Miller is saying is that the physical city-to-city book tour is out except for the big-name authors. The most common way to publicize your book is the blog tour. BUT, the newest way to promote your book is to do your research and find the most active blogs where readers are talking about your genre of book, get involved in those blogs by leaving comments and joining the discussion, and promoting your own book by leaving a link to the page or pages on your website where you list your books. This is the method this book publicist tells her clients to self-promote.

If you decide to do this, don’t expect a fellow commenter to click on your name which takes them to your profile where they have to scroll through your likes and dislikes to find your blog link which they’ll have to click and go there then search on the blog for your website where they’ll have to then find your book page or the page for your latest book and click to it. Miller says to include the link to your book page in your comment.

I’m not promoting my books, but I do leave a link to this blog after my name when I comment. If you don’t know how to do that, email me (mermaidhelATgmailDOTcom) and I'll show you how.
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28 comments:

  1. Ya! It did!

    Jenn McKay

    Another great post, Helen :)

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  2. Thanks for this great advice Helen. And for the offer of help - I've never been able to link to a page when I leave a comment on someone else's blog.

    I wonder how Jenn McKay did it?

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  3. Golly Helen, seems the more I try to adapt to the changes in the writing world the more things change! I know you are absolutely right about our blogs being a marketing tool, a good way for readers to get to know us.....but I'd rather be writing a chapter. Please do tell me how to attach my blog address to my comments.

    I get so much out of your blogs....keep up the good work!

    Karen Casey Fitzjerrell

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  4. Great post topic, thanks Helen. Useful information for us all.

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  5. Never read any of your books, Helen, but would be interesting to do. Where do they sell them? amazon.com?

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  6. This is a very interesting post, Helen. Great point about adding a link to your blog of web page. I think I'll practice in my own comments section first. :)

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  7. Great information as usual. So much to learn and do.
    Thanks for dropping by Blog. I got so excited!

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  8. Hmm...I never thought about the fact that my name just goes to the blogger info and then the person would have to go through more steps to find my blog. Thanks for enlightening me!

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  9. Great info, Helen. I'll admit to being shyer about hanging out on book sites than I am on writing ones. I didn't think about modifying my tagline to direct it to my book page for those particular sites.

    Thanks!

    Elizabeth
    Mystery Writing is Murder

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  10. As happy as I am that blogs seems to have found some respect, I'm sad that the city to city book tours are becoming a thing of the past. I make an effort to attend as many of them as I can.

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  11. I think it's important to note that publicity is now geared towards reader, ie. end-users/purchasers. If there is a way to connect woth the audience directly, so much the better!

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  12. For me, that is good news! I'd rather promote online.

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  13. I think it's good news for most writers, Alex.

    Big name writers can justify the expense of a book tour. Even mid-list writers making tens of thousands of dollars a year from writing must have to carefully weigh up the cost/benefit ratio before they decide to catch that plane or train to an event. I'm sure even a few years ago a lot of the expense would have been considered career-building, and hey, it's tax-deductible.

    Nowadays, as self-publishing becomes viable, the book tour is just another money sink for niche authors. Way easier to reach people online.

    But, I think you need a gimmick to really break out. I'm racking my brain, trying to remember the name of the guy who got a publishing deal off the back of podcasting his novel. Nope... gone. Too many chocolate-strawberry martinis this weekend.

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  14. Interesting that the publicists are encouraging authors to get into the nitty-gritty of blogging. I wonder how the authors feel about this tool, about reaching out this way. It would be interesting to hear.

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  15. Anton, you're trying to entice me with those chocolate-strawberry martinis. And succeeding.

    Joanne, I think a lot of authors are already out there on blogs, promoting their books. I think the most successful ones do it without being overly aggressive.

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  16. Helen, thanks so much for your kind advice. Here's what I've done:

    Judy Croome

    Let's see if it works!

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  17. YAY! It works! Thanks again! :):)

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  18. Yay, Judy! I'm now going to link over and see where it takes me.

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  19. Great post - thanks Helen! It's good news for writers published with smaller presses, who may not have as much money for a physical tour (or for authors with little money!).

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  20. You always give good advice. Thanks.

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  21. Wow - sounds like smart advice for authors, Helen. Thanks for sharing it. Someday, I shall hope to use it!

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  22. Despite all the changes taking place, writers are still enthused, even about getting out (or on) and promoting their books.

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  23. Great post! AND am taking your advice and including links. :-)

    Cathy Scott
    http://www.cathyscott.com/
    http://cathyscott.blogspot.com/
    http://www.womenincrimeink.com/

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  24. Thanks for the info. Helen. I'm hearing more and more that time spent on blogs is more adventageous than sitting for hours in a book store.
    Ann
    www.cozyintexas.blogspot.com
    www.annsummerville.com

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  25. Great post. Always find excellent information here.

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  26. Helen,

    One caveat on leaving your blog in the body of the comment: WordPress, TypePad, and a number of other blog platforms ask you enter your URL in the field under your name. You can put whatever URL you want in that field, so you can put your book page there.

    Most WordPress, etc. bloggers will allow one link in the body of the comment. However, Akismet, the most popular spam program for WordPress has a default of marking as spam any comment that has two or more links. That is because so many spam comments include several links. So if you leave more than one link, you are risking having your comment go into spam.

    I check spam and retrieve messages from writers who leave more than one link, but it's a nuisance to have to do that and not all bloggers do.

    So writers would be wise to pay attention to the blog platform they are commenting on. If it's anything other than Blogger, leaving no more than one link is best.

    Lillie Ammann
    A Writer's Words, An Editor's Eye

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