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National Book Promotion

by mary desjarlais
(st. paul, mn)

QUESTION


I have a novel currently on the market. As is common for most writers, I have been doing all my own book promotion in the Twin Cities (Minnesota).

I have had some great success with positive reviews in the Pioneer Press and Star Tribune, I have been on MRP and FM 107.1 for radio interviews. I have had reading appearances at several local book stores (chain and independents).

My question, how do I go about getting my book to others that could help get me national attention?
Thanks so much.

Mary DesJarlais, author of Dorie LaValle: ISBN: 9780 87839 366 4
website: marydesjarlais.com

ANSWER

Mary, book promotion is almost as difficult as writing the book, but you seem to be taking all the right actions. You have a good website, you've managed to get some very positive reviews, and you have posted those on your website for others to read. You could add a page for the press, with photos, lists of questions you can answer, etc. Look at the press pages of some prominent authors for ideas.

In contacting me with this question, others will read about your book, and possibly go to your website, as I did. They'll see, as I did, that your novel sounds very interesting, and they may want to buy your book or tell others about it. So keep making contact. Create a book promotion list and every day contact a few people.

There are numerous book blogs now, situated around the country, that may accept your book and write a review of it, if they like it. You can do a "virtual book tour" and offer to make guest appearances on blogs to discuss your book, answer questions, and give away copies.

Book promotion isn't free so create a budget, allotting whatever you can afford to the promotion of your book.

Be prepared to give away many review and promotional copies of your novel, as blog owners want to offer something to their readers.

My publisher gave away dozens of copies of my books when they first came out, as review copies, giveaways, etc. Radio shows like to give away books, so if you can find a story angle for them--besides local woman writes book--you will have a better chance at an interview.

You can also purchase a list of book editors for the book section in national newspapers and magazines from EasyMediaList.com and send a press release to each one. The last time I used this service it cost me $69 for the names of 100 editors.

But try to find a story angle that will interest editors. Remember, they don't need to promote you. What they need is a good story of interest to their readers. If you can provide them with one, they may well be interested.

Look at holiday and special event calendars like this one Diversity Calendar and try to find events that would give you a press tie in, such as National Women's History Month.

You might also join GoodReads.com and RedRoom.com and create an author page, blog, etc.

Finally, offer to write an original, pertinent article for a website in exchange for a link to your website.

Good luck! I wish you much success.

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