Sunday, December 20, 2015

Are You Doing Enough to Promote Your Book?

Copyright © Joleen James
Originally published by 1st Turning Point

Are you doing enough to promote your book? As an unpublished author, I’ll admit I’m not doing enough to promote myself, but I’m working on it! Today, I’m speaking mainly to the published; those talented, lucky authors with books coming out or books already in print. How do you give your book its best shot? Where do you get the most bang for your buck?
I spent today searching promotion websites, looking for ideas, anything new, something I haven’t thought of or seen before—a different angle, a fresh way to promote. When I went to John Kremer’s website,, I had an “ah-ha” moment.
John Kremer says, “Every book you love should have a three-year marketing campaign where you do two to three things every day to market that book. Make a phone call. Send an email. Take someone important out to lunch. Write a letter. Knock on doors. If you do two to three meaningful things each day for every book you love—and continue to do so for three years—you will be successful. The world will catch up to you and notice your book. Your job as author or publisher is simply to hang around long enough for the world to notice. And ring a bell once in awhile to get their attention.”
What John Kremer says makes sense. Publishing is a hard business and it’s even harder to stand out, but two to three marketing things a day? Who has that kind of time or money? Plus, promotion can be expensive. What kind of promotion is available to someone on a limited budget? What works, what doesn’t?
Mystery writer Ann Charles is a master at promotion. She’s always looking for the angle, the way to turn meeting a new contact into promotion, the way to pick someone’s brain to find something innovative she can use to promote her own work, the way to trade something she has for something someone else can offer—a lot of it free. She’s a master at seeing the bigger picture when it comes to promotion. When Ann sells her first book, and I have no doubt this will happen, she’s going to sell big. Her contacts will be in place, many of them ready and willing to help her in any way they can. Ann is an author who practices the two to three-contacts a day rule (on her unpublished manuscripts!). Any publisher who gets her will be lucky.
Multi-published author Gerri Russell confided in me that if she had to do it all over again she wouldn’t waste money on print ads, printed material, etc. These things are costly and impersonal. She didn’t see much if any return on her dollars spent. No surprise. While print ads have their place (and could count as one thing you did to promote your book today) there’s no personal touch in a print ad. Gerri is a master at the meet and greet. She has the ability to make everyone feel special. Personal contact is her strength. How does she take her strength and make it work? She reaches out to her readers via a newsletter and through her blog. She speaks at conferences. She signs books and personally meets booksellers—most of these things are free. But are they enough? What would happen if she applied the two to three meaningful contacts a day rule? Imagine the possibilities…
Author Gina Robinson told me that one of the least expensive and easiest things she did was list a free book on Goodreads. It only cost her the price of the book and the postage to mail the book to the winner. Goodreads does the rest. Her book was listed on their page for three weeks to a month and over 500 people entered to win. Although you don’t get their emails for your email list, Gina still thought submitting to them was worth it. She also got quite a few hits on her website from Goodreads. Another favorite is sending a reviewer copy to your local paper. In a big city, the paper reaches hundreds of thousands. She also belongs to International Thriller Writers. They have an e-newsletter that comes out monthly that reaches over 12,000 thriller readers. It’s free for members to list their books in it during their release month. Gina also suggested going to the Public Library Associations Conference. Her publisher donated the books and Gina personally gave them out to about 75 librarians. She talked to many librarians that she otherwise would not have been able to reach. All it cost her was gas to and from the event.
Personally, I love the thought of three meaningful contacts a day. Meaningful.  In this age of social media, there’s something so nice about taking someone to lunch, writing a letter, or making personal contact with your local bookseller. It’s the two to three times a day that floors me. However, I’m inspired by John Kremer’s dedication to promotion. I’m inspired enough that I’m going to begin making a list of possible, meaningful, promotion contacts.
What about you? How many ways can you think of to promote your book? Does two to three times a day seem excessive, or does it seem doable and worth the effort? Does anyone out there already practice the two to three contacts a day rule? If so, are you willing to share any tips in the comments sections? I know I’d love to hear about your promotion ideas, and I’m sure others would, too.

I love hearing from you! And authors helping authors is the best we that we all win? Leave a comment and let me know your best promo tips. And don't forget to check out our new book promo specials for December at

Award-winning author Joleen James became an Indie author with the launch of her short story Hostage Heart. Since then she has released four small town contemporary romance novels: Falling For Nick, Under A Harvest Moon, Hometown Star, and Loving Glory.
When she's not busy writing, Joleen enjoys spending time with her family at her lakeside home in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. You can find Joleen James at and on Facebook and Twitter. Visit Joleen’s page at Amazon Author Central.

Falling For Nick by Joleen James
It’s taken Clea Rose ten years to get over the one night she spent with bad boy Nick Lombard—a night of teenage passion that produced her son, and sent Nick to prison for murder. Now, with her life finally back on track, Clea’s about to marry a wonderful man and leave town for a promising career in New York. The last thing she expects is Nick’s return and the intense feelings he stirs within her.

Sent to prison for a murder he didn’t commit, Nick Lombard comes home to the tiny town of Port Bliss to attend his mother’s funeral, but he doesn’t count on running into Clea. Seeing her reminds him of everything he’s tried to forget, and everything he longs to remember. When Nick learns Clea is about to marry the man who sent Nick to prison, he knows he must stay and fight for the family he was forced to leave behind.

Against all odds, Nick and Clea must find their way back to the summer they were young lovers on the beach in Port Bliss, realizing that together their love is strong, strong enough to survive anything, even the web of lies that separated them ten years ago.

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