Purple Prose + traditional publishing

Getting Your Book Noticed In Today’s Changing Marketplace

©Stina Lindenblatt

Unless you’ve been wandering lost in a desert for the past year, you are aware that the publishing industry is rapidly changing. With it, the number of self-published, small press, ebooks, and traditionally published books being published each week is dramatically growing. What does this mean? More people are trying to gain the reader’s attention. The same reader we want to check out our own new release.

Elana Johnson blogged last week on how we’re starting to suffer from a social media hangover. Promotional activities (blog tours, giveaways, interviews) that used to be effective are now turning people off. Some readers still enjoy them, but most don’t bother to read the posts. I don’t. Katie Mills also talked about this change. Based on comments from their posts and other places, as well as personal experience, this is what I’ve learned:

  • Covers are important. If your cover looks amateurish, no one (other than your mom) will be interested in your book. When you send the JPEG file to be used on another blog, make sure you send one of high resolution; otherwise, it will look blurry and amateurish.
  • A compelling title always tromps a dull one.
  • Make sure your blurb is tight and interesting. If your blurb is dull and vague, I’m not going to read your book. I’ve seen a number of self-published books lately with great covers and boring blurbs.
  • Don’t irritate people with your promotion. As we all know, this is a serious issue with Twitter and Facebook. If you want people to pay attention to your new release, then please avoid spamming. If you DM someone who just followed you back, you can guarantee they WON’T read your book (or blog) if you tell them to.
  • Use Goodreads wisely. Goodreads is a great way for people to find out about your book via word-of-mouth. Plus, fans of your books can check the site for the release date of your next novel. It’s also a good way to invite your “friends” to your book-release party. However, I often delete the announcements (unread) unless I’m excited about the book or the author is a friend of mine.
  • Word of mouth is your best promotion. Not long ago, a blogging friend mentioned Easy by Tammara Webber on her blog. We started talking about the book. Because of that, I bought it and read it right away (even though my TBR pile is out of control). I then told my CP, who also read it even though her TBR pile is as bad as mine. We both love the book and have told others about it.
  • Be selective with your blog tours. You are better off having your book reviewed on a major book blog (if possible) than swamp your blogging circle with a blog tour. According to the comments on Katie’s and Elana’s posts, most of us avoid reading posts that are part of a blog tour, especially when a number of the blogs we follow are part of the tour. The exception is if the topic is of interest to us. Then we stop to read it.
  • Keep your promotion small, unless you can spread it around so it’s not hitting the same people again and again. Every so often, subtly remind us about your book. I might not buy it right away, but the reminder later on might be all I need to pick the book up. This is more effective than over promotion, which tends to turn some people off a book.
  • If you’re going to do an interview, KEEP IT SHORT. Most of us don’t have time to read to a 750-word plus interview, unless it’s by our favorite author. Personally, all I care about is the book. Write a great story and I’m sold.
  • Make sure your book is professionally edited. Later next year, I plan to release a New Adult novel I’m currently working on, and plan to have the book professionally edited (that includes structural edits, line edits, and copy edits). Why? Because I want the word-of-mouth to be good. Need I say more?
  • Start working on your next project. The best promotion for your last book is your next one. I loved Easy so much, I had to read the first book in Tammara Webber’s Between the Lines series. I’ve already read the first two books and can’t wait to read the third one.
  • Remember the purpose of social networking. The key word here is social. This is your chance to make genuine friendships. Friendships that could eventually lead to positive word-of-mouth about your book.

How do you decide what books to read? Are there any forms of promotion that especially turns you off? Do you have any other suggestions for getting your book noticed?

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Getting Your Book Noticed In Today’s Changing Marketplace + traditional publishing