While I have a traditional book deal now, I began my career as a self-published author. As you indie authors out there know all too well, that meant that in addition to everything else, I had to do all the marketing on my own.
As part of my strategy, I reached out to both book clubs and bloggers early on. For clubs near me, I offered to come to their meetings if they chose my novel. For book bloggers, I offered to send them a copy in hopes that they would enjoy it and write favorably about it. (They also could have hated it, but that's the risk you take when you write a novel.)
The first book club organizer to say yes to me was Jennifer van der Kleut. I attended her club, had a great time, and kept in touch. One of the early bloggers to agree to review my book was a woman named Tonya Plank. After that, I stayed in touch with her as well. I kept both women updated on the progress I was making with my book, including the eventual exciting news that I'd landed a contract.
It's a good thing I did.
Jennifer started freelancing for AOL's Patch network, and Tonya began writing for The Huffington Post. Both were impressed by the success I'd had with my self-published book, and the following articles resulted:
Jennifer has become such a fan that she also attended the launch party for my most recent novel. This time she recorded a video.
As the above examples demonstrate, things rarely happen overnight in marketing. It's a process that builds on itself, so hold on to the contacts you make along the way.
Maria Murnane is the best-selling author of the romantic comedies Perfect on Paper, It's a Waverly Life, and Honey on Your Mind. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.
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