Personally, I hate asking for help. Soliciting blurbs almost killed me! Unofortunately,blurbs are only the first favor that you’re going to have to ask for as you put your book out.
The first thing is to look to your friends and family for help. I would recommend this even if you didn’t need it. You and I know that publishing a book doesn’t make you famous, but to your loved ones, you may seem like a minor celebrity. They don't understand that launching a book is really stressful and you may feel vulnerable and scrutinized—even if it is only by the people on goodreads and amazon. Bringing your friends and familly into the picture will provide support from an emotional standpoint, and can also help ease your workload. And equally important is that your loved ones will be glad to be part of your team, and not just waving pom poms in your cheering squad.
Even if your family doesn’t have marketing expertise, they can help raise your profile. My bestie just posted a 5-star review on line. My mom sent a triumphant publication announcement to her 500 person email list. My aunt chats up the people at her job. (“It’s SILVER SPARROW. It was in the Oprah magazine. Look for it!”) Word of mouth has to start somewhere, and my relatives have a lot of mouth. A fifty-dollar check from buddy? Take it. My dad wanted to rent a billboard, but I convinced him to put the money toward an independent publicist. Whether it’s your friends acting as press agents, or providing much needed funds, get them in the act. You need help, and they want to help you.
You may also have other people who will lend a hand, but they have no idea how to help. Reach out and ask for what you need. I have maintained a blog for about five years and I have a warm relationship with my blog community. Last year, when I had to fill out my media questionnaire, I asked the blog community to let me know of any media contacts they have. I was knocked out by the response. (Who knew such plugged-in people read my blog? And who knew they would be so generous?) All I had to do was ask.
Now that SILVER SPARROW is ready to fly, I am asking my blog family for help again. My book tour is extensive—thirty cities—and I need some assistance in bringing in audiences. I made up pretty email-able invitations for each tour stop. If people want to help out--I call this joining a “host committee”-- they can shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or leave a comment with their email and I will send them the invitation for their city, so that they can send it to their friends. And if you want to jump in, here is my list of tour cities.
My life has been much easier since I started accepting help from others. On my first book, I tried to do everything myself. I got almost no sleep for eighteen months. Further, all the working was pulling me away from my friends and I was constantly feeling lonely. My friends, feeling the distance thought that success had changed me. It was such a painful period in my life. This time, I am making the book launch a family affair. By this I mean all kinds of family, blood kin and family of spirit.
I feel better already.
Now, over to you SheWriters,