Yesterday I gave advice about where a beginning author should spend money to promote his book. Today I’m going to do the opposite: make recommendations on where NOT to put your money and then make a few positive suggestions. Here’s the list of what not to do:
1. Book tours: unless you have a great number of friends in various locations, book tours for an unknown writer are as successful as wakes for a dead sparrow. Unless you like talking to yourself or being embarrassed by an audience of two, who won’t buy you book anyway, don’t do book tours.
2. Virtual Book Tours: I’d love to hear some argument on this but I spent $450 for a virtual book tour and not a single sale resulted from two weeks on the web.
3. Book Fairs: Unless you’re wish to meet other unknown authors in search of an audience, are looking for a tax write off, or want a sun tan avoid book fairs. The fees to participate will cost you more than profits from your sales.
4. “How To” Books: Don’t buy these. Borrow from the library or get the information on line.
5. Paid Advertisements: Forget it.
Things to try are:
1. Join your local writer’s groups: They share all kinds of information, particularly if they put out a newsletter.
2. Library guest speaker: Hard to get an invitation as the competition is fierce and schedules are out a year in advance. But give it a whirl.
3. Book clubs: If you have a friend who is in a club, get yourself scheduled. Sometimes libraries have book clubs, too. Again, there’s fierce competition for these slots.
4. Writers’ Conventions: You won’t sell books at a convention but you may pick up useful information and make fruitful contacts.
5. Speaker’s bureau: There are many service clubs that have monthly guest speakers. Find out what they’re looking for and tailor a presentation to match their interests. Bring a few books along and hope.
My list of venues isn’t exhaustive but it’s a place for a beginner to start. Expect to feel stymied, puzzled, disappointed and frustrated. Expect to spend as much or more time promoting your book than it took to write it. Fair warning: You have to be tough and determined in this business and to have a budget for projects to promote your creation. And then…. And then…. Wait for lightning to strike because luck and chance play a big role.
(Courtesy of chicklit.writers’.com)