Are there any particularly good books or articles about self promotion?
June 4, 2013 10:36 PM   Subscribe

I have eight months until a big book release, and I figure my main job until then is to promote my blog and my book. So how do I go about that in an effective way? I know *some* of what I'm supposed to do (write lots of good blog content, guest post a lot, get backlinks), but even for those parts, I imagine there are better and worse ways of going about it (asking people to link to certain articles doesn't seem to work very well, and I haven't had much luck with guest posting offers lately.) Any good books or articles on this subject? Or suggestions of your own?
posted by sdis to Work & Money (9 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: (As seems to be relevant from somewhat similar past threads, the book is coming through a major publisher, but I'm potentially a few months away from talking to the publicity people and I don't want to waste the time between now and then)
posted by sdis at 10:41 PM on June 4, 2013

A manager of mine gave me this book on self promotion, which seemed like fairly straightforward, implementable advice: Brag - How to toot your own horn without blowing it
posted by jacalata at 11:49 PM on June 4, 2013 [2 favorites]

Have a look at Joanna Penn's website esp her Author 2.0 download. She also has a book on this topic coming out soon. Caveat - she is a client of mine - but what she says is good.

I also take guest posts on my language / writing / business blog, so drop me a memail if you want to talk about that!
posted by LyzzyBee at 2:58 AM on June 5, 2013

I heard this guy speak at the O'Reilly publishing conference and I really wish his session had been longer. Have bought his book but haven't fully read it yet -- on first glance through, it looks like something that might be helpful to you. (I own a small publishing company and we're pretty low budget on promo but we do quite well working social best advice there is to sit down and really PLAN what you want to do and what you intend to get from it. Some people benefit from having a more structured plan for posting, but definitely don't forget to interact with others, too, without being pushy or too me me me my book. If people like YOU, the references to your book become "oh yay, a book!" and not "oh god, not that again.")
posted by at 6:58 AM on June 5, 2013

How exciting! Three thoughts which may or may not be relevant depending on your subject: 1) sign up for HARO (Help A Reporter Out), which will send you a compilation of inquiries from journalists looking for sources twice a day; 2) try to get speaking engagements and, when successful, come up with gimmicks to collect business cards, direct people to your blog, etc., and 3) build a twitter following and respond to people who are influential in your realm in hopes they retweet your remarks.
posted by carmicha at 7:55 AM on June 5, 2013

Jeff Vandermeer's Booklife.
posted by Zed at 12:00 PM on June 5, 2013

I have Booklife, and the information may be great but I found the voice difficult to get through. YMMV.

It sounds like you're doing a lot of the right stuff already. You don't talk about live events -- if you're not already used to public speaking, it would be a great idea to become comfortable with that between now and then. Start contacting relevant conferences or conventions and volunteering to speak. There's a saying that books are sold one at a time -- when you shake a hand, answer a question, and otherwise present yourself to the audience as a decent human being that they should like and support.

You should also be active in relevant communities, if you're not already. If there are forums, email lists, blogs that get commented back and forth, or lots of Twitter threads, you should make it a part of your daily routine to be involved in those conversations. Make sure people are used to hearing you speak in a (hopefully) credible and authoritative way.

But also: don't worry about marketing your book just yet? At least not as such. Things like guest posts are something you can't do over and over, so you need to save up all of that social capital for a moment closer to the actual release date. Don't give people a chance to forget your book exists between the time they hear about it and the time they can actually buy it.

When my book came out, McGraw's publicist started working with me about three months before release, and she's the one who did a lot of outreach for eg. getting excerpts run in a relevant trade, placing pieces in Fast Company or whatever, arranging a number of readings and signings, sending out the press release, working out who should receive galleys, etc. etc. It's my understanding that this was an unusually good experience, though.
posted by Andrhia at 1:06 PM on June 5, 2013

This is a self-link, but I have an entire series on what you, as the author, can be doing for your book promotionally. It includes a timeline, because there are a lot of things you don't want to do too early.
posted by headspace at 4:43 PM on June 5, 2013

If you've heard of the author and industrial organization psychology professor, Adam M. Grant, Ph.D., then you're probably aware of his recently released book, Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success. The book's premise is there is a natural human tendency (perhaps most relevant in American culture), to focus on oneself when trying to propel forward in our career, relationship, or hobby. Which, of course, intuitively, makes sense. The catch is that the success of greatly influential people is determined majorly by how s/he interacts with others, and the value they gain from those interactions.

This might be a more long-term outlook than you're looking for, given your book's quickly approaching release, but I truly think it's worth the read before then, if anything else than to provide you with different perspective of cultivating success.
posted by goblue_est1817 at 6:24 AM on June 6, 2013

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