by Kathleen Bradean
Last month, I asked writers what they wanted to see addressed on this blog. One of the comments was about how to make your book stand out among the many others.
There’s an answer to that, but first, I’d like to mention a few things not to do. I’m being realistic here, not touchy-feely. (Feel free to add to this list in the comments. I’m sure you all know bad writer behavior by now.)
1) You Are Not Billy Mays. If you don’t recognize the name, he’s an infomercial star. He sells things, and I’m sure he’s good at it or they wouldn’t keep hiring him. However, you are most probably not a professional pitchman with a team of experienced ad writers working for you. Yes, you’re a writer, but that’s not the same as being a marketing genius or even a great pitchman. So you’re not likely to write such a great blog/ Face Book/ tweet that you’re able to turn your ad into sales. That means that you’re just adding to noise and clutter that is instantly forgotten.
2) People hate you – HATE you – if you friend them on Face Book or Twitter and instantly spam them. And by instantly, I mean anything from seconds afterwards to a month. You will be blocked.
3) Unless you’re J K Rowling, no one is going to read your press release.
4) You will be damn lucky if your publisher does anything to promote your work. Getting readings, onto panels at Cons, etc. is up to you. It’s even more difficult with erotica because people still treat it like it’s toxic.
5) You can be really kind to other writers, help promote their work, review it, recommend it, and every other thing you can think of to help them but don’t expect them to turn around and do you the same favor. I’m sorry, but it’s true. So do it out of the kindness of your heart and because you really believe in their work, but don’t for a second think that there’s some sort of karma investment in helping other writers that will pay you back dividends.
I hope you’re not too bummed out, because my best advice for getting your work noticed isn’t going to make you any happier.
Think about how you find books to read. You might look for reviews or find the recent award nominees in a genre, but poll after poll shows that the large majority of readers buy books based on a recommendation from someone they know or trust.
So how do you get someone to enthusiastically evangelize about your book?
You are not going to like this answer.
It seems too simple,
And not very helpful.
But it’s the one thing you have to do. Just one thing, After that, fate is in the hands of readers.
Are you ready for the big reveal?
Write a damn good story.