Monday, October 19, 2015

Authors: Plant book seeds long in advance if you want to harvest the publicity crop later

On the day I approved one book for printing, it had 669 search links on Google, 66 on Bing, 79 on Yahoo, and 10 on Excite. Those links were in place, waiting for my book to exist.

Authors, if you don’t start marketing until your books go on sale, you’ve waited much too long. Start marketing as soon as you have a subject and a tentative title. Even a year in advance is not too soon!

Some people think it’s bad luck to announce a pregnancy before the baby is born. Others start blabbing and buying baby clothes on the day after conception. There is similar disagreement about announcing a book long in advance.

You may think that you should keep your book secret so nobody copies your idea. But the loss of advance publicity and the delay in moving up through search engine rankings is probably worse than helping a competitor.
  • If you write a blog or have a website in a field that’s related to your book topic, show a mock-up of the cover and tell a bit about the book. As you get closer to the publication date and your ideas about the book get more concrete, you can say more about it.
  • This blog shows covers of some of my works in progress. The books won't be published until some time in the future, but each book shows up in searches for relevant key words and phrases -- and some are high in the rankings. 
  • If you respond to posts on others' blogs and websites, and on Facebook, mention your future book in the text or in your "signature."
  • Write guest blog posts, magazine articles and letters to the editor -- and mention the future book in your bio.
  • Send out press releases.
  • If you've written other books and have an author page on Amazon or elsewhere, mention your future books.
  • For nonfiction, assert your expertise. Respond to requests for help in Help A Reporter Out.
Here are some news items that mentioned books that did not exist yet:
  1. New York Times: "author of the forthcoming novel “Maya’s Notebook” 
  2. Business Week: “This is the lesson Costco teaches,” says Doug Stephens, founder of the consulting firm Retail Prophet and author of the forthcoming The Retail Revival." 
  3. Huffington Post: "Helena Andrews, author of the upcoming book Bitch Is the New Black"
  4. Christian News WireDr. Andrew Jackson, author of the forthcoming Mormonism Explained: What Latter-Day Saints Teach and Practice"
  5. "Fred Bals, author of upcoming Theme Time Radio Hour' book - Part one"
  6. Financial Content: "coauthor of upcoming e-book, But I'm Hungry!, to be launched on September 15"
  7. Quill & Quire: "Author of forthcoming book about Sarah Palin rents home … next to Sarah Palin"
  8. Princeton University Press Blog: "Noah Horowitz, author of forthcoming ART OF THE DEAL"
  9. Blog Talk Radio: "Arthur Wylie is the author of the upcoming (and great book) Only the Crazy and Fearless Win Big." 
  10. Media Matters: "Author Of Forthcoming Fox Expose Says He Received Threat Following Latest Attack Piece"

You can do it, too. Get started NOW.

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