by Danielle Jackson
One of the hardest things I do as a publicist is try to think of new ways to promote your books. For romance, the web is by far the biggest way to make a significant impact on readers, and of course there’s always the old stand by—print reviews. However, as more and more romance novels (and really, books in general) are released every year, sometimes, you have to do something a little weird to get people to take notice of what you’re doing.
One of the best workshops I went to at RWA was called Self-Promotion: It Isn’t Rocket Science given by author Kelley St. John and her agent, Caren Johnson. They addressed this very same issue—what can you do to make your promotional efforts really pop? Kelley herself has worked out giving away vacations (in exchange with the resorts/hotels/restaurants/etc. their names are added to ALL promotional materials, they are linked to on her site, etc.) as a contest on her website. This worked to her advantage on many levels, but two major points were made
1) This generated more interest in being on her newsletter list—a great way to reach readers and let them know what have going on!
2) She received extra attention and media coverage because of not only the response, but the amazing new way she decided to promote her book.
These things also worked in ways to help readers remember that book and author—I mean, who’s going to forget someone giving away a vacation? And the perfect book to take with!
Now, this is just an amazing example of out-of-the-box promotion—the opportunities are endless! I suggest thinking about what makes your book different. We have everything from aliens to guys who like to clean; so there’s a hook in there somewhere just begging to be explored and taken to the next level with promotional efforts. Anything from writing articles and then shopping them around to magazines (which, let me tell you, our magazine database is quite extensive!) to hosting a tea party where you teach regency dances to figuring out a crazy way to get a celebrity to read your book (or at least pose for a photo)…the list goes on!
So, here’s a little project for you authors out there (I feel like a teacher haha): even if it is the most INSANE idea in the world, what would be a fun out-of-the-box promotional opportunity for YOUR book? I know that some of you have already let me know about them…share with your Casa sisters! Let’s generate some ideas, and hopefully start to put them into motion. I’ll be the first to admit that with the out-of-the-box stuff, I’ll need your help!!
I will not be able to check in quite so frequently today! But I expect many many MANY ideas to be in the comments so I can respond on Sunday!!