Wait, I have to do what?

So I’m editing editing editing sleep eat dayjob editing crying editing right now, and sadly found myself without time to write the long post about villians I had slated for this week. (But strangely not without time to read Mark of the Demon, nom nom nom!!)

ANYWAY, instead, I thought I’d take the opportunity/copout to ask a question I’ve been quietly fretting over for some time and, as several of our Magic District denizens have had first hand experience with this of late, now seems to be a good time to ask. Namely, how does one go about marketing ones book?

I know Diana has a great ad up on Smart Bitches, and internet ads on sites full of people who would be interested in your book does seem pretty optimal, but I was wondering, what else is there? What else have my fellow authors tried, and of those, what worked the best? How do you even tell if advertising/promotionals work? What was the most fun to do?

I’ve read several articles on self promotion, but most of the advice doesn’t feel right for my book. If I had a romance, I think it would be easier. Romance reader have well known online hangouts. But my series is light action fantasy, all swordfights and magic mixed with comedy. I don’t  know where I should focus my efforts, and with a baby on the way and a day job freshly given notice, I don’t have the luxury of boucou bucks to experiment with lots of different approaches.

And so I turn to you, gentle, clever reader! If you ever saw something and thought “man, that’s an awesome way to promote a fantasy!” I’m all ears! If I try something, I’ll report back on how it works! If you read a good article, I’d love to see it, and if you tried something that you wish you hadn’t bothered with, then I’d really love to know. Even if you were just wandering around and saw something that made you want to buy a book, I want to know what and why. Nothing is too small to further my knowledge!  Thank you in advance, anything at all is greatly appreciated.

9 Responses to “Wait, I have to do what?”

  1. July 10, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Podcasts, blogs, videos. I’m an “Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing” junkie. Also Dragon Page and “I Should be Writing.” All do author interviews. Greg and Tim can probably get you in touch with Shaun at AISFP.

    I, and I’m not alone, review many of the books I read. I’m partial to promoting the writers I’m closely associated with, because I want them to do well … thus much love for Tim and Greg, as we’ve crossed paths for one reason or another. I’ve expanded that sphere of book love to the entire Magic District clan … because I can. Which reminds me … i need to read MotD and get a review up.

    I have no idea how effective video book trailers are, but I still find them neat. The one for Sly Mongoose.

  2. July 10, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Conventions are a good place. Ditto podcasts — remember that the Escape Artists podcasts these days reach more listeners than all of the Big Three combined. Contact Podcastle about an ad; I don’t know their policy (they’ve done ads, but I don’t know why or how much they cost) but I’m planning to inquire as the big day approaches. If you’ve got audio equipment, maybe send them a dramatically-read summary/excerpt of your book, or something like that.

    I’m also thinking about (though I’ve got to talk to the marketing director) publishing a small chapbook-sized excerpt of the book’s first chapter or two. I got something like that for Ekaterina Sedia’s first novel at Wiscon a few years ago, and it was very effective. Might even want to go in halvsies with another author whose book is coming out around that time… um… so… what’s your release date, again? =)

  3. July 10, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    As a reader, I second the vote for making the first couple of chapters available before the actual book is, especially if you can put them online.

    I could hardly stand the wait for Spiral Hunt to come out (for example) after reading the first couple of chapters as a sneak preview online.

  4. 4 Sue
    July 10, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    As soon as you’ve sold it, get everybody you can to pre-order it. (I ended up with four copies pre-ordered on Diana’s book. And I already have two of the next one on pre-order at Amazon.)

  5. 5 rachelaaron
    July 11, 2009 at 7:41 am

    Wow, these are all awesome ideas!!! Thanks so much to everyone for commenting. I never even thought about podcasts. Awesome.

  6. July 11, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    Two words–Blog Tour.

    I’m going to write another post just about all the online promo I did, because so far it looks like it paid off pretty nicely. But the first tip I have is to set google alerts on your name and the title of your book. You want to know when people are talking about you!

  7. July 17, 2009 at 11:21 am

    It obviously works best for authors that already have a strong online following, but I’ve had a lot of fun participating in “Amazon Assaults.” Basically getting a ton of people to all buy your book on the same day so that it rockets up the bestseller list on Amazon. That’s helped many podcast authors get their mainstream book deals … Sigler, Harwood, and others that ended up with deals with smaller presses. My long commute has gotten me intimately aware of the happenings in the podcast community.

  8. 8 RKB
    July 27, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Oh yeah, forgot one more thing – make a video for your book, e.g., what Rachel Vincent has for _My Soul to Take_:

    Plus if you have a web page, put up fan videos like Razorbill did for Richelle Mead’s _Vampire Academy_ series:



  9. 9 RKB
    July 28, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Editorial Ass just wrote up a blog piece on “My First Print Run is Tiny! How Can I Save My Book?!”


    The blog article relates fairly well with what you are asking about.

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