We are talking marketing on the blog for the next few months, and TBA clients Rachael Allen and Felicia Chernesky have kindly shared some advice for new authors.
First up, Rachael:
1. You can’t do everything. If you’re a debut, especiallyif you’re a debut, you’re going to want to. Even though I’m telling you this, and even though you may agree, the swirl of “Things other people are doing” is going to get to you, and you’re going to find yourself agreeing to 87 million blog posts and shipping everyone who pre-orders your book a tap dancing monkey. But what I’m saying is: I officially give you my permission not to do all the things.
2. Do the things you like. Focus on those things, and do them well. You’ll have more fun, and it’ll show. Trying to figure out what those things are? Here’s a post I really love by Courtney Steven’s that tells you what book marketing things best fit with your Myers-Brigg type: http://quartland.blogspot.com/2015/01/marketing-and-myers-brigg.html
3. Be nice to people. So many opportunities have come my way as a result of me forming genuine friendships with others in the publishing business.
4. Team up with other people on events/giveaways/anything you can. It’s less daunting that way and more fun.
5. Write a killer next book.
Rachael Allen lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband, two children, and two sled dogs. In addition to being a YA writer, she’s also a mad scientist, a rabid Falcons fan, an expert dare list maker, and a hugger. Rachael is the author of THE REVENGE PLAYBOOK (HarperTeen, June 2015) and 17 FIRST KISSES (HarperTeen, 2014). You can find her on twitter @Rachael_Allen or her blog: http://rachaelallenwrites.blogspot.com/
And now for Felicia:
My first book released September 2013. By March 2016 I will have published six picture books with Albert Whitman & Company: a seasonal rhyming concept book series, FROM APPLE TREES TO CIDER, PLEASE! (Fall 2015), and a prose book about a boy who speaks in numbers (Spring 2016). Learning to promote has been trial by fire; as appearances for one book wrap up the next book appears. My agent and publisher offer supportive guidance, as does my wonderful husband, Eddie, a longtime business representative, who cheers me on: “Ask questions. Try everything. Do your best. All it takes is one person.”
Not every appearance results in big book sales—but signings get my books out there, where I’ve made connections that lead to school visits, speaking engagements, and event appearances. Book promotion is an adventure, an opportunity to be creative and cultivate new readerships. Plus it’s fun and gets me out, away from my desk.
A confession: I struggle with nerves before appearances. Focusing on the delightful young readers, families, teachers, and librarians I meet via my books makes those butterflies flit away. Persevere! The joys and rewards of book promotion are so much more than monetary.