Market My Novel reader Nicole wants to help a friend promote a new book. She writes:
My friend's fantasy book is coming out in March of this year and I want to help with the promotion but I'm a little lost as to where to start? Maybe you could provide me with some guidance.
First, you need a marketing plan. Know your budget and develop strategies based on your budget.
Next, you need to find out which review sites the publisher sent review copies to. Create a new list of reviewers that have not yet received a copy and get one to them. PDFs are sometimes acceptable, but not always. Do not send copies to publications that charge for reviews.
Then, find book review Web sites and query them about virtual book tours. VBTs are key to gaining recognition among readers. Only visit sites that are free. Do not pay to be placed on a book blog.
Make certain local media know about the author and the book. Find libraries and book stores willing to host your friend for a reading or book signing. If the budget is tight, only do local events to start, and plan to expand with later titles.
Be sure the author is set up to talk to book clubs and fan clubs via SKYPE or telephone. These are incredibly popular with both readers and authors, and cost nothing.
Do at least one solid month of promotion for the first month the book is out, then evaluate what worked and what didn't.
Virtual book tours are a great way to rejuvenate sales, so consider doing another tour six months after the launch – which will put you near Christmas.
Make sure your friend has a media center on the main Web site so media and VBT hosts can download standard information, like photographs and cover art.
To get started, read this column about creating a marketing plan.0