Let’s see. You’ve set your goals, created a timeline, and figured out at least one or two target markets. Now it’s time to contact them, and let them know about your fabulous new story. Preferably starting about three months before its release date. And how will you do that?
Promotion, promotion, promotion.
There are several ways to reach out to your target market. You can do it online, by several methods. Social networking, press kits, chat groups, author interviews, review sites, podcasts, blogs, websites, blog talk radio interviews, and the list goes on and on. You may also reach your markets face-to-face by doing book signings, teaching workshops, social networking(the face-to-face kind), advertising, radio and television interviews and so on. You need to decide what will work best for you.
One way to take the pain out of promotion is to initially focus on doing the types of promotion which don’t make you feel terribly uncomfortable. For example, if you like talking to groups of people, workshops may work well for you. If you are not comfortable with groups, you may prefer to do more online promotion.
This is where knowing your personal strengths and weaknesses will help you. Be honest with yourself, and be prepared to grow. No one is comfortable with every type of promotion. People just get more practiced at doing it, and some are more natural than others. If you start with something that doesn’t make you too uncomfortable, then you can work your way up to the next thing which may make you a feel a little awkward, but with practice, you should be able to do just fine. Simply know at some point, you will be outside your comfort zone. That is probably the most natural thing about promotion.
Another way to take the pain out of promotion is to realize that selling books, or selling anything for that matter, isn’t about standing up, or emailing people and saying, “Buy my book.”
It’s about building relationships. Perhaps that will make it more tolerable for you. Beside that, it’s true. You’ll build relationships with your publisher, your readers, booksellers, and other authors. All of which will at some point, in some way, help you to sell your book.
Don’t worry, no one will drag you kicking and screaming in front of people to promote your book. Either you will do it. Or you won’t. It’s really that simple.