Written by: Aisha Tritle
Wouldn’t it be great if your book could do all the interviews, signings, parties, podcasts, guest blogs, and newspaper articles…while you stayed at home, drank tea (or beer), and worked on the next book?
An author’s job encompasses more than just brainstorming, writing, and editing. You’re the face of your book (aside from the cover, of course). You’re also the voice – not just the voice within the pages, but the public voice. Outside of writing, author life is all about outreach, presentation, and publicity, baby.
Below are some points to remember as you embark on your journey to literary fame:
1. There will already be lists online. Because there are already lists online for practically everything.
What sort of lists? General book bloggers, Sci-Fi book reviewers, blogs looking for authors to interview…I guarantee someone else has already done the research for you. Take some time to google and you’ll find lists composed with the contacts you need. Here are some examples below:
Use these lists to book your own blog tour. Bloggers love hearing directly from authors.
2. The Pitch.
Sometimes your book is enough to get you in, sometimes not. Make sure you know how to pitch yourself along with your book. You are your book’s ambassador, after all. Are you able to drive significant traffic to their blog through your social media profiles? Let them know. Did you just win a writing award? Mention it.
Another thing, though – when it comes to pitching your book to the people on your list, make sure you point out why their reader demographic will be interested. Is the blog name “A Court of Thorns,” with a roses theme? Is your book stylistically in the vein of A Court of Thornes and Roses? Connect the dots for them.
3. Play up what makes you…you.
Whatever makes you unique outside of writing can increase the amount of attention your writing gets. Are you an entrepreneur? Apply to be on a podcast focusing on entrepreneur stories. Do you have a beetle collection? Approach the editorial staff of a magazine for coleopterists to discuss a feature. You get the idea. People who connect with you on one level will normally take interest in what you do outside of that.
4. Play it up on social. Really play it up on social.
Are you on social media? If not, get on it. You don’t have to go all out and join Tik Tok (unless you want to, of course), but make sure you have the basics: Instagram, Twitter, and a Facebook page. Not only will your readers enjoy connecting with you, but social media is a great tool in building your author brand (a story for another time).
This is where presentation comes into play.
Were you featured in that coleopterist magazine? Don’t be shy. Promo the heck out of it. Squeeze every last bit of content you can get out of it – tastefully, of course. Don’t make it seem like that feature is the only feature you’ll ever get.
But this is your life now. You get featured in magazines. Let the people know.
5. Prep. See if you can get questions beforehand for any recorded interviews.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve definitely given answers I’ve regretted. Your fans won’t want to hear silence or incoherent bumbling when you’re asked what your “process” is or what exactly spurred your journey to becoming a writer. Prep for as much as possible – and if the interviewer is willing to give you a list of questions beforehand, get them.
Even better if the interviewer wants to review your answers beforehand to catch any kerfluffles. This will help you avoid situations such as when I told an interviewer that my dad was from “Iowa,” and we went through the rest of the interview with her thinking my dad was from Ireland.
6. Publicity leads to publicity.
Just like one publishing deal helps lead to the next, publicity leads to more publicity. Your cred is being established. The more cred you have, the more people will be interested and take you seriously.
Once you get the ball rolling, the interviews, features, and followers will start picking up. The initial push is the hardest, but once you get through that, things will get easier and the success rate for your outreach efforts will become higher. I promise.
You’re here to sell books and build your career as an author. Are you ready?
Aisha Tritle is a novelist, playwright, actress, musician, marketer and tea fiend. She has studied with famed acting coach John Kirby and at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Turning her hand to plays, she completed two One-Act Comedies in 2016: of which, one was recently performed and published in the U.K. Aisha spends her days in sunny Los Angeles producing films, marketing for innovative tech companies, and working on her true passion of writing novels.