Ready to announce your forthcoming book? Congratulations! Now brace yourself for an onslaught of emails offering help with promotion — for a fee. Just this morning I got one offering three packages ranging from $29 for their basic service to $69 for “Pro.” Basic will get you ten daily tweets about your book for five days, plus a listing on their website for a year. Pro gets you ten daily tweets for 20 days, plus Instagram highlights for a year.
I have two problems with offers like this. One, it looks scammy; how do I know they’ll follow through after I pay them? Two, I’d be throwing good money at services I could easily handle. And besides: We’re authors — aren’t we supposed to be poor?
Most of us accept that marketing is part of the job, so it really is a question of how to do it as efficiently as possible. Yet, we continue to work in isolation, copying tactics we see online and keeping what works to ourselves. My fellow writers, it’s time we shared our most successful tools and tricks. My only request is that everything offered can be replicated or improved with a marketing budget of zero. In that spirit, I’ll open this conversation with my latest book, DIY Book Promo: How to Find Readers Without Spending Money.
Hewing as close as possible to my stated brief, this book is cheap. Yet author/blogger Matt Adcock says it’s full of “quality advice” on how to co-brand with bookstores, which book reviewers to query (and which to avoid), plus how to pitch media for interviews and perform well in front of the mic — tips from my 30-year broadcasting career. I also share how I got my novel adapted and how to pull off a publicity stunt.*
My expectation is that you’ll read the book, experiment with my suggestions and then write your own book sharing what worked during your campaign. I’ll buy yours and try what you suggest — but please do as I did and keep it as inexpensive as possible. We’re talking about a self-help guide, not an ornate tome deserving pride of place in my library.
Also, make it easy to find your website or social media. I’ll probably have questions about certain details and might need a quick reply.
Let’s keep this conversation going. Feel free to contact me via my website, diybookpromo.com. If you prefer meeting in person, come to the Imaginarium Convention July 19–21 in Louisville, Kentucky, where I’ll lead a seminar called DIY Book Promo. Find out more at entertheimaginarium.com.
As always, I wish you the very best with your writing and efforts to promote your work.
*Matt Adcock’s “Dark Matters” blog, Jan. 28, 2024
Dan Klefstad is a longtime radio host and newscaster. His latest novel, Fiona’s Guardians, is about humans who work for a beautiful vampire named Fiona. The book was adapted by Artists’ Ensemble Theater for their Mysterious Journey podcast. A short film adaptation is currently in pre-production with a release date in 2024.