Book Marketing (Where Are They) Now?
Following up with authors LISA ROGERS, N. GRIFFIN, ANN LIU KELLOR, DIANA WHITNEY, RACHEL SARAH, and HEATHER KELLY on their current book marketing strategies!
It’s been a year and a half of Book Marketing Now interviews. Let’s check in with some of our authors to see how their marketing has evolved since launch!
What are you doing to market your book right now? Discover Her Art is in its second printing, so I’m doing a two-book Twitter giveaway; writing several guest blogs; zooming into public libraries; and setting up my first email newsletters (thanks to Heather Kelly’s class) to spread the word about this book and upcoming ones!
What surprised you about marketing your book? COVID still made it challenging to do bookstore events.
What marketing strategy felt most successful? I’m not sure which was most successful, but in-person events and interaction have been the most satisfying.
Is there anything you would do differently? Set aside a day each week to plan and carry out marketing strategies instead of trying to fit it in between writing and revisions.
What’s one tip you would give to authors trying to marketing their book post-launch? Readers will want to know about your book whether it’s two months post-publication or ten. Keep looking for creative ways to help your readers find your book!
Lisa Roger’s BMN interview | Author website | Order your copy of Discover Her Art
What are you doing to market your book right now? Not a thing and this is reminding me that I should be posting reviews! It always makes me feel a bit uncomfortable, but then I remember that I mean the book to be a present, not a weird little hoard. So I will do that. Right nowish.
What surprised you about marketing your book? Having to bare my soul so much in interviews. What are absolutely legitimate and excellent questions from an interviewer about my book, were the hardest, most stomach-churning, anxiety-producing for me to answer. But I’m glad to do it because Didi’s experiences are drawn from mine. I truly want kids in those kinds of situations to know they are seen.
What’s one tip you would give to authors trying to marketing their book post-launch? I think posting positive reviews is good but with minimal introduction—it’s off-putting to write, say, that it’s an incredible review highlighting your true brilliance for all the world to see. That sort of thing. Unless you feel that way. I will not stop. You got to do you.
N. Griffin’s BMN interview | Author website | Order your copy of Trigger
What are you doing to market your book right now? About six months after launch, I started following up with old leads, wanting to give my book one last big push this spring. This included giving a couple library talks, finally doing an in-person bookstore event, and giving a reading with my writing group. Increasingly, my so-called book activities have become more about being in community and having fun.
What marketing strategy felt most successful? As someone published with an indie press and limited marketing resources, my approach was all about leveraging connections I had with my fellow writers, which has led to continued opportunities — like being invited to judge a memoir contest; to speak on a panel at Orcas Island Lit fest; or to share with this newsletter! Just being open to the unexpected and making time to help others is what keeps book promotion feeling more pleasurable versus a chore.
What’s one tip you would give to authors trying to marketing their book post-launch? Only do what you feel like doing and trust your body if you need a break from social media. The energy that you carry into writing promotional text or otherwise sharing of yourself online is important, so for me it feels better to post less often but more authentically, than to try to dash off posts when my heart isn't in it.
Anne Liu Kellor’s BMN interview | Author Website | Order your copy of Heart Radical
What are you doing to market your book right now? I’m planning and pitching writing courses related to my book.
What surprised you about marketing your book? How time-consuming it was to place two book-related pieces (was it worth it? I don’t know!)
Is there anything you would do differently? I’d plan fewer book events and readings (I exhausted myself and was burned out after 2 months) and take more breaks.
What's one tip you would give to authors trying to marketing their book post-launch? Give yourself time to recover from your launch. There is an inevitable, postpartum-like crash after bringing a book into the world. And conserve your energy! You can't do everything, so choose the events/launch strategies that feel exciting and resonate with who you are.
Diana Whitney’s BMN interview | Website | Order You Don't Have to Be Everything
What are you doing to market your book right now? I’m going to have my first marketing meeting for Climate Champions at the end of 2022 with Chicago Review Press.
What surprised you about marketing your book? How excited young people were about this book! Girl Warriors also led me to some amazing opportunities: being a 2022 Kiplinger Fellow; being a keynote speaker at Broward County, Florida's Climate Summit; and being a Planet Steward at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) this year.
What marketing strategy felt most successful? Collaborating with other writers, activists, and creative people.
What's one tip you would give to authors trying to marketing their book post-launch? Be yourself. Trust your internal GPS to lead you in the right direction.
Rachel Sarah’s BMN interview | Website | Order Girl Warriors and Climate Champions
What are you doing to market your book right now? Building and growing email lists, doing workshops, and putting together YouTube videos.
What surprised you about marketing your book? How easy it is to grow email lists!
Is there anything you would do differently? How? All my mistakes taught me so much! Getting over the resistance to email my lists each week with valuable information, was the key to growing those lists.
What's one tip you would give to authors trying to marketing their book post-launch? Market in a community! And email lists are the most valuable tool you have!
Heather Kelly’s BMN interview | Website | Order Jumpstart Your Writing in 30 Days
Support these authors by following, reposting, sharing, reviewing, requesting, and/or reading their books (and buying when you can)!
Happy reading & writing!
Writer & Marketing Coach
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Allison Pottern Hoch has happily made books her life’s work. She spent four years marketing and publicizing academic titles at The MIT Press before she went to work for Wellesley Books as a children’s bookseller and event coordinator. She is now living her dream: putting her B.A. in Creative Writing to good use as a novelist and as a writing/marketing coach for authors. She enjoys science fiction, cupcakes, and a hot cup of tea.
Book links are Bookshop.org affiliate links. Proceeds go to a rotating list of book industry related charities. For a complete list of these authors’ titles, see our Bookshop.
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Thank you Allison and all the authors mentioned. It's been almost six months since my book launched. I've cycled through exhilaration, exhaustion and recovery, and am now thinking about how to play the long game of book marketing, something that is often overlooked when the focus is on the initial launch. Hearing what others have done post-launch reaffirms some of my steps and gives me new inspiration.