Writers dream of big newspaper ads, displays in bookstores and maybe a radio spot or two. Truth is, most books are not marketed like a movie release campaign. Authors also quickly realize that they hold much of the responsibility for getting their book noticed. Often this requires willingness to do some old-fashioned networking.
Ren Garcia, the mind behind the League of Elder series, writes that nothing is off the table:
“A key component of spreading the plague that is my brand is showing my smiling face: craft shows, bake shows, car shows, any place I can set up a table is fair game.” And then there is the convention scene where it is easy to be overlooked, but as Ren writes, “For me, the greatest value of attending a convention is the contacts and genuine friendships I make. I walk around and talk to the authors and show genuine interest in their work. I listen to them.”
Robert Bidinotto, author of the Dylan Hunter novels, details that something as apparently mundane (in our electronic world anyway) as business cards can effectively spread the word about your book. He explains:
“…by far the best way to use them is person-to-person. Every time you meet someone new, they want to know what you do. ‘I’m an author,’ you say, and hand them your card. If you have a spiffy-looking book cover, your card will impress them and very likely generate questions.” In other words, be proud that you are writer and let people know. He adds: “But you don’t have to wait around to encounter strangers. You are constantly running into strangers: store clerks, waiters and waitresses, barbers and hair stylists, people sitting next to you in coffee shops, the clerk at the post office window. You can initiate a conversation, quite naturally…” Read the rest of his post for an amusing little lesson in bringing your book up to complete strangers.
So instead of waiting for the big movie trailer for your book, explore every and any opportunity to make your epic story known.