Ashland Creek Press (2013)
Midge Raymond, the author of Everyday Writing: Tips and prompts to fit your regularly scheduled life as well as the wonderful short story collection Forgetting English (Press 53, 2011) has now published an extremely helpful guide to book marketing. It doesn’t matter whether your book is forthcoming or long since published, or if it will come from a big press, a small press, or be self-published, you’ll find this book filled with tips you can use.
The book includes a detailed discussion of the marketing process, starting with the important advice that the author should begin taking steps to market the book long before the book is actually published. But it goes on to provide a thorough discussion of blogging, platform building, contact-list building, websites, review copies, the book launch, and what to do next. In addition, however, a significant portion of the book is devoted to question and answer sessions with authors (including those who are traditionally published and self-published; fiction writers, memoirists, poets; best-sellers and emerging writers), publicists, event coordinators, and others. These sections are fascinating and give the reader great insights from people who have been there and done that.
Need to know how to arrange bookstore events? Check the Q&A with a couple of event coordinators with plenty of experience. Need to know what to put in your website? Check the chapter on author websites. Considering hiring a publicist? Take a look at the chapter on publicists and also read the Q&A with an experienced publicist. The book also provides tips for your book launch party, your Amazon.com Author Central page, how to get the most out of Goodreads, and a lot more. I’ve been through this a couple of times now, and I still learned a lot reading this book. (It’s available both in paperback and eBook formats.)
I have one minor complaint about the book, and that is that there is some wonderful information in the Q&As with the authors and publicists, but it can be a little hard to find. Some of these items are mentioned in the corresponding sections of the main text, but not all of them are. An index might be helpful, but in the meantime you might want to take notes as you’re reading the book–or make notes in the margins or tab pages with post-it notes–when you come across something you know you’ll want to come back to later. Not that it would hurt you to reread the book to find these gems, but there’s only so much time in the day. Which is exactly why this book can be so helpful.