Discover Your Book Promotions Style by Copying, I mean, Following the Masters…


Author, Eloisa James

You may think that promoting your book is a pain-in-the-you-know-where, but actually, you may be trying to force a round peg into a square hole. And if you just mix your strengths with some of the best tools out there, you will be able to become more visible to your ideal readers, and ultimately, sell more books.

When my book first came out (The Writer’s Adventure Guide, July 2009), I so didn’t want to promote it in ways I thought we authors we’re supposed to. I didn’t send out any review copies, had no guest blogger interviews lined up, and couldn’t conceive of doing a book signing.

But then I realized that if I promoted my book using my strengths – teaching – I would feel comfortable. So teaching and speaking has become one of my main ways of promoting. In fact, I’ve spoken at two writers conference, at many local RWA chapters, run monthly workshops, and speak all throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

Now, I realize that teaching and speaking is not what every author wants to do.

Some the big question is: what are your strengths?

Yes, writing is one of your strengths. Hmmm.

Writing as Your Promotions Strength

With your skill of writing, my dear shy writers, how can you get the word out about your book? Peruse this list and see if there is one activity that you can do at least once a week:

  • · Blogging, either for your blog or as a guest on others’ blogs.

If you don’t know where to begin, ask any writer you know for tips.

  • · Facebook: write snippets about your book, your writing process, or about your passions that relate to your book.

    Author, Anne Elizabeth

    Author, Anne Elizabeth


Author, Julia Quinn

I recommend you follow the example of writers who have a big following, like Eloisa James, (her fan page:, Julia Quinn (fan page:!/AuthorJuliaQuinn ), and Anne Elizabeth (profile page:

  • · Twitter: see Facebook suggestions. For more help on how to use Twitter, you’re welcome to visit my blog where I’ve written copiously about how authors can use Twitter. (Go to blog:, and search for Twitter.)
  • · Commenting on other people’s blogs: Even before your book comes out, you can use your writing to great advantage. Blogger and public relations specialist, Julia Schopick, shares tips on how to use commenting as an effective marketing tool in her post, “What makes a blog comment great??” []


What are your hobbies? Get with like-minded hobbyists and let them know you’re an author, too. Assess your other strengths besides writing, and pick one activity you can do weekly. For example, author, Rachael Herron (How to Knit a Love Story, Harper Collins, March 2010): While she indeed loves to Twitter (@yarnagogo), she is also an avid knitter. She visits knitter groups, bonds with the ladies there, and voila, brings new readers into her sphere.

Follow the Leader

When my sister was little, she followed my brother and me around, her older siblings. She wanted to be like us. When we played dress-up, she had to play too. When we played hide and side, she cried if we didn’t include her. My sister learned to be a big girl from being around us. No, she didn’t learn bullying from me. Okay, a little.

We all learn by following those who know more than we do. Who can you follow in your genre that you admire? Copy them like when you were little. Don’t be shy. That’s how we humans learn.

While you’re copying, you may discover that you are organically growing your author platform. And by the way, a great resource for organically growing your platform is Christina Katz’s book, Get Known Before the Book Deal. [Updated: a book review of Christina’s book here.]

Another fun resource to follow is the literary agent, Nathan Bradsford’s blog, and especially his weekly post (on Fridays) on “This Week in Publishing.” Both informative and funny, Nathan has a way of making keeping in touch with the publishing industry a ball of fun. []

Relationships, Oh My!

Promoting is actually just letting people know about you who didn’t already. Just like you say “Hi!” to the woman standing in front of you at the grocery checkout line, promoting your books is a way to extending that greeting to a legion of avid readers who are waiting to discover you, their next favorite author.

c. 2010 Beth Barany

First published in the May 2010 edition of The Heart of the Bay, the San Francisco Romance Writer’s of America newsletter, in the Promotion Posse column. The Promotion Posse is a monthly column spotlighting promotional strategies for authors, written by members of SFA-RWA with a knack for PR. You can find author and columnist, Beth Barany, raving about books, authors, and the ever-changing publishing and book marketing world at, and on Facebook at

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