When I self-published my historical novel, SHANGHAI LEGACY, many things I did to promote it WERE very successful. In fact, I’ve sold many books, spoken many places, and continue to. But my bottom line – both in time and money – does not completely reflect that (yet!). Here is what I would NOT have done.
#1 Time and MoneyWaster: Sending Out Many Review Copies
Most how-to books that recommend sending out copies to the media do not speak to a self-publisher’s realistic situation. Places like the New York Times probably didn’t even open my package; they get trucks of books everyday.
BETTER: Research venues that are relevant to your book. Send them your dynamite press release with a stamped self-addressed postcard for them to request a copy. Even more time- and money-saving: e-mail a short query to well-chosen publications.
#2 Time & Money Waster: Paying to Have Your Book Displayed at Expos
I joined PMA-online, the Independent Publishers Association, which offers some helpful services and tutorials. But showing my book at the big book expos in America, London, and kFrankfurt did me no good.Entering the Frankfurt Expo, particularly – which features non-fiction – was useless for my novel.
HAVING SAID THIS: the 1-year joining fee, $109, DID pay off in one way. I entered their 2007 Benjamin Franklin Awards (it did cost money) and my book was a finalist. I now feature this fact on my website and any ads or releases.
#3 Time & Money Waster: a Fancy, “Flash