Today's post is part 5 of a 5-day virtual tour for Raiders and Horse Thieves, a new memoir from Jackie Ellis Stewart. This tour is sponsored by bestauthorinterviews.com.
Here, Jackie offers some insight into what it takes to promote a book and build a writer's platform.
It took time to write Raiders and Horse Thieves and was emotionally painful to relive all the events as I recorded them for posterity. The first publisher refused it and then changed their minds seven months later and published it a little less than a month ago. The hardest part of this project has been promoting the finished product. It’s entirely beyond my area of expertise.
My first impulse was to do what I always do: reach out to family and friends. I arranged for half a dozen friends in various far flung parts of the country to receive the book. Before sending them a copy, I asked if they would be willing to read the book, and if they liked it, to post a review on Amazon. We are Southern. If they hadn’t liked the book, they would simply have said nothing. I now have seven five star reviews on Amazon.
Two copies of the book have been delivered to the library in my community. The librarians have expressed an interest in sponsoring a memoir workshop in the near future. I will follow up on my offer in a month or so after Christmas.
A web site has been set up with easy access to my blog and information regarding my book. Snapshots have been posted in a slide show of pictures of my surroundings that changes with the season.
I post on the blog at least once a week and usually twice within a ten day period. The posting is always followed by an announcement of the posting title on Facebook.
An application has been sent to one of the major book stores in my home town for a book signing. My friends at church as well as all the people who play duplicate bridge with me are eagerly awaiting an opportunity to buy my book and have me sign it. Several have offered to hold private parties for me. Although this is incredibly flattering, I have refused and explained I need all book signings to be held in public places where the local press will free to attend.
A half dozen copies of my book will be donated to the nearby larger municipal library. I will also inquire about the possibility of having someone interview me over their television channel.
There is a book store in Austin, Texas, that specializes in book signings for local authors. An inquiry will be sent them regarding the possibility of arranging an event there for me.
The public radio stations in my current home town as well as in Austin will receive copies of Raiders and Horse Thieves, Memoir of a Central Texas Baby Boomer along with a letter requesting a possible author interview.
Book marks and post cards have been made from photographs in the book along with the title of the book and the web site address. A number of these post cards have been mailed to friends living far away to inform them of the publication.
A dozen book marks along with a dozen post cards have been mailed to my friends who reviewed the book for them to share with anyone they know who might enjoy my book. Word of mouth is one of the greatest means of publicity.
A book signing event will be scheduled in a local restaurant in the town where I was born. All the people who attended grammar school with me as well as everyone who finished high school with that class will be invited.
My daughters will join me in Texas for the book signing events there. We will hold a special event in my sister’s antique shop for childhood friends and family.
This is only the beginning. I’m sure there will be more promotional avenues to be pursued, and I look forward to finding them. Good promotion is the only way to build a writing platform.
To follow all 5 days of this virtual tour, start the tour at www.bestauthorinterviews.com.