Tootin’ the Writers’ Horn

toot_horn.jpgWhether you are a writer who is published by a house or are self-published, you will need to market your book. In doing so you’ll need to be willing to talk up, not only the book, but also yourself. Before your book is released you have work to do. You’ll want people to know who you are and what you are selling. I am self-published twice and learning all the time the importance of marketing my books through marketing myself. People can be willing to listen about your book through your enthusiasm that hopefully shines through your voice and face. This alone can be a draw. The joy I have for my novel is heartfelt and I know that others feel this thus want to be a part of novel’s journey to the market. About six months before you book is due to be released distribute notices such as postcards announcing it.

I ordered 1,000 post cards made up with a two line synopsis, an attractive picture (not the one that ended up being the actual cover) along with my contact information and included what I hoped would be the released date. It was a self- addressed postcard. In this way I could collect addresses of those interested in being contacted when the book would be released. I also collected email addresses on my blog page and website. On my blog page I included a few lines from the story as a teaser each time I blogged. Back to the postcards — I handed these cards out everywhere I went; grocery stores, banks, parks, even parking lots. Family and friends handed them out. A sister placed them in her bakery and from that venue alone I collected over 200 addresses. As I handed them to a person I would hurriedly ad that I was the author and was very excited about sharing it. I’m not a sales person, never could cold call and don’t like “talking myself up” but have learned that it is up to me to sell my book.

This will be true for you. As an author you want people to read your work and hopefully, like it and recommend the book to others. Be or at lease act like you have faith in your art – your writings. Dialog opens up when handing out a postcard, people want to know if this is your first book, what is it about, why did you write it and perhaps tell you they too would like to write. Be positive and upbeat – as best you can. I don’t handout postcards on down days because it does take that smile and high energy to pump others up. The before the book is released work is truly preparing you for when the book is actually out. Visiting bookstores – self-published authors contact in person as much as you can, independent bookstores.

The smaller stores are a bit more opened to unknown or POD authors. Another way to help in marketing when the book is due out or is already released is through community radio and/or television. Remember when marketing why would people be interested in your book? What kind of people, age, sex, interests? Have this all down before stepping out to do the marketing. Again, tooting your own horn can be as displeasing to you as it did to me but it has to happen. Yackety-yak, talk about your book. Those in the writing industry know this– books don’t sell books, people sell books — pump it up! Put on a smile and sashay on out there all a glow!

See what readers are saying about my newly released novel, The Skye in June at and read a sample chapter at