I didn’t anticipate self-promotion to take up so much space…but here is the highly anticipated, shortly-awaited, part 2 of the self-promotion plan for writers!
Aside from the various print media and signings at bookstores and such, writers should look into other ways to promote themselves. Cable and satellite television has made this next option a little tougher, but many places still have “local” tv. Most local television stations have some sort of “good morning” show, or the equivalent at noon or some other time. The point is that it is local. And often, they love to talk to writers—it’s cool. Call them or send them a package with the press release telling them you thought it might interest them and that you’d love to come talk about your newly published work. If you’re a little nervous about doing it, get a friend to call them up and tell them what’s happened and that they should get you on their show. A good friend will do that for you!
Radio stations are another possibility. While many of the local stations carry nationally syndicated programs, like television, some radio stations still have their own local shows. Air time on radio is very tight as radio stations are having their own financial difficulties, but again, search for the angle that will interest them. Try to think of why it’d be neat to have you on their program.
Conferences or conventions often allow writers to set up a promotional table and push their work. Comic book conventions may be better about doing this and the smaller shows will often give the authors space just to get them there. Larger shows want to charge for table space and you’ll have to determine whether it is worth the investment or not. The main thing is to put yourself in front of people; shake hands, smile, let them see you.
Obviously one of the latest and greatest ways for authors to promote themselves is through the various and sundry internet outlets: facebook, myspace, twitter, blogging, and the like. Writers have to be careful with these as they can often be very time consuming and the ratio of returns/hours…well, sometimes they’re a black hole that is tough to get out of. Use this technology, but use it carefully.
I’m sure there are several other ways for free self-promotion for authors. If you can think of one, please add it below to share with all. The main thing is for writers not to depend solely on the publisher to promote the work. Sure, we want them to do as much as they can, but a writer/publisher relationship is a team—the writer’s responsibility doesn’t end when he’s typed “finish.”