When Should I Start Publicizing My New Book?

Advance marketing? the book's not even finished yet!
Advance marketing?
The book’s not even finished yet!

Occasionally I get a question from a fellow author with a problem and I answer it here.

Dear Dan,

My novel is still in its first draft. It´s long, I still have to finish it, and I write a LOT every day, but there´s still a lot of time before it will be published. Many months, probably. Do you think it’s right to start talking about it on my website? What if I don´t know its title yet?

Thanks,

Worried Writer

PS: I´d love to read your novel. Is it possible to get it in paperback?

.

Dear Worried,

Yes, you can start engaging readers now, so there is an interested fan base when the book comes out. A few months before the book comes out, up to maybe as much as six months, is about the right window for advance marketing.

(We recently discussed marketing HERE and HERE.)

OAK TREES FOR SALE
OAK TREES FOR SALE
(eventually)

If you market too early, you may peak fan interest before the book is ready. Start too late, and of course you don’t get enough buzz generated.

Plus, telling readers about the story as it moves along is fun. You can hint at a romantic scene you just finished, or a dramatic twist – tease them a little! That’s what movie previews do, right? And TV commercials? They hint at what’s coming up. The reason a strip tease is sexier than just seeing a naked lady walk out onstage is the anticipation it builds. A menu with pictures making the food look good will get your mouth is watering.

Titles are tough.

Honestly, some of those aren't half bad!
Honestly, some of those aren’t half bad!

What few words can possibly sum up your epic tome? That’s a lot of pressure. Make a working title and consider asking your blog followers if it is a good one; give them a synopsis so they can see if the title “fits” – or maybe they can suggest one. (That’s actually something we could do as a blog post/writing challenge: Name The Story. Let me know and we’ll do it. It’ll be fun. Readers can make up names and vote for the best one).

Then, when you are ready, if you change the name, you can tell your readers. If I were to change the name of Poggibonsi to “Love, Italian Style” and I TOLD everyone, they’d easily switch over. It would give me another excuse to talk about the book, too, generating additional buzz.

Stop spamming me!
Stop spamming me!

There are a lot of ways to market badly, so I’ll only say this: be honest about your enthusiasm, but try not to be obnoxious and tell fans “Buy my book!” ten times a day on every social media outlet you use. However, be sure to let them know it’s coming, and then that it’s here, and that you want them to buy it. When you get good reviews, boast about it. Enthusiasm is contagious. People like it, and it’ll sell books. Just don’t go overboard. 10% or fewer of your posts should be a BUY MY BOOK post or tweet.

COMING SOON
COMING SOON, I promise!

And be sure to thank your fans for being such great followers, for buying your book, and for writing reviews. People like being thanked.

That was a really great question. Thanks for asking it!

See? Didn’t that feel good?

By the way, ALL my books are available in paperback, and the new novel will be, too. Stay tuned! You can read two sample chapters HERE and see some advance praise HERE and see the sample cover HERE

.

Your humble host.
Your humble host.

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Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the hilarious upcoming novel “Poggibonsi: an italian misadventure.” Click HERE to check out his other works.

22 thoughts on “When Should I Start Publicizing My New Book?

  1. There are so many books being promoted online that it begins to seem like white noise. So this is always a tricky area for me. I try not to go overboard in talking about my book, and as a result I might actually go underboard. To me, it seems like I’m mentioning it all the time. Compared to what the ‘experts’ say to do, I’m not mentioning it nearly enough. Guess we just have to decide what’s comfortable for us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carrie, you have a pretty good following on your blog and you got that from having a sense of what they like and respond to. That tells me you’re promoting your book on your blog about right, because I read your blog and never feel put upon by BUY MY BOOK stuff. However, there is NO harm in making an additional post saying “Look at this sweet review” or “Woo hoo, I reached 100 reviews today!” (I know you’re close) or “Wow, BozoOnline just said THIS awesome thing about The Seneca Scourge!” – that sort of thing.

      If you are sincere in your enthusiasm, I’d have zero offense at getting post notifications like that (followed by a Carrie message or meme saying “If you didn’t get your copy yet, you’re missing out!”)

      But your blog isn’t your billboard. Other social media might be.

      Me, I always find sneaky ways to talk about my new book “Poggibonsi: an Italian misadventure” here. Pity it’s not out yet. I really need to get my butt in gear and finish those edits…

      In fact, why not take an aspect of the book writing process and discuss it in a interview or guest post here, and use The Seneca Scourge as an example? It’d be fun and helpful while promoting your book via teasers that show tension or character descriptions.

      Let me know. Always happy to help!

      Like

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