Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Pre-Release Marketing

Today's topic came by request. (This one's for you, Taurean!) A big question that comes up when you finally get that book contract is what should you do to market a book that isn't out yet. You don't have a cover to display or an official blurb to share yet. In some cases, you may not even have a set release date. So what do you do?

Make connections. Get out there in the online community and meet people. Let them know you're a writer. Share books you love. Yes, you can mention you have a book under contract. Share your excitement and celebrate with others who are in similar situations or who already have books published.

Be yourself. Let people get to know the real you. I've said so many times that I'm not afraid to embarrass myself. See my YouTube videos if you don't believe me. I cry. A lot. I cry tears of joy, and I cry when I try to express gratitude. That's me. I'm also very quirky. I have weird habits and I'm not afraid to share them. I know it's a terrible pun, but I like to be an open book on my blog.

Share tips. This is a tough industry. Your story about how you came to get a book contract might help others. Share things you learned along the way, both good things to do and things to avoid. Others will thank you for it.

Make yourself available. Find some online media that you are comfortable with and be present. I love Twitter. It's fun and quick. But find something you love and be available for people to talk to you.

Promote others. It's a two-way street. If you want bloggers and writers to help you promote your book, you need to be willing to do the same for them. Remember we are all in this together. Help as many people as you can because you're also helping the industry in the process.

Don't be shy about your book, but don't spam people either. Find a healthy balance between talking about your book and talking about everything else. Yes, you're excited and we expect you to share that excitement. But if it's all you talk about, you'll lose potential fans.

Share the good news and give back at the same time. Once you get your cover image and other things to share, do something to give back to the people who support you and help you promote. Giveaways are a great way to say thank you. And if you are on a tight budget, you can giveaway chapter or query critiques instead of gift cards or SWAG you have to mail.

I think that's a good start, but please feel free to add to my list with what you think you should do during pre-release marketing.


52 comments:

  1. This is great advice, Kelly, and I'm trying to follow it. :-)

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  2. Thanks for sharing from your experience. Getting yourself out there is not always easy, but it is necessary. And I totally agree that chatting about your upcoming release without overkill is a must.

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    1. Yes, it's tough to find the right balance.

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  3. These are all great tips, Kelly. And definitely something I'm working toward as I (anxiously) await the release of Vanquished!

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  4. These are great tips, Kelly! I just might have to direct some people to this post.

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  5. I think you pretty much covered it.

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  6. Great advice, especially the 'be yourself' tip - readers want to know the real you! :)

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    1. Yes. Being myself is what often embarrasses me, but that's who I am. ;)

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  7. Right on the money with these seven tips. They'll make a writer's journey to publication so much more enjoyable. Pretty darn close to being tattoo-worthy material too.

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    1. LOL I'm not sure about tattoo-worthy, but thanks!

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  8. That's what makes you special, Kelly. You are pro others, helpful, kind, and have traveled the road many of us are still on, yet you always take a moment (like this post) to share what you have learned. I am rather shy and don't like the self-marketing aspect, and finally started doing as you said. I'm getting out there and waving my flag..It's not as bad as I thought it would be, although I should have started earlier, but hey, it's never too late.

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    1. No, it's never too late. You're doing a great job, Brenda.

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  9. Thanks for doing this post, Kelly, there aren't enough posts on pre-release marketing, and I'll do a post soon on some things I found helpful that others might as well.

    I knew there had to be ways to approach this until you get covers, trailers, etc.

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    1. You're welcome, Taurean. I hope it helps. :)

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  10. Great words of wisdom! Definitely something we can all work on, whether we're already published, looking forward to it, or still crossing our fingers about it :)

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    1. I love finding new ways to market because it's tough to promote yourself sometimes. Happy to pass along what I've learned.

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  11. Great tips, Kelly. I'm all about the sharing. One of the reasons I share content from my classes and conferences whenever I can because I know there are so many writers, young and old, who are not able to attend. Costs in traveling, registrations, and fees are not affordable to everyone.

    Success stories are my favorites to read. One day I may make it and maybe I won't, but the whole shared experiences are worth it along the way!

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    1. Agreed. Conferences are expensive. It's great to share what you learn for those who can't attend.

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  12. Kelly, what a comprehensive list. You hit it all. And what I love about it every item you mentioned is that it shows what a big heart you have. If I could add one thing, it would be: Connect with Kelly Hashway!

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    1. Aw, thank you, Faith. That's so sweet of you. :)

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  13. Great tips, Kelly! You could teach a whole online webinar class about marketing your book. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us for free!

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  14. PERFECT, Kelly. Every bit of it.

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  15. Great advice, Kelly! I think this is also relevant to already published authors. :)

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  16. Those are all great tips. When I finally have a book out, I shall use this. :)

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  17. Great tips Kelly! Thanks for sharing!

    Nas

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  18. I think my blog hop was a success because I was able to each out to my writer friends for help. The writing community is really good about helping one another.

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  19. Lots of useful advise here. Great post Kelly.

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  20. Excellent advice, Kelly.

    I've known some writers who went seriously into overkill promoting their own books.

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  21. Fantastic tips. I couldn't agree more.

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  22. Excellent tips, Kelly. Make friends, talk about the books/authors you both enjoy. It's been a blessing getting to know my reader/writer friends.

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    1. I agree. I love getting to know other writers.

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  23. I built a platform but it's never big enough! Keep building. Great advice Kelly.

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    1. Yes, there's always room for more. :)

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  24. Your remark about promoting others struck a nerve. When I first started out working on my MS, I remember a writer who I was in touch with at the time. She felt that it was a one way street, that others should promote her, as opposed to her promoting others, something she felt she didn't have time for.

    I think she's given it up completely.

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    1. Wow. Seriously, you have to promote others too. It's a two-way street.

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