I liked them so much, I pitched an interview to WOW when the theme was children’s writing. So in 2009, a 20 Questions article appeared and Eve garnered a fair amount of promotion.
Flash forward to 2016, when I received an email from Eve; she’d just published a book on self-publishing for the picture book writer. Would I be interested in giving her new book a read in exchange for a review? And because her book was not only informative but easy-to-follow, I was happy to write a review and I pitched that review to a magazine in the children’s publishing world. And Eve enjoyed more promotion.
All those reviews—paying it forward the write way—because of one little giveaway almost ten years ago!
It’s just one example, I know. I also know how easy it is to get discouraged with book promotion, to wonder if it’s worth all the time and trouble. Giving away books, searching for readers in exchange for a review, following up later with emails or tweets or messages, and on and on and on. But here’s my point: even if only one reader out of a handful works out, then at least you know you have a dedicated reader. And that dedicated reader—readers like me—are golden.
When you have a new book—or if you’d like to promote a book during a special season—then contact your golden readers first. Make it a personal request; I know from experience that I’m more likely to respond positively to a personal email rather than a generic one. And yes, it might take a little more time, but your golden readers like you and your books, and more importantly, they’re willing to put in a little work for you. They’re much more likely to read and review for you, to spread the word for you on social media, to talk to friends and family about your book.
But what if you don’t have a book coming out? Then it’s your turn. ‘Tis the season to say thanks, to let those who’ve helped you out in all kinds of ways know how much you appreciate their time and trouble.
So that’s it. All that’s left is for you to get out there and do the write thing. (Was this last pun too much? Or just write? Oh, ugh. Sorry!)
Cathy C. Hall is a kidlit author and humor writer and occasional book reviewer. She's also a sucker for a good pun (or a bad pun, as the case may be.) And she'd like to send a big thanks to all y'all who read her posts here and here! You're truly golden in her book!
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