Publish a novel and you may think your work is done. But for most authors, the hard work is just beginning. Author Francis Powell published a collection of short stories in April. He shares how he learned to promote his book in creative ways, using some old skills and strategies and a variety of new ones.
I jumped on the book marketing band wagon last May. Since then I have been learning all manner of news skills, as well as tapping into skills I previously had. I have been using a lot of my “photo shop” skills, developing images, that are inserted into blog articles or adverts that I have posted on Twitter. People often remind you, tweets work much better with an image. I am fortunate in that my book is a book of short stories which include 22 illustrations, that go with the stories, which I also spent many hours laboring over. I am generally promoting one of my short stories, with adverts/illustrations hoping it will catch someone’s eye and they will buy my book. The illustrations in my book are all black and white (the cover’s full color) so the adverts I have done are equipped with color, as well as bright eye catching slogans. I get the impression that other authors use agencies or stock photos for their images…so I am hoping my original images help my cause. Other authors seem to go for “slick” images whereas I am going for artistic… I have had some positive feedback concerning my art work.
Being a musician has also been of help. As soon as my book was ready for publishing, my publisher sent me a Book Trailer, he’d pre-prepared…Unfortunately he chose some music, that simply didn’t go with the atmosphere I have created in my book…imagine funky music, for a book that is Dark Fiction. I immediately sent an e mail in protest, and fortunately he immediately agreed that I could send my own music for the Book Trailer. I sent him a dark gothic sounding piece of music, much more in keeping with my book.
I have also embarked on a project working with other musicians, getting them to write music inspired by my book. I have my own YouTube channel, and have also got authors to make videos and talk about their work. It is no good just posting a Book Trailer and hoping for views, it is a good idea to set up a channel and draw as many viewers into the channel, by constantly adding new content. Being a video maker is also quite a useful tool.
Since my book has been published, I have written many articles for blogs and not always about my book. I have written about a news story that has captured my attention. For example recently there was a dentist who captured the world’s attention, by killing a lion…I put an article about this on my blog, to get new readers and followers. It seemed to be a subject that caught the imagination of many. New authors have to be strategic, thinking of ways of gaining attention. Thinking out of the box can be a good idea.
Many authors, I imagine, think an author’s life revolves around writing, but I have found that some of my creative skills have been invaluable in terms of promoting my book. Rather than using “stock music” for a book trailer or “stock images” for advertising your book or kitting out your blog or website, it is great to use original artistic creations.
About Francis H. Powell
Born in 1961, in Reading, England Francis Powell attended Art Schools. In 1995, Powell moved to Austria, teaching English while pursuing his varied artistic interests adding music and writing. He currently lives in Paris, writing both prose and poetry.