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Writer's Cramp!!!

Okay, so lately I've been juggling Lavender Isis work with writing the sequel to my book and marketing 'Cimmerian City' my first novel. I've noticed fellow writers in the same camp and I only wish I knew a good PR person to help us all out. Alas, I don't but I am learning some immensely awesome tips on getting the word out that I'd love to share with my fellow writers.

I recently picked up 'The Frugal Book Promoter' by Carolyn Howard-Johnson. Carolyn is also on the Publishing and Promoting Yahoo group which is where I found out about her book. I'm also learning some other great techniques for book marketing in that group as well.

One big thing she mentions is having a contact list. Writers are literally nothing without their readers so it's good at the earliest you can to make a contact mailing list to keep your readers, friends, family, etc informed about your book and how it's coming along. At the same time, you want to also have a professional mailing list for booksellers, publications, magazines and any relevant companies who you know will enjoy your book. Think about the theme of your book. Find out ways to tie into today's society. Readers tend to love books where they can relate to the characters. If a recent bestelling novel has gained mucho status, tie into that! One that comes to mind as an example is Cormac McCarthy's The Road which recently gained access into Oprah's Book Club and is currently #14 on the bestseller list. A post apocalyptic novel which gives commentary on today's society. Hmm, James A. Hall's 'American Messiah' explores similar themes and takes his story even further with multi-dimensional characters and with a focus on different ethnic groups he can target who may identify more with his book than 'The Road'.

My book, 'Cimmerian City' deals with corporations using pharmaceuticals in a futuristic Earth divided by two hemispheres. I make use of technology, social commentary, global pollution affecting Earth's atmosphere and the like, so I'm gathering resources of publications to write to who would possibly interested in my book. As I'm writing this, I'm currently forming a letter to Wired and finding fellow authors who who speak about similar things who would be interested in giving me book blurbs. I'm also gathering a list of book reviewers on the web and in print who will hopefully give me some reviews and at the same time word of mouth in their journals. It's a hard road out there for the independent author and it makes me wish I can be a publicist, but I have nary the big massive media contacts for the time being.

My publisher suggests to start small. First build locally then work your way out globally. So I'll be contacting some local mags, my previous schools and publications to let them know about the book while utilizing online techniques. A few cool things I've done is print up t-shirts that I wear out with my book on it, mugs, postcards, keychains and magnets that I hand out to interested parties. It's kinda fun and at the same time, time consuming, but in the end the word starts rippling out like water.

Articles of note to check out for writers currently marketing their books
Don't be at the mercy of your publisher, publicist, or press agent! How to promote and publicize your book when they don't.
by Cecilia Tan (website may be down)

Book Promotion Basics For The Bold and The Bashful
by Patricia Frye

Books of Note for writers marketing
The Frugal Book Promoter by Carolyn Howard-Johnson
The Idiot's Guide to Getting Published


Cecilia said…
Heya. Thanks for recommending my article which is? was? up on the DNA Publications site. As I understand it, DNA is having severe problems and might?? be going out of business?

The article is a bit old--it was published back when the web was new and before blogs became common--but if anyone wants a copy of it, I'm happy to forward it by email.

I'm at ctan -at- circlet,dot,com.
Rae L. said…
Hi Cecilia. Thanks for stopping by :-)

I've been hearing things going on an off for DNA myself and I thought they were doing well with the new submissions call for Weird Tales. I wish them the best because we need more speculative pubs out there for the genre and its writers!

Your article helped me out a lot with marketing my work and to anyone out there passing by, do indeed contact Cecilia if you're in the midst of marketing because she gives awesome tips!


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