All writers want to create a connection with their audience. The best way to do that is for us to get out there and find our readers; these days you can’t sit back and wait for them to find you. The best thing is you can do is start gathering an audience for your writing before you’re published. Being a smart and savvy marketer of your work will give you the advantage when it comes readers and sales.
What are my options for self-promotion?
There are many options for self-promotion. The internet, in person events or the media can all offer you some potential publicity.
The internet and social media can be an excellent and cost-effective marketing tool in this digital age.
There are other options as well that can encourage that all important word-of-mouth marketing. Think about visiting your local library to organise an author talk, organising a reading night, contact bookshops about tours, or posting advertisements on your neighbourhood’s noticeboard.
Make a Website
If you haven’t already, head online to create your own website. You want to make it easy for people to find out about you and your writing. You don’t have to have that book or story finished to make yourself look like a professional, but you do need to look like you take your writing seriously.
Check out the websites of authors you like, or writers you know, to get ideas. It doesn’t have to be complicated. One page of information about you, your writing and contact details will be enough at the start.
Our communications and marketing manager ran an Evening Appetiser session in July 2022 called ‘Creating An Effective Author Website’ – if you’re wanting some in-depth information and guidance on how to create your own author website, you can watch the session here.
For more ideas and platforms check out our page on online presence.
Social media can be a great way to not only find and connect with your audience but also to connect with your peers. You don’t have to have that book or story finished to get out there and make some connections. It can be a great networking tool too.
For more ideas and social media platforms check out our page on Online Presence.
Reading nights can be a great way to engage people in your writing and you don’t even have to have a finished product. You can find them advertised through Universities, writing schools, libraries, Writers Victoria or your local festivals. If you can’t find one to become involved with you can always get some writers together and put one on for yourself.
Libraries are constantly on the lookout for events to engage their local communities. Author talks and workshops are great ways to promote your work and find a readership. Many public libraries will accept a range of diverse talks and programs as their aim is to connect and engage the wider community, so don’t think your work is too irrelevant or obscure.
There are many smaller festivals who are always on the lookout for emerging writers to participate in their panels or workshops. Try the Emerging Writers’ Festival.
If you’re about to have your book published and are thinking about promotion check out our guide to Book Launches.
Bookstores often host a variety of events to promote authors and recently released titles, including author talks, signings, readings and book launches. You might want to consider organising your own tour from bookstore to bookstore. The stores can be very helpful and accommodating to writers as it can be a win-win situation for both of you: you want to find more readers and the bookstores want to encourage more people into their stores.
To give you an idea, Dymocks is the leading bookseller in Australia and they run over forty literary events per year, with more than 12,000 of their customers attending. As a writer these events are hosted to help you, so use them to promote yourself and your up-and-coming work.
Reviewers hold perceived authority in the literary world and many people view them as portents of good things to come. If you don’t already have some contacts in the literary world (or have a publisher who has these contacts) going online can be a good place to start.
Sign yourself up as an author on Goodreads, and get a few customer reviews out there to get things started. If you already have an online presence then you can start trying to cultivate relationships with book bloggers. If you sell your book/publication through online sites like Amazon, these allow for customer reviews as well, which can help your sales.
Getting yourself known to your independent bookstores and larger chain stores can also be a great way to garner reviews from staff, in the stores or in their newsletters.
If you have a new publication or event on the way, it’s worth writing up a press release and sending it out to your local newspapers. It’s always worth following these releases up once they’re out there, even just to get yourself known. You can also write your own review of the event, or get a friend to review your book. Many local newspapers will consider publishing well-written copy that comes their way.
There are many ways to advertise. Community noticeboards are often a good place to start. Find appropriate avenues to promote what you’ve written: advertise that genre piece in a science fiction magazine, or your historical fiction novel in a genealogy journal. Your local newspaper might be interested in printing a feature on you or promoting your work, so chase them up with a phone call or email.