October 30, 2013

The Armchair Book Promoter

By Clarissa Johal

You know who you are. The author that writes in your little hidey-hole, but doesn’t like to get out and promote yourself. I’m not judging I get it. Somehow, the cleverness that rolls off your fingers, doesn’t translate when you meet people face-to-face.

Okay, so let’s talk about what you can do as a writer via armchair when it comes to book promotion.

I’ve been promoting my paranormal novel BETWEEN since December 2012. I’ve concluded that “getting out there” may be more effective, but (fear not!) there are online things that work too.

I love connecting with people on Facebook and consider them friends. Set up an author page and put yourself out there in the cyber-world. But remember—nobody likes a 24/7 book promoter, so mind you don’t overdo it.

Arrange a guest post/interview/review with a book blog
Find a blog that falls in your genre and read through the posts. If you like the blog, email the owner with your request. Most are happy to set something up.

Run a special promotion or contest for your book
Donate your royalties to a charity. My birthday is in July and I decided to donate 100% of my July royalties from the sale of BETWEEN to two animal shelters. They agreed to set up a small display with my business cards, “Proceeds from the purchase of this book during the month of July goes to this animal shelter,” and I agreed to promote the shelters. It was a win-win situation for everyone.
Run a contest where the winner gets to pick the name of the main character or setting for your next book.

Be creative! 

Sign up for a blog hop
Blog hops are everywhere! Look for one that falls in your genre and sign up for it.
How it works: Write a post for your blog, cut and paste an HTML code generated by the blog hop organizer at the end of your post (in HTML mode) and voila! You’re part of a blog hop. A reader can “hop” through the participant’s blogs via the links generated at the end of the posts.
*Most blog hops require a giveaway, which you arrange yourself.

Create a Goodreads author account
Goodreads offers two great options for authors; book reviews, and advertising. Join a group specializing in your genre. If your book needs reviews, offer R2Rs (read to review) of your book via the group. Set up an ad campaign on Goodreads to advertise your book. Here’s the link: .I’ve garnered over 100 readers who put BETWEEN on their shelf “to read” by using the ad campaign.

Here’s something to ponder too. When doing any promotion, do your research. A group composed of all writers who promote to other writers, makes no sense whatsoever. Not that writers don’t read—but they’ll be promoting themselves just as hard as you are. Unless you’ve made promises to cross-promote to readers (and everyone complies) this doesn’t work. Be smart.
Clarissa Johal has worked as a veterinary assistant, zoo-keeper aide and vegetarian chef. Writing has always been her passion. When she's not listening to the ghosts in her head, she's dancing or taking photographs of gargoyles. She shares her life with her husband, two daughters and every stray animal that darkens the doorstep. One day, she expects that a wayward troll will wander into her yard, but that hasn't happened yet. STRUCK Coming January 17, 2014 from Musa Publishing BETWEEN, a story of the paranormal. PRADEE, a young adult fantasy.*Second round finalist in Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award Contest 2012. Author website:

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