First of all, I’d like to thank everyone who has done something, anything, to spread the word about me and my debut YA novel, Fair Coin, in the last few weeks. I’ve been overwhelmed by all of your generosity and support. Whether you’ve interviewed me on your site, purchased the book, told your friends and family about it, tweeted, Facebooked, blogged, or reviewed it… It all helps, and I’m so grateful. As much as I’ve been talking about myself here and on social media lately, it doesn’t come naturally. In fact, it makes me a bit uncomfortable, so it’s much easier when other people talk about me instead. And I hope I’ll be able to return this blog to its usual eclectic programming soon!
Some friends have kindly asked what else they can do, such as whether buying it from a particular place is better for me than another. The answer is: Yes, probably. But honestly, I’ve been working on Fair Coin for years and I’m just happy I can finally share my first novel with friends and strangers alike–after all, I wrote it to be read by more than just my family and critique group. As long as you aren’t downloading it illegally or stealing copies, I’m thrilled that you invested hours, days, or weeks to reading it. Hopefully you also enjoy it. I’m even happier if you get the book into the hands of actual teenagers; I hear kids like YA books even more than adults do.
I’ve been learning plenty about book promotion in the last year, and I have discovered some interesting and unexpected things that could influence a book’s sales and long-term success. I will share them with you in case you are inspired to help me become a bestselling young adult author, the better to give my doofy cat the life of luxury she deserves. No pressure. These suggestions can also benefit other authors and books you like, so please consider this a general public service announcement.
I should–and will–do more of these things myself for other books. See? We’re all learning something here. I’ve borrowed portions of the following list from Jason Erik Lundberg’s excellent blog post “Publicity and the Introvert”, which originated with Theodora Goss’ blog post with the same title and topic, and from Saladin Ahmed. (They are freakishly talented authors. Buy their books!)
1. Read Fair Coin, however you can legally get hold of it. If you have a favorite independent bookseller or a local library, it would be awesome if you asked them to order Fair Coin. If you’re into e-books, it is now conveniently available for both Nook and Kindle.
2. Thanks for reading my book! Please consider rating it on Goodreads and perhaps including a short text review. I hang out there a lot, and I’d like to see what you thought of it. So would thousands of other readers who probably haven’t heard of me yet.
3. While you’re at it, it would be great if you rated it and left a short review at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, Powell’s Books, Books-A-Million, or wherever else books are sold online. It’s pretty easy to copy and paste your review across all these different sites, and even your personal blog, for maximum exposure.
If you review it on your blog, be sure to tweet about it, or post links on Tumblr, Facebook, and/or Google Plus. E-mail me the link so I can add it to my reviews page; of course, I always encourage you to give your honest opinion of the book, but if you hate it, I reserve the right to not share your review widely…
4. You can do this even if you can’t read the book for a while: If you are so inclined, visit the Amazon page and “like” it by clicking the button at the top. Don’t worry, this has nothing to do with Facebook, but if you’re intent on “liking” it there as well, we do have a page for that: http://facebook.com/flipthecoin.
5. While you’re on Amazon, if you scroll down to the “Tags Customers Associate With This Product” section close to the bottom, you can click on tags to improve search results and make it easier for readers interested in books like Fair Coin to find it. I suggest clicking young adult, young adult science fiction, ya fiction, and ya sci-fi.
6. Even with the mighty internet, word of mouth is still a powerful tool. If you still talk to people regularly in real life, mentioning my book to friends, family, co-workers, book clubs, book store owners, librarians, and teachers who might like it is greatly appreciated. If you want postcards or bookmarks to hand out or leave somewhere prominent, e-mail me and I’ll send you some. If anyone is interested in me visiting to discuss the book, in person or via Skype or Google Plus, I’m up for that too.
Again, anything you do is incredible and I truly appreciate all your efforts! Most of all, I just want as many people as possible to read and enjoy Fair Coin. These are just some ways you can make that happen, and ensure that more of my books will be published one day. If you have any other ideas or suggestions, please comment away.