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Saturday, December 01, 2012

Luring the Paparazzi

I've been thinking seriously about self-publishing lately. Not necessarily that I'll do it, just the concept in and of itself. It used to be such a stigma. You’d have to wear your baseball cap low over your forehead to hide the big ‘L’ for loser. But now, all the cool kids are doing it. However, whether you’re a trendsetter or a shmuck, if you self-publish, you’re going to have to be your own marketing department, which makes me wonder…

How exactly does one attract attention, enough to lure the paparazzi?

As I’ve nosed into this arena, I’ve sniffed out some ideas and compiled a list. So, here we go.

Michelle’s Handy Dandy Top 5 Publicity Ideas For Self-Pubbers

q Hug a Book Blogger
Bloggers who review books need to become your new besties. I’m not talking having them over for dinner or anything. Merely begin to visit their sites, especially the ones who specialize in your genre and have a good-sized readership. Engage with them on Twitter or Facebook. Ask them questions. That way when you finally do solicit them for a possible review of your book (and please make sure they accept requests BEFORE you ask), they’ll recognize your name and be more likely to read your book.

q Swing Low
I don’t care how great of a writer you are, you’re not going to sell a bajillion books or attract any buzz if your prices are too high. Setting your sales price low (.99-2.99) will sell more copies, and selling more copies means a better chance that the readers who like your book will tell others.

q Visit the Bargain Basement
Check out Galleycat. They did all the work for you by compiling FREE sites to promote your e-book. And speaking of free, offer the first chapter of your Great American Novel on your website.

q Join the Club
The BookMarketing Network is an online community for authors and small publishers to share their knowledge and offer support…plus they dish up some great advice!

q Lighten Up
Self-pubber Tim Ferriss (author of the Four Hour Work Week) tells a fun story of how he snuck in some of his books to a big-box store, placed them prominently on the shelf, then took some photos and posted them on his website. So go ahead. Think outside the box and do something fun. No one can predict what will go viral, and perhaps your idea will.

Now, here’s the real key to success. Begin this checklist way before you actually publish your book. I’m talking at least 6 months. And here’s a bonus for those of you not self-pubbing…many of the items on the list can and should be checked off by traditional authors as well.

Oh yeah, and don't forget to schedule a day at the salon. It never hurts to look good when those cameras finally do start snapping your picture.

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas…professionally, however, for the past 10 years. Her latest release, UNDERCURRENT, is available by Risen Books. You can find her at: Writer Off the or on TwitterFacebook, or 


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