Friday, January 20, 2012


Open to change...

Not to overstate the obvious, but change is afoot in the publishing world. We've known that for quite some time but it's just been within the past couple of years that the e-book industry has exploded from a somewhat slow start. And let's not forget self-publishing. What used to be a labor-intensive prospect has now been molded into yet another internet DYI.

Such sites as Create Space (owned by Amazon) and Lulu are big names in this business. And there are tons more -- just google 'self-publishing' and the toughest decision you will need to make is which one to choose. That site will walk you through the rest of it.

What brought this to mind is a book I'm reviewing and a question from a new Facebook friend. She asked how to go about promoting her book. My response, the traditional one: introduce yourself to booksellers and offer to do a signing, same with libraries and book clubs. Her response was that the only bookseller willing to do this was a used book store. My response, readers are readers. Take it and enjoy.

But that got me thinking about this whole business of self-promotion. We've seen the traditional methods -- from the signings to the bookmarks, postcards, hitting the conferences, and every imaginable 'loot bag' item that a writer can stick a book title on.

My question is, with these new/not-so-new publishing opportunities, should we also be looking at different promotional tactics? And if so, what are they?

I'm certainly looking for new ideas for my own self-promotion toolkit. Time for another panel on this topic at Bloody Words? Any ideas?

Linda Wiken/Erika Chase
A Killer Read coming April, 2012
from Berkley Prime Crime


  1. I think authors really need to hit social media. Book blog tours are great. Book trailers can be quite compelling (see Linda Poitevin's, for eg., which she had students at Algonquin do as a project, for free!)With e-books shifting the landscape, I think selling books via author signings may go the way of the door-to-door salesman -- the market is wider, now, and thinner. But those are just my thoughts!

  2. I think that would be a great panel, Linda. I would love to hear about some proven successful eBook marketing campaigns - and about the less than successful marketing strategies, too.

  3. Online marketing, definitely, and there are many neat things you can do. I ran a poll on my blog ( in November asking visitors to vote on two covers for my mystery novel, Safe Harbor. People really got into it and it was exciting for me to see the results come in. Some authors do polls on book titles they're considering. They gain valuable input but also build the buzz for their books.

  4. I'm a book blogger over at Cozy Mystery Book Reviews and I like how embracing so many mystery authors are of social media. They blog, they tweet, they're on facebook talking to readers. I'm in awe of how they can do so much, and yet still write the books that all of us readers love!

    I love seeing authors come through for online book tours. I find quite a few readers that will see a author interview and tell me that they later on went to buy the book.

  5. These are all great ideas! Thanks.