This is the cover art (and pre-order links) for the next Kate Shugak novel. I’ll be publishing teeny, tiny excerpts from it in the next four newsletters so you should definitely sign up for it here.
This, aspiring authors, is what we in the biz call “promotion.” I wrote about it before here, and I’ll undoubtedly be writing more as I continue to share what little I know about it.
Today it’s about videos. Nowadays, every publisher wants you to make your own and upload them to every platform where you have a presence. I, personally, do the absolutely minimum I can get away with and still have time to write books. This means posting links to the video to a Facebook author page, a blog, and in a monthly newsletter.
But I also have a YouTube Channel. The first time I did a video I hired a professional cinematographer, a local guy in Homer named Mark Brinster. He does very good work, as you can plainly see, and he was genius at adding in those special sound effects I asked for. Never one to stand on my dignity, moi.
It was worth every dime, but it wasn’t something I could afford to do every time someone asked me to make a video to promote one or all of my books.
Today it’s as simple as taking my iPhone out into the garden, like this:
Fortunately, also nowadays and in part thanks to Covid everyone has upped their YouTube game. The Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona, now records all their in person author events and puts them up on their YouTube channel, to which writers can and should link on their own social media, like this:
You understand you don’t have to do any of this, right? You can stay home and stay off your phone and stay off social media and just write your books.
But there is an expectation on the part of your publishers that you will step up with promotion prior to publication day. At minimum, they’re going to want you to have a website, like this one you’re on right now, including a landing page and a blog. Some social media is almost required, like my Facebook page here. I am singularly lucky in that I have a host of fans who have their own Facebook page here. And of course not forgetting my newsletter, the Roadhouse Report (click through to subscribe), which is by far and away the best means of communicating directly with people who actually want to hear from you.
Kate23 is three months out from publication. I’ll have some help from publicists Hailey and Katelynn and from Greg, Vicki, Andrew and Jo at Aries/Head of Zeus. Katelynn already has me booked for an interview on About the Authors TV (and you better believe a link will go up to that event on my social media immediately afterward). Greg and the gang are reissuing the first nine Kate Shugak novels in paperback three at a time over the next three months, starting with the first three yesterday.
Yes, all of this is time not spent writing, but it is necessary and expected. Know that no one will ever blow your own horn as well as you do, and author publicity is part of the implied contract between you and your publisher. It’s a team effort. Hop to it!
Author and founder of Storyknife.org.