After all of the long hours of studying, writing, editing and submitting, you’ve finally sold a story or a novel. You whoop for joy, maybe do a little dance, and take your family or friends out for dinner just so you can share the news. It is exciting, I know that I’ve done all of the above, but what happens after that acceptance? How do you promote yourself and your work? Where do you even start?
The first thing, and most important thing, is your friend base.
And no, right now I’m not talking about fans, those will come later. I’m talking about friends. All of those people who you went to school and college with. The people in your home town- the people you work with. Family. That is your friend base.
These are the people who are going to buy or read your stuff because you are local, or they know you. This is the first group of people your efforts are going to reach.
So how do you connect with them?
I have found one of the single best ways to begin reaching a friend base is Facebook.
Facebook allows several kinds of searches. You can search by hometown, where you work or have worked, even where you went to school. You can sort them into groups or lists and keep track of them.
When it comes time for your work to enter the wide world, start-if you already haven’t-friending those people. Put them into groups. Start to interact with them. But don’t tell them you’ve got a book coming out.
Now you might be thinking why? Why not tell them straight away?
I’ve got a very good reason.
This friend base is going to want to connect with you. You the person. Not you the author. If you come out spamming (posting only about your book) then they will feel as though they have no use to you but to buy/read/whatever the product. Most of the time, that is a huge turn off. All of the effort, and really it isn’t a lot of effort to spam, will just be wasted.
On the other hand, if you post things about yourself, the real you, they will be much more inclined to take a chance and buy or read your stuff. Post things about kids (but be internet safe) and pets (everyone loves pet photos) and hobbies. You can post interesting links, music, TV, movies, thoughts about home, basically anything that you like. This lets other people see the real you, not just a marketing machine who is always pushing buy buy buy.
People will invest time and money on their friends and family they they wouldn’t on a stranger.
So if you don’t have a Facebook, get one. It’s easy and you can connect with lots of people.