Monday, August 27, 2012

The Journey of Self-Publishing #13: Promotion

Thoughts At One In The Morning is proud to present a blog post series for unpublished writers on the self-publishing world. I have asked four indie authors to share with you the different steps they have taken on their journey. They will discuss the writing process itself, the steps in between, and publishing itself. Please join us every week for a new topic on the journey to becoming an indie author!

Our Indie Author panel:
Marie Landry, author of Blue Sky Days
You can find her on her blog Ramblings Of A Daydreamer.

A.M. Hargrove, author of The Guardians Of The Vesteron series
You can find her on her blog A.M. Hargrove.

Avery Sawyer, author of Notes To Self
You can find her on her website The Teashop Girls.

Michelle Flick, author of The Owens Legacy: Revelations
You can find her on her blog Oh! For the LOVE of BOOKS!.
This week on The Journey of Self-Publishing:


What ways did you use to promote your book?

Marie Landry: When the book was first published, I did extensive promotion, between the blog tour, regular blogging, and talking about it on Twitter and Facebook.

Avery Sawyer: I offered book bloggers review copies. I used social networking to announce the book. I planned free days and promoted them on social networking.

A.M. Hargrove: I started through Amazon and Smashwords. Then I got wise to Goodreads and how it could help. I also started Tweeting. If I had been smart, I would have jumped on Twitter long before I did. I didn't join until after I published. DO NOT do that. Join WAY before you publish. Start building up your followers. Use it as a place not only to promote but to make contacts. Twitter is filled with people doing the same thing--self-publishing --and they can help you SO much. It's a totally awesome social media platform. I also use my website and blog, although I don't really enjoy blogging that much. I think the reason behind that is I don't read many blogs unless they are book reviews. I'm not going to blog about other books because I think it can come off as caddy -- you know, if I read a book I don't like and review it, it may sound bad coming from another author. I think a lot of bloggers have awesome sites and are very creative, but it's just not really my thing. I mainly use my website and blog for information on my books--upcoming tours, releases, etc.

Did you do any real life promotions?

Marie Landry: No. I had an idea for one, but without having a paperback copy, it was pretty much impossible. I haven’t scrapped the idea entirely though; it’s filed away under ‘maybe someday’. ;-)

Avery Sawyer: No, although I am thinking of getting some bookmarks printed up so I have something to hand people in real life.

Did you pay for an ad on a site?

Marie Landry: No. My promotional budget was pretty much non-existent, so I had to come up with other ways to get the word out. I’ve heard that GoodReads ads are really effective though, so if I had the money, that’s where I’d spend it.

Avery Sawyer: I did a little bit of Facebook advertising, but I don’t think it worked.

Did you get hard copies of your book to giveaway?

Avery Sawyer: In the case of my self-pubbed titles, no. They are electronic only.

A.M. Hargrove: I haven't done the print version of my books yet, but I am considering it. so I can't do any hard copy giveaways.  I have don a lot of ebook giveaways though.  I've done them through blog tours, reviews and through Smashwords itself.

Did you get other media like bookmarks, postcards, buttons with your book on it made?

Marie Landry: I wanted to order bookmarks, but the sites that made the type I want only ship within the States, and I’m in Canada. Other things I thought of weren’t in my budget, but I wanted something, so I had a friend create a Blue Sky Days jewelry line with handmade beaded bookmarks and necklaces for four of the main characters, and I gave some of those away during the launch.

Avery Sawyer: Not yet.


Thank you for the great advice on promotion!

Join us next week when our Indie Author panel will tell us about The First Few Months after publishing and how to keep the interest going on your novel.

 ~If you liked this, check out the earlier editions of The Journey of Self-Publishing series~


  1. My promotional budget is non existent as well so I'm going to have to get super creative when I promote. There are some great ideas on here. I'm suddenly feeling like I need to be on twitter more....

    1. I struggle with Twitter myself. Being creative is good, and at least giving away an ebook doesn't cost the author anything (and people LOVE giveaways). ^_^

  2. I think something indies need to be careful with is too much promotion for their own stuff. Chances are, if their Twitter stream is full of "buy me" links and quotes about their work, I'm not going to follow OR check out their work. Twitter is probably one of the best platforms to use for promoting yourself, but you have to be careful to build real relationships, and interact, not just plug yourself.

    I'd like to think it's common sense, because plenty of authors I follow don't do any thing like that, just retweet reviews or posts, etc., that others write about their books. Some promote once a week, or maybe a few times more.

    But I've got enough indies following me that do exactly what I said first -- promote only themselves. Every tweet is "check my books out" or an Amazon buy link, so maybe it isn't common sense.

    What do any of the authors think about promoting at their local libraries? Maybe giving away e-copies for the library's OverDrive, or donating to a library book club, to get people in their community talking about their book?

    1. I fully agree with you on too much promotion. The first few weeks after release, that's good. A few months straight? Not so much. I like to see an author who talks about other stuff--fun things they do or even just say something about how they finished a first draft.

      I had an indie author tweet me about their book, went to their page, EVERY POST was the same tweet to someone else. I was like UNBELIEVABLE! Lol. So I ignored it.

      I'm not sure about the e-copies for libraries. That's something else I can ask them to share for later! :)

    2. Yeah. That's why I follow people on Twitter, because I want to get to know them. Not see 5 million tweets trying to sell their books. If I "know" the person behind it, I'm also more likely to buy/support.

  3. I admire these authors. Self promoting would be so hard for me.

    1. I know, it takes a lot of courage and sweat to publish! :)


Thank you for commenting and happy reading!