There are many authors who come to me after their book has been published, usually because they didn’t see the sales figures they were expecting or didn’t receive the press coverage they had hoped. But with the short shelf-life of fiction (and my rapidly growing client list), by the time the book is out, it’s usually too late for a traditional publicity push.
Does that mean the author should give up and accept a flop? Of course not. There are things authors can do to create a “slow burn” campaign and increase sales over time.
Attend conferences and festivals. These events have built in audiences and are held at set times every year. By speaking at these types of events, you’ll reach a new audience and expand your name recognition. Plus, there are usually local media opportunities, ones that you wouldn’t have if you weren’t participating in the conference or festival.
Op-eds and guest posts. Again, the name of the game is keeping your name out there. While the book critics may not be interested in reviewing a book months after the pub date, many newspapers and websites would love to publish an op-ed piece. Use the branding worksheet to pinpoint possible topics you could write about and tie in the book.
Work on your social media following. Haven’t updated your blog in a while? Haven’t logged on to Twitter in a few weeks? Re-direct your efforts to building your online following. Commit to updating your blog, twitter feed, or Facebook page regularly. Interact with fans, booksellers, and librarians that have read your book. Participate in discussion forums. Don’t do this to promote, do it to become a part of the community and keep your name out there.
Try something new. Did you have an idea for a contest or viral marketing campaign that didn’t get off the ground before pub date? Then this could be the perfect opportunity to try something new. Whether it’s a contest, an event, or an ad campaign, a new and innovative promotion can get people excited, even after the “new book” angle has worn off.
Don’t dwell. Plenty of authors dwell in the “could’ves” and “should’ves.” They lament that they should have gotten more reviews or they shouldn’t have relied solely on social media to reach their fans. But there’s no point to dwell. What’s done is done. Always look forward and think about what’s next rather than what happened.