It's a phrase made famous by the famous, normally exclaimed by a celebrity in a moment of frustration. But this cringe worthy expression is rather fitting for the next segment in my Writing in Heels journey...
Having published my book, set up my media kit, and snapped some professional-ish author photos, I was now ready to tell people who I am. A lesson in Self Promotion 101.
Despite being often haphazard in my approach to things, when it comes to my book I am trying to be as organised as possible. A classic example is my Contac t List; a spreadsheet filled with details for various companies, media outlets, magazines, newspapers, book reviewers, practically anyone immediately I could think of that might have potential readers of my book. To create my list I trawled through numerous websites trying to find postal addresses, departments, email addresses, but more importantly than that, was trying to find the appropriate contact person. As with most things in life, it's not about quantity, it's about quality, and specifically, it isn't about sending to every person listed on a website, it's about sending it to the right person.
Admittedly, establishing my contact list took a lot longer than I thought, so I'd recommend you start this early! How do you choose who to be on your contact list? Think about your reader demographic. For my book, Four of a Kind, I am targeting women between the ages of 15 - 50 and with an interest in chick lit, fashion or a cute rom com. I chose a number of magazines that I thought had readers with similar interests.
The next step was to get in touch with those I had selected on my contact list. For me, it wasn't enough to just drop an email with a link through to my book, I wanted to adopt the most professional approach possible so I created my own press release. I found some really good tips here:
- https://www.standoutbooks.com/book-press-release-template/ - Tips and even a downloadable template to use as a base and prompt
I found writing my press release very much akin to writing a query letter for an agency or publishing house; challenging , and likely a long period of time overthinking every word on the page! It draws on the same skills of trying to summarise information down to a concise size as possible, while still providing enough detail to draw the reader in. It's also a shameless plug where you are trying to remain modest while boast your own work at the same time. If you have had reviews elsewhere, then make sure you utilise them in your press release. You can view my press release on my Media Kit page.
To complete the finishing touches to my first stab at promotion, I ordered some coloured mailer bags, printed off my own designed labels and typed addresses, and packaged up a copy of my book with a printed press release. I sent out 13 paperback copies to begin with - I know, 13 was probably a bad choice! - and a few ebook versions to website reviewers.
Did I get a feature in Cosmo or a mention in Marie Claire? Unfortunately not yet. I followed up with an email to those who I had contacted, but only heard back from one who advised they thought it was just a touch old for their readers.
So what next? Should I keep trying to tell people who I am or was it time for a new approach? My next post will catch you up to exactly where I am in the journey!