Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Strategies for Promoting a Book ~ Part 1

The coronavirus pandemic has devastated economies around the world,
and it is a rare industry that has not been impacted by the carnage.
The American publishing industry faced unusual challenges as virus
shutdowns spread from state to state in starting in March:  book store
closures, book release postponements, declining sales, and the cancellation
of book tours, fairs, conferences, and other events.

Our 2020 Insecure Writer's Support Group anthology Voyagers:  The Third
Ghost launched in this environment on May 5, 2020, and we ten authors
tackled the challenge of promoting our book in a tough environment.
Check out the promotion strategies our Voyager authors have used during
this difficult time.


Book Promotion Strategies ...

Beth Anderson Schuck
"The Orchard"

Promotion Strategy
New books need reviews--especially on Goodreads and Amazon to drive up discovery of the title. Don't just assume your friends, family or writing group pals will write them. It's not pestering to remind others to write a quick review for you. Of course, you must be willing to write one for them when they have something published. Also, whenever you ask a favor, do it directly. Make it clear why you need them to do it and I think they will be more likely to comply. So, call up your writing group members and family and ask them to review the anthology today!

Beth Anderson Schuck is a retired librarian who believes reading can take you anywhere.  She writes historical fiction featuring willful female characters. Being in nature whether hiking, birdwatching or gardening makes her whole.

L.T. Ward
"Return to Cahokia"

Promotion Strategies.
My first published short is in Voyagers and I'm actively querying my first novel. But I've been watching what some have done to promote their books.  Besides social media accounts to advertise an author's works and convincing family and friends to purchase the books, I've seen some slight success in book clubs. There are pockets of book clubs through schools, libraries, and bookstores. When an author connects with a book club, that's multiple sales of the book and the potential for more good reviews on platforms such as Amazon, BookBub, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads. Building positive reviews helps your works be more easily found in the search engines for comp books for the readers.

LT writes mostly speculative fiction shorts and novels while spending her days raising her children and satisfying her never-ending thirst for knowledge through reading, meeting people, and first-hand life experiences. She has publications with Dancing Lemur Press and Me First Magazine while querying her first novel and writing another. She currently volunteers as a social media coordinator and content provider for WriteHive, an online writers’ conference.

Yvonne Ventresca
"The Third Ghost"

Promotion Strategies
One quick tip: Most email programs allow you to create a signature line. This is an easy way to mention your book and the publication date. One larger strategic idea: Develop an author website (or have someone do it for you). This is a big topic, so I’ll refer you to Jane Freidman’s article, "The Basic Components of an Author Website," to start. (And if you want to check out my site, it's

Yvonne Ventresca is the award-winning author of Black Flowers, White Lies (IPPY Gold Medal for National YA fiction) and Pandemic (SCBWI’s Crystal Kite Award).  In addition to her novels, Yvonne’s other work includes two nonfiction books and several short stories selected for anthologies, including the previous IWSG anthology, Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life.  She is currently pursuing an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. You can learn more at, where she features resources for writers.

Sherry Ellis
"The Ghosts of Pompeii"

Promotion Strategies
Of course, you’ll want to do the obvious and use social media platforms to get the word out about your book. There’s more, though. Set up an online book tour. It’s a great way to let a lot of people know about your book. If you have time and are extremely organized, you can contact bloggers and do this yourself. If you’d rather have someone else organize it, I’d recommend MC Book Tours .  The second thing is to go out and meet your intended audience. Mine is kids. So, I do school and library visits. I sell more books this way than any other. My third strategy is to connect with other published authors in your area and organize a group signing. There’s strength in numbers when all of you are pulling your marketing power together.

Ellis' books include Don't Feed the Elephant; Ten Zany Birds; That Mama is a Grouch; That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN; Bubba and Squirt's Big Dig to China; and Bubba and Squirt's Mayan Adventure. 

She lives in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information about her work, she invites you to visit her websites at and

Website|BlogFacebook| Goodreads| Twitter| Amazon

Louise MacBeath Barbour
"Dare Double Dare"

Promotion Strategies
Voyagers is my first book, and I'm thrilled to have my short story included with those of nine talented authors.  I am new at book promotion and some plans I had collapsed with the arrival of the coronavirus.  My sister is a published author in the US and Canada, and we had planned a joint Authors Tea in the community in which my story is set in Nova Scotia.  My plans to place Voyagers in the local museum and in gift shops around the area tanked.  Since I can't travel to Canada right now, my sister and I are looking forward to one big Authors Tea next summer!

Meanwhile, drawing on my teaching background, I'm putting together a unit for my short story and the book. Teachers appreciate lesson plans that are ready to go and a good book that is a jumping off point for learning across the curriculum.  Voyagers is a perfect book for this.  I'm also working on an author's presentation.  As schools open up again in my area, I'll be good to go on school visits.  

Born in Nova Scotia and raised throughout eastern Canada, Louise is a writer and blogger who now lives in Colorado.  She writes fiction and nonfiction with the encouragement of her supportive husband.  "Dare Double Dare" is her first middle grade story.

L. Diane Wolfe
Publisher, Editor, Speaker, and Author

A Strategy from a Publisher:
One of the key things is for the authors to work together and coordinate efforts. There are usually ten authors in the IWSG anthologies, which equates to ten times the power, creativity, and reach. All of them will be at different places in their careers and experience, bringing new ideas to the table that spark even more ideas in the others. Excitement is contagious – let it take over.

Diane is the owner and senior editor of Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. and its imprint Freedom Fox Press.  Known as “Spunk On A Stick,” Diane  conducts seminars on book publishing, promoting, leadership, and goal-setting, and she offers book formatting and author consultation.  Diane is the author of numerous fiction and nonfiction books, including The Circle of Friends series, How to Publish and Promote Your Book Now! and Overcoming Obstacles with Spunk! 

Website| Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.Blog 
Insecure Writers Support Group| Goodreads

This year's Insecure Writer's Support Group anthology contest is open.
If you are an IWSG member in any of its Blogging, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter groups, you are eligible to submit an entry. 

If you are playing with an idea for the contest perhaps this inspirational quote from a hugely successful author will encourage you to go for it:

“I would also suggest that any aspiring writer begin with short stories. These days, I meet far too many young writers who try to start off with a novel right off, or a trilogy, or even a nine-book series. That’s like starting in at rock climbing by tackling Mt. Everest. Short stories help you learn your craft.” 
                                                                                                       – George R.R. Martin

Here are the submission guidelines and rules:
Word count: 4500-6000

Genre: Science Fiction

Theme: Dark Matter

Submissions accepted: May 6 - September 2, 2020

How to enter:
Send your polished, formatted (double-spaced, no footers or headers), previously unpublished story to admin @ before the deadline passes. Please include your full contact details, your social links, and if you are part of the Blogging, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter IWSG group.

The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges:  Dan Koboldt, Lynda R. Young, Colleen Oefelein, Damien Larkin, Ion Newcombe, Julie Gwinn, and David Powers King.

The winning stories will be edited and published by Dancing Lemur Press
imprint Freedom Fox Press next year in the IWSG anthology. Authors will
receive royalties on books sold, both print and eBook. The top story will
have the honor of giving the anthology its title. Please see their website for
general guidelines on the types of stories they publish.

Coming on Wednesday, June 17, 2020 . . .
Next week more of the authors in Voyagers and IWSG founder
Alex J. Cavanaugh will share book promotion strategies.

Till next time ~
Fundy Blue 

Reviews of Voyagers: The Third Ghost:

1. Check out lots of reviews and ratings at Goodreads and Amazon.

2. Roland Clarke's Bookshelf Review at his website Writing Wings features Voyagers:  
The Third Ghost.

3. Erin Kahn at The Wood Between the Worlds

Interviews with Authors:

1. Yvonne Ventresca with Stacy Horan at The Bookshop at the End of the Internet

2.  Sherry Ellis with June McCrary Jacobs at Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic 

3. Roland Clarke with Laura Wolfe at The Sustainable Writer

Blog Features:

1. Voyager Authors with Mason Canyon at Thoughts in Progress (Part 1)

2. Voyager Authors with Mason Canyon at Thoughts in Progress (Part 2)


1. May and June - Stormdance Publications

2. At various times - IWSG Instagram

3. Thursday, June 11, 2020 . . .
     There is still time to register for Diane L. Wolfe's second webinar
     on book promotion:  How to Promote Your Book Now - Part 2  
     Cost: $10.00 US dollars     Register at  Part 2 - June 11

* * * * * * * * * *

You can order a copy of
VOYAGERS: The Third Ghost 
at the links below.

Print 9781939844729 $13.95
EBook 9781939844736 $4.99

Juvenile Fiction - Historical / Action & Adventure /
Fantasy & Magic


L. Diane Wolfe said...

Yvonne is so right about the email signature. Every author should set one up. Plus I can also vouch for MC Book Tours. They've set up several tours for DLP authors.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Connecting with a book club would be awesome.

Fundy Blue said...

I have so much to learn about book promotion as a new author. That is apparent to me from reading the strategies of my fellow authors in "Voyager" and participating in your webinar last night ~ awesome btw. I've spent a lot of time on this blog promoting the book, the authors, the current contest, and even you and Alex a little, so I feel as if I've done something positive. And I did write and publish reviews at Goodreads and Amazon. Looking back at our posts, I realize that this promotion strategy post should have been published early on, so that newbies like me could do more planning before the release of the anthology. Also, your tip about the authors cooperating and working together was an excellent one. Duh! I think we should have done more of that. Hindsight really is 2020! I think that toward the end of the year when the 2020 winners are announced I must do a post or two for the new authors about what to expect and what to start doing from the get go. That would have made me much more effective. Good thing that I love to learn!

Sherry Ellis said...

All good tips. The nice thing about the anthology is that there are ten of us to help get the word out. I'd like to know more about getting into book clubs. Even small ones in schools would be great!

Fundy Blue said...

Right on, Alex!

Fundy Blue said...

I agree, Sherry. When I was teaching, I often bought multiple copies of a book, between ten and twenty-five, to use in reading groups. The smaller set might be for a really directed group ~ like a GT or LD group, the larger for a whole class group. When my school district gets up and running again, I hope to make school visits. I'm writing a unit and will contribute a set of books to my former school where I taught for twenty-five years. There's a grade two-three library to which I donated hundreds of books over the years. It would be nice if we could crack a big book club like Scholastic, but I have no idea how to do that. I think "Voyagers" is a natural.

Katharina Gerlach said...

I've always considered marketing my weak point. A lot of people insist that writing a series (or more) in one genre only will do the trick, but who likes to be that much constraint when there's a whole world of genres and ideas around? Sigh...

Katharina Gerlach said...

@Louise: Maybe you can share how to go about creating lesson plans. It sounds fun and would be helpful, so it's a kind of marketing strategy I would like to use. Maybe there are more who'd be interested.

Fundy Blue said...

Sigh indeed, Cat! Especially when they suggest that you have three books ready to go when you're ready to start the first one.

Fundy Blue said...

Great idea, Cat. I'll add that to the queue! All the best to you!