Sometimes, it feels like we wait for others to guide our careers. We wait for our publishers to release our books, for our publicists to procure reviews; we wait for someone else to call someone else to get us into a bookstore that has never heard of us. Sometimes, however, we have untapped power we should consider and take our lives into our own hands.
When the first Young Inventors Guild book, The Atomic Weight of Secrets… was released, I was in the middle of a revolution, living in Cairo. I could do nothing until the following summer. I had ‘book release’ parties months after the book was released! It was a bit chaotic. I had sporadic events booked, sometimes in different parts of the US since I was only there during the summer. It was impossible. After we returned to Cairo in the fall, Bancroft Press, my kind and generous publisher, hired a publicist exclusively to book and take me on very short, intensely packed, book tours. I’d fly into NYC, take a train down to DC and meet my publicist. We’d visit twenty bookstores, shops, libraries, and schools. I’d have visiting author events booked and, in between, we’d visit a ton of bookshops and libraries as a collection of meet-and-greet events just to get the word out. I did three of these four-day adventures. It was exhausting but incredibly helpful. When the second YIG book, The Ravens of Solemano… came out last fall, there were bookstores waiting for the second book, who knew about the series because of our short visits.
|Sharing with kids is always a pleasure|
So, my suggestion:
1. Make a list of who would be good to alert, considering the nature of your upcoming book. Be creative and consider museums and shops and conventions and fairs, in addition to libraries, schools, and bookstores.
|Be prepared for bumps in the road.|
3. Map out places nearby, places receptive to your calls or places that might be great for a visit. A visit is great. Provide a complimentary copy and/or other items like posters or cards, things to be placed in the store to alert customers.
4. Follow through and stay in touch. Many authors are silent and only make contact through their agents or publishers.
5. Be sure to keep that list for the next book release. Even if someone else is promoting, your name will be on the minds of the book people who are now your friends.