You’ve written a story…now what?


So many of us have dreams of writing and hitting the big time.  We just know our book is going to be the next Great American Novel.  We’re going to appear on Oprah.  We’re going to be doing side by side interviews with J. K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer.  Everyone is going to flock to read our novel and it’s going to be on the NY Times Bestseller list.  This may very well happen…but not without a little help from those that matter most:  the little guy.

How do you get your book in the national spotlight to make people want it?  You have to start small, work smart, and be very, very patient.   What are the best steps to take?

  • Begin local and expand slowly.  Reach out to local libraries, local press.  You know that neighborhood newspaper you get once a week?  Pop over a Press Release to the editor, but before you do, ask yourself what newsworthy story you can offer them.  Remember, this isn’t about you.  Think like a journalist.  Think objectively.  It will open many more doors than you ever thought possible.
  • Make as many connections as you can and be kind, courteous and respectful.  You never know who knows whom in this business, so always be professional, even if you get a “No thank you.”
  • Make sure you tell everyone about your soon to be released story.  This is your moment to shine.  You have something to be very proud of.  Show it.  Tweet about it.  Facebook about it.  Tell the person in the line in front of you that you have a book coming out.  This is not a time to be shy and timid.  If you want people to know about your book, you have to tell them and you have to be proud of it.  Let your enthusiasm shine.   Remember…word of mouth remains the best marketing tool EVER.
  • Finally, try to find ways to be creative.  Have you written a YA novel and you have a child in middle school or high school?  Ask the teacher if you can come speak one day.  Written a fantasy novel?  Dress in garb and sell your wares at a booth at a local Renaissance Faire.   Have you written a heart-warming story of a boy and his dog?  Attend pet festivals, chat it up with folks at the local dog park.  Leave one page flyers in specialty shops that cater to your theme.  Think outside the box.  Look at your novel as if you’d never seen it before.  Fall in love with it as a stranger and imagine how you would spread the word…then do it.

With a little tenacity, hard work, and stifling the marketing fear, you may just reach that #1 spot on the NY Times bestseller list.  Final bit of advice…don’t forget all those little folks that helped you get there:  your friends, fellow bloggers.  They were your first true fans.  Treat them right, they’ll be your forever fans.

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10 thoughts on “You’ve written a story…now what?

  1. It’s all that live talking about your book stuff that bothers me. I LOVE doing panels, because people come and want to know about your book. They ask you questions, it’s comfortable. I feel awkward working it into conversations.

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