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by Patricia Fry

Book Promotion Basics

(from Over 75 Good Ideas for Promoting Your Book, published in Albooktross Web-Foot News, 2000)

The glorious moment has arrived. You've just completed your first (or twenty-first) book. It doesn't matter how many books have gone before this one, they're each your masterwork - a thrilling accomplishment.

Creating a book is not unlike creating life. The author conceives the idea, grows it inside of him/herself and, after many months of labor, gives birth. If you doubt your emotional connection to your book, think about how difficult it was to send your "child" off to the publisher, typesetter or printer. If you're like many authors, you experienced a strange sense of loss as you relinquished temporary control of your project. And you couldn't wait to hold the finished book in your hands.

Before welcoming your completed book home - in fact, even before writing it, you need to think about its future. The point of producing a book is presumably so that it will be read. At the very least, you hope to recoup your expenses. And you would not be human if you didn't dream of it bringing you fame and fortune. This won't happen, however, without your concentrated effort. It's up to you to sell your book. And the time to plan your marketing strategy is even prior to writing your first chapter.

Before starting that book, answer these two questions:

Who's going to buy my book? How will people find out about it?

Patricia Fry is the author of A Writer’s Guide to Magazine Articles for Book Promotion and Profit (Matilija Press, 2000).

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