Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Starting Selling

Now that the fabulous gloss of excitement is wearing off, I need to start with the tougher work of trying to sell this book.  I know it's a necessary part of this whole thing, but it's the toughest part for me.  I really hate asking anyone to buy my book, and I have a year or so ahead of me of trying to do just that, in various forms.  

I've started with Facebook, which seems like an excellent tool right now.  I have a couple of hundred friends on there, so if everyone bought a book, I'd be in great shape.  I'm using Twitter, and shamelessly, this blog too. (Want to buy my book?  Click here.)  

The writing conference I went to in Oregon last summer talked a lot about a writer's "platform" and how big publishing houses are asking writers to indicate they have a big and possibility-laden platform before they will consider publishing their work.  It's kind of an interesting concept, actually.  There's so many ways to reach readers now than there were even 5 years ago when I published my last book.

One idea being kicked around on Facebook by my writer friends is "virtual book tours."  This is a pretty cool idea.  As a writer, I'd try to let other writers or anyone with a good following, to let me "visit" their blog.  I'd do a guest post, respond to any comments, and then of course use that as a way to sell my book.  I actually really like this idea (maybe it's the introvert in me)--I think it would be interesting to get to know others' blogs well enough to write a post in them, and get to know their readers a little bit too.  

I'd love to do an actual book tour, too.  Corey and I were talking about it last night, and trying to figure out how to swing it.  I am thinking about trying for a grant, so we'll see.  We'd love to hop on the ferry in the fall and go to Haines, Ketchikan, Sitka, and maybe even Skagway or Gustavus.  We love the ferry, and I love the idea of reading in small bookstores, and getting to know some of the writer folks in those towns too.

The lovely news is that I've gotten a few invitations to read in town already.  The Alaska Wildlife Alliance has asked me to do a reading in March (not sure if we'll have books in hand by then, so we're working on that); the Juneau Public Library, and Egan Library have all expressed interest too.  So that's been really nice, and helpful.  And Sara at the UAS bookstore has been wonderful--she's so supportive.  

Maybe the coolest moment so far, though, was putting my cover up on Facebook and having so many great comments flood in.  I've never felt so supported as a writer before--it was kind of amazing.  It makes me think maybe all of this won't be so bad after all.  I just need to put it out there, try not to be too embarrassed, and see what happens.


Homeric Geek said...

I will also put the link to your book on Twitter and Facebook and Google+, I hope that is okay. I can't wait for my copy to get here.

Monica Devine said...

I would love to have you Guest Post on my blog, Emily. You can contact me at
And this year I am taking Vivian's advice, and reading Alaskan writers!

Vivian said...

Hi Emily, I hope you visit my hometown of Wrangell when you go on the ferry tour. I always thought that authors should get together and do a big rockstar type ferry boat community tour. The Blue Canoe Tour.

And I think you should guest post on my blog Planet Alaska whenever you want to promote your book. Planet Alaska is very into poetry and writing about place/nature/family. Send me a message on FB.

Emily said...

Hey, thanks you guys--that's so awesome! I really appreciate the help from all of you. I also really love The Blue Canoe tour--how amazing would that be? I wonder if we could somehow write a grant for that....