When should I start promoting my novel?

At what point should a writer start promoting their novel? Our advice is, the sooner the better. The longer the runway you create for your book’s takeoff, the better the chances of success.

Printing Press in Action - Woman in Foreground
By the time your novel is at the printing press – or being formatted as an ebook – your promotion should be well underway.

Brainstorm way ahead of publication

At least six months before your book is set to be published, you should begin brainstorming ideas and laying the groundwork for your marketing campaign. This will give you ample time to fine-tune your plan and make sure that everything is in place before your book hits shelves.

Plan your novel promotion

You should have a plan for each stage of publication—from coming up with a title and cover design all the way through writing an author bio. The best advice we can offer is to explore as many different ways as possible to market your novel so that there are no missed opportunities. There are countless ways in which authors can publicize their books these days, from posting advertisements on subway cars to producing YouTube videos about their latest release.

Start Early

One of the most important things you can do when marketing your book is to start early. You can even start talking about your book while you’re still writing it. Talk about the process, the challenges you’re facing, the difficulties, etc on social media. This helps your followers connect with the book before it’s published and builds anticipation.

It also ensures that your efforts won’t go unnoticed. It may seem difficult at first, but once you get going, it becomes second nature to promote your work on social media and post regular updates on a blog. Just remember: the earlier you start promoting your work, the more successful it is more likely to be.

Ask for help

Another helpful thing to do is to ask for help. Talk to other authors you know. Ask for tips and advice. Ask for support. Remember: if you don’t ask, then you don’t get! Even if you think your idea is too big or outlandish, chances are someone else has already done it or tried to do it and failed. So don’t be afraid to reach out and make connections; they could turn into long-lasting friendships or professional relationships that end up benefiting both parties involved. 

Do your research

If you’re thinking of starting a blog or website, there’s nothing wrong with doing research beforehand. A great place to start is by visiting some well-known blogs in your genre (i.e., mystery, romance) and reading their archives to see what topics they cover. Once you’ve identified some potential topics, write them down and add any details that might help flesh them out. From there, you’ll need to figure out how often you want to post new content. Some bloggers schedule posts in advance while others use a post when I feel like it philosophy. There are pros and cons to both methods, so choose whichever works best for you! 

Pick promotions strategies that work for you

At the end of the day, you will find you have a lot of options for marketing your book. Pick only the strategies and tactics that work for your timeline, budget, schedule and persona. For instance, social media is great, but there are authors who do a good job of leveraging other people’s audiences as they do not like spending time on instagram, Twitter, or TikTok. Don’t feel compelled to do something because it seems like ‘everybody is doing it.’

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