This week it’s all about the new release. The Horsemen’s Gambit, book II of my Blood of the Southlands trilogy, comes out tomorrow, and I’m very excited, as I always am around the time of a new book release. If you’re interested in learning more about the book and the series, please visit my website and read the new interview I’ve posted there.
Last week, Jia Gayles, the Promotions and Public Relations Director for the Knight Agency, was our guest blogger, and she offered some great tips on self-promotion. Expanding on that, let me tell you a bit about the things I plan to do to publicize the release. To start, I put the interview together myself. I know that sounds strange, but it’s something many of us do. The questions aren’t really all that hard to come up with. People want to know about the new book and how it fits into the series. Sometimes they want to know a bit about the lead characters. And people are often interested in writing process issues: what’s a typical day like, how do we approach plotting and character development. These are the types of things I focused on in the interview. I asked myself some questions and then typed up what I hope are thoughtful, informative answers.
Once the interview was complete, I sent it to a group of writers I know and asked them to post it on their blogsites (I’ve done something similar for many of them when they’ve had books come out). This way I reach readers who might not know my work but who are already interested in sf and fantasy. I’ll also have some guest blogging opportunities in the next couple of weeks, when I’ll be posting at the blogs of friends who are willing to help me publicize the book. And I also posted to my blog on Amazon.com to draw attention to the book there, where book shoppers will see it.
On my personal web site, I’ve been posting updates about the book periodically for the past several months. When Tor sent me an image of the jacket, I posted that. When Romantic Times gave it a good review, I posted the review. Same thing when Publisher’s Weekly reviewed it a couple of weeks ago. I’ve now added the interview to my site. I have several pages on the site devoted to the book, including most importantly several sample chapters (chapters 1-3). As Jia suggested, I checked with my editor long ago to make certain that Tor had no objection to my posting book chapters on the site.
Finally, I’ll be visiting local bookstores (in Chattanooga and Nashville) in the next few weeks to speak with booksellers, sign some stock, and perhaps arrange a signing or two. I actually have another release coming up early next month: The paperback edition of The Sorcerers’ Plague, will be coming out on February 5th, and I may wait until then to visit the bookstores, so that I can take care of the proverbial two birds with a single stone. Certainly I’ll be doing a signing at my local bookstore later this winter. I’ll have other appearances as well — conventions mostly — and you can be sure that I’ll be talking up the book at every one of them.
Self-promotion is easy in certain ways and hard in others. It’s easy in that all it really takes is a bit of extra work and a dash of moxie. You just have to do it. On the other hand, it’s hard because there are only so many readers any one of us can reach. I’m doing all these things, and I’m sure they’ll help me sell a few books, but the bottom line is that to sell thousands or tens of thousands of books, which is my ultimate goal, I need to reach millions of potential readers. And I can’t do that on my own. I promote my books because that’s part of my job, because I want to help my sales, because every sale helps. But I also do it simply because not doing it would make me nuts. I have a new book out; I have to do something.
So, in that vein, I thought I’d mention at the end of all this that I have a new book coming out on Tuesday. It’s called The Horsemen’s Gambit, and I hope you’ll give it a look.