Muskoka’s Main Street is expected to hit the market in late spring of this year. Although I’m still busy editing the manuscript, it’s not too early to start thinking about how I will help the book find its readers.
Books do not find their way into the hands of readers on their own, or by magic, or just through the efforts of publishers and bookstores. Writers must be very active in promoting their books. This goes for all writers, self-published or not. And the book market is a complex world these days, traditional and electronic, filled with as many opportunities as you can create for yourself.
I recently attended my first ever webinar – a seminar presented over the web - run by the Writers Union of Canada. Called “How to Be Your Own Publicist,” it offered ideas both traditional and electronic, and spurred my thinking about what would suit my book, my potential readers and my personality.
The big question is: who are my readers? I’ve already done some thinking about that. “Are You My Reader?”
Second question: Where can I find my readers? At the bookstore, yes, and I will certainly help my publisher’s efforts by approaching bookstores, particularly those in the Ottawa area that are known to support local authors. Bookstores are not the only place to sell books, though. For me there’s also:
- Writers’ festivals in Muskoka, Parry Sound, Nipissing and Ottawa
- Book clubs, both physical and virtual
- Historical societies and libraries, and even
- Magazines, where I can write articles related to the topics and themes of the book.
Publishers don’t usually do book launches any more; instead of one big splash they tend to organize several smaller events and readings. I expect to participate in many of these, and to host some of my own in Ottawa and Muskoka.
Over the next couple of months, my publisher and I will come up with a promotion plan for Main Street. Meanwhile, I’m looking into the online world for other opportunities to spread the news about this exciting new book! More on that next time.