When should you start promoting your book? I say, while you’re writing it. That’s right; you should be building promotion into your book during the writing process. How?
1: Include a lot of people in your book. Most of them will purchase your book and tell their friends and acquaintances about it.
• Quote experts and interview people who have experiences related to the topic of your book (raising feral kittens, caring for an Alzheimer’s patient, hiking after the age of fifty, recycling, cycling, fishing certain lakes or losing weight, for example.)
• List the people you interviewed in the book as well as the agencies and other entities that provided information, stats, facts, etc.
For nonfiction and fiction:
• Gather endorsements for your book and print them on the back cover and perhaps inside the book, as well.
2: Offer something of interest to a variety of readers. For nonfiction, you might have a large audience base among readers seeking help managing diabetes, struggling with self-image issues or wanting help with self-publishing, for example. For fiction, you might have a large readership for your science fiction, chic lit or techno-thriller book. But you can increase your audience by adding something more.
• Give your book more than one aspect—add a self-help angle to your healing memoir, for example, a how-to focus for your informational book or a workbook feature to enhance your how-to book.
• Promote one or more products, companies, organizations or causes in your book (with permission), and possibly get added support, influence or help when promoting your book.
• Add elements to your historical novel, young adult thriller or adventure novel, for example, that will appeal to a wider audience. What is in, what’s hot, what’s on people’s minds? Incorporate some of these things into your novel. Give a character autism, a designer dog or a bent toward political cynicism, for example. Those people who don’t typically read historical novels, might be interested in one with a character who thinks like he does or who has an affliction he is familiar with.
The most important thing you can do while writing your book is to always write with your particular audience in mind. Ask yourself all along the way, “Will readers understand this comment?” “Does this segue make sense?” “Is this scene easy to follow?” Make sure that you do not lose your audience—leave them behind, confuse them or lie to them.