The phrase doesn’t mean what it once meant. With Borders shuttered and simple self-publishing tools available for any writer, the “place where books are sold” is online, and the store never closes.
This is a challenge and an opportunity. Absent a huge advertising budget, and without help from a snazzy PR firm, self-publishers – who usually have day jobs – have two puzzles to solve: how to find readers, and then how to engage them.
Success requires high and low-tech communications – Facebook posts and face-to-face appearances, Twitter and T-shirts, YouTube and the more personal, “Hey, you! Please buy my book.”
There is also the blog tour. This hybrid is possible because someone thought to toss new technology and old-fashioned messaging into the PR blender. Emlyn Chand of Novel Publicity describes the blog tour as a period of intense online publicity.
“Instead of travelling to New York, LA or Chicago to promote your book in person, your book travels for you while you remain in the comfort of your own home,” she says.
You can set up the tour yourself, or hire someone to make the travel plans. On Aug. 17, I’ll be joining author Terri Long (In Leah’s Wake) and a few other authors for a one-day version of the blog tour called, “Bestseller for a Day.”
Terri is featured on this one; the rest of us are along for the ride. Best part? Five books, including Bella, are temporarily available for 99 cents each. (Bella would recoil at the notion that she’s somehow become cheap.) Click here to visit the promo page.
I’ll let you know how this turns out, but in the meantime would love to hear other authors’ stories about travels through the blogosphere.