As the official launch of Any Other Branch approaches, I am excited, nervous, and wondering how I can help my book on its journey to all of you. Self-promotion is one of the most awkward and narcissistic tasks a writer ever takes on.
Poets, for the most part, are in charge of their own media exposure. I am lucky enough to have a press that does some of that for me, but I still feel the need to help in the process. Here are somethings I have learned along the way.
1) Learn to write a press release. Press releases are helpful when you are looking for coverage in newspapers. It helps if you know someone at the paper too, but we don’t always have that advantage.
When you write your press release be sure that you give it a spin. For example, I sent one press release to Northern newspapers, and another to Southern papers. Because I was born in Georgia and lived their most of my life, I wanted to make sure they knew that my publication was locally relevant.
2) Have a large supportive following on social media. I have just over 250 “likes” on my author page at this point, but I have multiple pages on facebook. My personal facebook has been used primarily as an extension of my professional page for years, and I have just over 700 friends on that page.
By posting to my author page and then asking others to share, and sharing my own post on my personal page, I reach around 1000 folks a post. That is, as long as I mix in some non-me fun posts.
3) Make sure your website reflects you! For years, my website was fairly static. I didn’t update it regularly, and blogging was something I did rarely. My bio was just that, a long bio like the ones I would have sent to journals…this meant that it revealed nothing of me.
My sister-in-law helped me get a design together, and with the help of my husband (who is a web guru) we put the new site up within a week. I rewrote my bio and made it an “about.” This invited the reader into my personal history, but I kept it brief.
4) Branding. Consider whether you are willing to “brand” yourself. Not with a hot iron, but make sure your online presence is consistent. You may even want your other materials to match in some way, e.g. business cards that look similar to your website, facebook cover photos that go with the site, etc.
5) Don’t forget your local community! As a poet in my community I have worked to stay connected by volunteering for everything I could. I volunteered at my daughter’s school to teach poetry and fiction, I keep my eyes open for opportunities to share my work at the library, local workshops, etc.
It is nearly a full-time job to do this sort of work, but if you love what you do, it is worth it.
More to come as the journey of Any Other Branch continues.
IvyPost Categories: Ivy Page, Poetry, Publishing, Uncategorized, WritingTags: Any Other Branch, Branding, poets, Press Release, Self-Promotion, Social Media
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