You've been waiting for this day. Anxious, excited, curious, even a little intimidated. The release of your new novel by the publisher just happened. Now what?
In your life as a writer, everything builds to your book being made available to readers. It is published, and you just want to sit back and relish the success. Where are the celebrations? The glory? Here's the truth: you can't sit back. This is the time for the press, pun intended.
Get on social media, edit your websites (yes, you'd better have one or two) to promote your new fiction or non-fiction. Talk is cheap but book promotion really isn't. You need exposure beyond your friends and relatives. Even your Facebook page has a limited number of "friends," particularly those who want to go out and buy a book today or tomorrow. People are busy, their lives complicated and full, and they are not just waiting for your book to arrive in the way you are.
How do you get their interest? How do you make your year of writing and years of thinking about this text something everyone wants in on? If I had all the answers, I would be a best-selling author, and I'm not. The reality is that quality of work and book sales are not particularly related.
If you have connections to the New York Times Book Review reviewers, by all means, contact them. But it's likely you're not in that elite company no matter how good your work is. So, you start with what you know and can do. Here are a few tips. Some will help, but others may fall off into nothing. There are plenty of things you can't control. You can, however, control your effort to get this news out there!
1. Contact your local newspaper, news magazines (weeklies are more likely to do a story on you than any daily paper), radio stations.
2. Offer to do an interview and allow them access. Be ready to provide camera-ready art for your book cover.
3. Offer to do a reading on your local station(s).
4. Host a book launch party. Ask a few friends to help, and it's not too expensive or daunting. Finding the right location is key. Don't pay a lot for your site, or you will have to sell a tremendous amount of books just to break even. Libraries are wonders, but perhaps not the best place for a book launch. People like to eat and drink at these kind of affairs.
5. If you're not already tech savvy, you're going to have to learn. There is a huge world out there, and the more you know about how information moves, the better.
Good luck. Don't get discouraged, and don't be intimidated by what you don't know. Just jump in and go for it. Be your own best cheering section.