I’m not a good guide on web promotion, because I seem to be forever playing catch-up to the latest developments. A blog, many blogs, Facebook, a video on YouTube—here too, nobody can predict what will or won’t work. But if you capture the attention of someone who already has the attention of other people …
One thing you must put up is an author’s website, or, if you prefer, individual websites for individual books. There are many people—librarians for starters—who will want to look up more information about you. Your website should go on every card, poster and freebie you hand out, as well as inside your book(s).
If you aim to build up a fan base—as you should—you also need to give an email address. I still manage to answer all emails personally, though it’s starting to take up a huge slice of my time.
A website should do much more than advertise your books; it should create a sense of a special relationship with fans. Giveaways and quizzes and free extra material all help.
Extra material is easy for a fantasy writer. You can post up pages about other parts of your world, all the bits and pieces you never managed to fit into your novel. Extra background, extra stories—spreading a world out further and further is a natural tendency for fantasy writers anyway.
For Worldshaker, I plan to expand on the history of how juggernauts came to be built a century and a half ago. And who knows, there could be a whole novel in it eventually? If there is, how cool to give fans a role in shaping it …
I nearly forgot to mention my biggest freebie—you’re reading it now! When I began these writing tips, I thought of them as something to ‘give away’ on my author’s website. Now they’ve grown so big, I’ve had to set up a separate website, and I’ve spent as many hours writing them as writing a short novel. Still, they started out as a form of promotion, even if they somehow changed along the way into a labour of love!
Time to give the addresses of the 2 masters of promotion I’ve been mentioning. For J.A. Konrath’s thoughts on publishing, but especially on self-promotion, go to http://www.jakonrath.com/writers.htm
and download The Newbie’s Guide to Publishing
For Ian Irvine - he's put up an article on promotion at
PS. Now I've remembered why I was doing this free writing tips site when I began, I'll sneak in a bit of self promotion after all. Here's the trailer for Song of the Slums - very quirky! I contributed with the concepts and script, and Tom and Jyy-Wei at Allen & Unwin realised it as a video. I'm really really pleased with it!