So Writing That Gets Noticed had its launch week this past Wednesday (June 13th) (yay) and I wanted to share some of the steps I’ve taken to get the word out that have worked (and some that perhaps aren’t working so well just yet), in case you want to bookmark this info for your own potential book launch.
- I have the director of publicity at New World Library (NWL) working with me, and she is wonderful, but I already have contacts for assignments, podcast guest invites, invitations to speak at conferences and on webinars (of course I’m always open to more). What NWL publicity is doing or did that is valuable is to create a book trailer for me, and get applied to have Writing That Gets Noticed reviewed by Publishers Weekly, which they achieved. Writing That Gets Noticed received a coveted “Buy this Book” review, which is on Amazon, and I also put it on my website. I believe a big value of a positive PW review is that libraries see it and buy the book. And I could never have gotten that on my own. Here is a link to the book trailer in case you want to create your own.
- I posted the 12 blurbs I received from top editors, Emmy and Tony-award winning producers and TV reporters, and bestselling authors on my website, and the publisher put them on Amazon. What I also did is research and find an app called Adobe Express, and got a free trial week so I could make pretty photos with the blurbs. You can even animate them. As for getting the blurbs, I asked people I knew from all areas of my life (social, blogging, magazines, Freelance Writing Direct) so nobody was a stranger to me, and the publisher didn’t need to get involved. Here is my cover blurb: “Full of invaluable tips and tricks that won’t just get you results — they’ll get you published.”
— Noah Michelson, editorial director of HuffPost Personal and host of the D Is for Desire podcast
- The day of my book launch, I led a pitch slam panel at ASJA’s virtual conference with 6 top assigning editors. That was perfect timing because I had my books and a small book poster that my publisher had sent in the Zoom background, and several people in other sessions gave my book a shout-out, including the conference chair, Michelle Rafter, and Richard Eisenberg who led a snack chat on Unretirement.
- My publicist at NWL, asked me to create a launch team of close friends, students, and family. I have seen other people successfully created launch teams with strangers or people from groups, but she specifically asked me not to do this, so I didn’t. She sent them an early pdf and asked them to pre-order the book. Then she scheduled them to leave reviews. I find I have to nudge them a little, since many of them are not writers, so I’m not sure how effective that was. Luckily, I have lots of students who will write reviews, but I believe I will definitely have to ask.
- I hosted a small launch party at a local restaurant for family and friends to celebrate the day after my book launched. I did not do a signing party at a bookstore. I did not offer books, but I signed ones if people brought them, and for others I brought book plates, and signed them. I had food buffet style, plus pass around appetizers, and a cake from a local bakery that looked like the cover of my book. I also ordered Tote bags with notebooks and pens. My publisher had provided me with 500 postcards with QR codes to give out during my panel at AWP in March– so I have tons left and stuck them in the tote bags. I paid for the party myself, but figured I’d never had a Bat Mitzvah, so this was my BookMitzvah.
- At the party, a journalist friend, Bobbi Rebell interviewed me, plus I read from my book (which isn’t just prescriptive, but includes stories from my life as a magazine editor and when I became a mother in midlife and started writing about parenting).
- When I check Amazon, I check under new releases which makes it a higher number in the category (the other day it showed my book is #1 in Non fiction journalism). But there is a tendency to become obsessive about checking and I am reigning in that tendency in myself).
- Friends and students have been sending me photos of the book praising it, and I’ve been posting on Instagram and tagging them. That seems to be going wel.
- I host/produce the Freelance Writing Direct podcast and through luck and planning had my biggest guest on yet — Cheryl Strayed — my book launch week. I also did a promo for the book that I inserted in the beginning of my podcast introduction before my guest interview. Other recent guests include Author/Essayist Ann Hood, and publisher/author Zibby Owens. And now Freelance Writing Direct is on YouTube, and subscriptions and views have slowly been increasing though most still prefer to go to iTunes to subscribe.
- I created a Substack newsletter a few months ago and call it Writing That Gets Noticed, but I have not done too much with it, yet. I plan to now that I can focus my attention back on it. I need to learn more about the platform which seems to be getting saturated and changing by the day. The value I added to mine was by sharing a NYU Editor-on-Call interview I did with a New York Times editor. Read it here and please subscribe.
- I did a TikTok that offered life and writing advice. Let me know if you want more of that from me. I also offer writing advice on my TikTok. I really enjoy TikTok and plan to do more with it.
- Before I forget, I am leading a pitching webinar for Writer’s Digest on July 20th, and I started announcing it book launch week. Sign up here and bring a pitch or listen to a pitch and I will help you revise it in real time.
That’s all for now. I hope you found this helpful and and I hope you love my book as much as I loved writing it and distilling my years of experience as a magazine editor, journalist and writing teacher into it. Thank you so much for your support and encouragement as I continue to move along in my publishing journey. I’m a storyteller and this is just the beginning.
And I am available for interviews, to be a podcast guest, and I’m open to other suggestions. Please let me know what you think.
Thank you! More soon!