Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Developing Contacts to Promote Your Book - Part IV

I was one of the presenters for The Muse Online Writers Conference, which included a week-long forum workshop, Developing Contacts to Promote Your Book. Each day had a specific topic and the participants really got into building their contact lists.

The whole point of these exercises is to get your brain working. You want to develop these lists while you are writing if at all possible! And as participants in the forum discovered, I’m a stickler for specifics. Generic answers (like ‘everyone’) don’t fly with me! If you are to effectively promote your book, you need specifics and details!

You can share some of your ideas below or copy & paste and work on your lists on your own time. But sharing a few ideas is fun, because it might help out someone else!

Establishing Physical Contacts

Traditional outlets:

Where is your audience most likely so seek out your book or book’s subject matter?

List all bookstores you can physically reach - chains and independents. Keep in mind specialty book stores as well.

Make a list of libraries. If applicable, include schools and colleges.

Non-traditional outlets:

Time to think beyond the bookstore!

Make a list of other retail outlet possibilities - gift shops, coffee shops, specialty stores, museums, etc. Get creative!

List all events, festivals, and club/organization meetings in your area or that you can reach.

If applicable, consider churches and church bookstores.

Professional possibilities:

Brainstorm businesses and organization that might be interested in your book. What company or group would most benefit from your book?


  1. Guess it's time I put more thought into these things.

  2. I'm going to save these for when I finish my current WIP.

  3. Thanks for these ideas Dianne. I too saved them until a Christmas production is done.

    I'm going to approach my local paper with a weekly teaching tip column to establish myself as an expert in teaching reading. When my books come out I can suggest them as books to use in activities.

  4. I'll have to keep these in mind!

    Thanks for the post!

  5. These are great ideas! I'm going to save this page for later when I'm promoting.

  6. This is important to get the non-traditional outlets. I saw that on Talli Roland's blog where she had a picture of her travel book in the British Museum!

    That's a great idea about the festivals & clubs, too.

  7. thanks for sharing your knowledge with us!

  8. I've been doing exactly that. I have a small notebook and I have business cards and contact information all through it. And the more local authors I get to know the more contacts I make. Thanks for more great advice like I always get here.

  9. I like how you approach writing a business. The concept of writer as artist is noble and lofty, but in the real world won't sell many books unless the writer is so fortunate as to have some kind of patron or active publisher behind them to promote sales. Not gonna happen that much, but wouldn't it be nice?

    Tossing It Out

  10. Ohhhh, Diane, can't resist telling you that there are whole chapters on making contact lists in my The Frugal Book Promoter (www.budurl.com/FrugalBkPromo). I BELIEVE in contact lists. They are the roots of a flowering campaign!
    Carolyn Howard-Johnson
    Blogging resources for writers at Writers' Digest 101 Best Websites pick, www.sharingwithwriters.blogspot.com

  11. Very useful post, full of creative suggestions! Nice to see so many possibilities that may get overlooked. Garth Stein's decision to promote his book at NASCAR events comes to mind.

  12. This is the kind of thing I like to take time working on. Thanks for the list, Diane!


  13. Glad everyone's geting a lot out of this series - one more to go!

  14. You always have such great lists, and ideas. Thanks :)

  15. Hi Diane .. great thoughts - add in hospitals, hospices, doctors' surgeries etc .. Networking groups and Nursing Homes etc .. volunteer groups nearby ..

    Good thoughts for us all to think about .. Hilary

  16. A great collection of blogs to save. I need to think outside the box as I'mm planning 2011 and new things I can do in the way of promotion. Thanks!