Ten Things You Need to Do Before Publication

4. Newsletter: (FREE)
This is your chance to spread the word on yourself, your books, events and any articles you may want to share with your readers. Drop these at coffee shops, bookstores, libraries or any place you feel has a lot of traffic.

If you choose to do this yourself, make sure you study some other effective forms of print and catch the public’s attention. A one-page front and back on colored paper is usually effective.

5. Articles: (FREE / $$ For You)
Keep writing. Get your articles out there to magazines or Web sites whether they are short stories or how-tos. Writing for the Web can give you exposure to more readers, but may not pay anything.

Magazines are your way of getting exposure, being published and possibly getting paid. The more you write, the more you hone your skills and the more credibility you lend yourself.

6. Contact Publicist: (Low Cost / Expensive)
This is a judgment call, but I thought I would throw it out there. In today’s market, authors are spending thousands to millions on their promotion campaigns. There are definitely ways to market yourself, but sometimes you need a professional. Publicists can range in cost from $75/hour for consultation to $4,500/month.

If this is an area you think you can handle, check out the Self Promotion area on this site. If not, search the Web for Literary Publicists.

7. Register Domain for Web Site: (Low Cost)
You most definitely need a Web site for your books. These can range anywhere from $10 to $70 depending on where you go shopping.

Start studying what other authors do on their sites and ask them if it’s effective.

8. Collect Data for Your Media Kit: (FREE / Low Cost)
This will be your calling card to radio and television and it has to look good. You can begin collecting for it early, though, and it should contain at least the following materials:

– One-to-two page news release about your book (may come later unless you write it)
– List of questions in descending order of importance regarding the book that you want media to ask
– Author bio
– 5″ X 7″ black and white glossy photo of you for print media and television shows
– Reviews with praise from media (to be built as more are added)
– Articles by or about you
– Articles regarding your book’s subject that are newsworthy
– A pitch letter regarding why you would make an interesting subject
– A fact sheet regarding most interesting points of your book
– Your author brochure (if available)
– A small, fun, cheap, eye-catching gimmick of book to set your book apart from others
– Business cards
– Quotes from satisfied readers of your current or other books

9. Perfect Proposal or Query: (FREE)
This is the letter or package that sells your book to the big houses and/or agents. You need to really know how to prepare these letters because sometimes it’s the only thing that you are allowed to send to the publisher.

Go to the library or surf the Web and begin studying how to write a proposal or query letter. Many agents have an example on their Web site for you to review. Do your homework here.

10. Contact Groups or Book Clubs: (FREE)
This is where you begin your online chat with your peers. Start telling all of the groups you associate with on the Web about your upcoming book. Let the reading clubs in your area know that your book is about to hit the shelves.

As you can see, there is much to do before your future bestseller ever hits the shelves, and more that you can do than I listed above. Get creative, use your resources and study the market. Talk to people in the business and see what is working for them. If you get into a good mix of using all of the above and other tools, you will see the results even long after your book is published.

Greg Cottrell Book

Greg Cottrell is the author of The Man Who Went to Heaven. He lives and writes in Aledo, Texas, with his family.