It’s not like I don’t have enough to do already, but this weekend it’s hit me that I need to start putting pieces in place for promoting my book before it comes out. Some of these, like redesigning my website, are things I’ve been putting off for a long time. I started tinkering with the stylesheet last year and never uploaded it because I was afraid I broke something, and now I’ve decided that I want to administer the whole thing through a custom WordPress design that I originally started working on years ago for another writer I know. It didn’t work for him, but in the process I learned more about PHP than anyone should really have to know.
The reason I decided to do this is because, after reading this blog post by Nathan Bransford a couple weeks ago (he no longer works as a literary agent, but he’s still full of good information and has a really neat-sounding novel coming out in May), I went ahead and created a Facebook fan page (which of course you should totally go visit and press the Like button—because there are only two people following it at the moment and one of them is me). When I tried to add the Like box to my blog‘s sidebar, it wouldn’t let me. So, I thought, hey, why not add it to my regular website?And that got me to thinking about how I’ve been neglecting that site somewhat. (I also have a portfolio of my design work up there, and it hasn’t worked right in Firefox for the longest time, but I haven’t gotten around to trying to fix it yet.)
One thing led to another, I had another cup of coffee, and suddenly this all seemed like a good Sunday project.
I read somewhere that the best time to begin promoting your book is three years before it comes out, which seems a) crazy but b) is also about the length of time it’s been since I had my first short fiction publication, and I think of each one of those as a small step along the way that is hopefully entertaining enough readers that they’ll see my book and think, “Oh yeah, he wrote that story in….”
So, you tell me: what are you doing (or what have you done) to promote your book? What’s worked the best? What do you wish you never wasted time with?