Big Fish Media is chronicling author Susan Price in a series of posts as she navigates the world of self-publishing. We follow the choices she faces, the decisions she makes, and the challenges she encounters in all areas, including research, production, and marketing. We’ll also offer tips, resources, and insights about self-publishing.
By Sarita Venkat
Susan is in the home stretch of completing her manuscript. As an expert on the topic of family philanthropy (she’s been immersed in the field for 15 years), Susan is writing a book titled Generous Genes: Raising Caring Kids in a Digital Age, which builds upon her 2001 book The Giving Family. Generous Genes will reflect the way kids are using technology as a tool in their giving. She started writing her book in earnest in early 2013; countless hours of research later, along with more than 100 interviews, and nearly half the words toward her goal of having a 60,000 word manuscript by February 1, 2014.
But, similar to the conundrum many writers face, it’s been challenging to keep up the writing momentum and find the time to promote her yet-to-be-published book (she’s also accepted a few paid consulting opportunities; while enticing when she’s getting no advance for her book, they have added a further wrinkle to her already tight schedule).
Publicity is critical at all stages of the self-publishing process so it’s never too early to promote your tome. As someone who has traveled the traditional publishing route with her previous titles, Susan will miss having a publicity department supporting her new book. (“Even though people complain that they didn’t get much help from the marketing folks, they still do some things for the author.”)
For example, Susan took advantage of the 2013 holiday season to generate buzz for her book by talking about how to raise compassionate children and encourage their giving activities.
- Participating in a Google Hangout: Susan was invited to participate in a Google Hangout (a video chat) hosted by #GivingTuesday.org. #GivingTuesday is a campaign to create a national day of giving to celebrate and encourage charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations. The idea behind #GivingTuesday is that it follows Thanksgiving (a day of thanks) and Black Friday and Cyber Monday (two days for deals).
- Giving the Keynote Address at a Fundraising Luncheon: Susan spoke about the book’s subject at a recent fundraising lunch for the Phoenix Children’s Museum.
- Headlining a Webinar for an Interest Group of the Young Presidents’ Organization: Through education and idea exchange, YPO has a membership of business leaders in more than 120 countries. Approximately 40 people watched Susan during the webinar.
Susan also has multiple invitations to guest blogs for various websites. She’s currently weighing the ones to spend time on, which, while important, will take away from her other writing.
So, what’s next on Susan’s to-do list? She confesses to being a novice on social media but opened a Twitter account at https://twitter.com/SCritesPrice so you can follow her updates and ideas.
Key Takeaway: As a self-publisher, it’s best to start promoting your book before you have a finished manuscript in your hands. What promotional tactics are you using to spread the word?
Read the other posts in this series: