By Tom Wood
I attended the Faith in Film Conference in mid-June—one of several seminars held during the weeklong Film-Com event in Nashville—and two of the panel discussions merit discussion here, even though this column is about self-publishing your book.
The first one was titled “Understanding Your Social Media Campaign”, the second “The Changing Landscape of Distribution”—a topic I will discuss in next month’s column.
Sounds a lot like issues faced by those of us who have self-published, doesn’t it?
Social media is essential when it comes to getting the word out about your product—yes, ultimately, that is what you must consider your work of art. You may have the best, most unique story in the world, but if you don’t get the word out about it, then nobody is going to read it.
Some are more adept at using—and understanding—the power of social media campaigns to promote and market your book. I think I fall somewhere in between: I’m good on some levels, but I don’t do quite so well in others.
A lot depends on what you’re trying to do with your book: is it mainstream or written for a niche audience? There’s a learning curve to properly using social media, and you may want to consult a professional for help if this is your weakness.
Hiring a public relations consultant can be expensive, but some have different levels of service, although you might have to do some searching to find someone within your price range. Again, it is important to know what you are trying to accomplish.
From personal experience, I will probably hire a public relations agency if I choose to self-publish my next book. I probably did two week’s worth of advance publicity for Vendetta Stone. The campaign should have started much, much earlier. But I hit the ground running and haven’t stopped yet.
There is so much you can do on your own when it comes to avenues like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linked In, YouTube, etc. And there are other avenues of getting your message out and your books distributed.
A veteran sports writer and copy editor, Tom Wood has covered a variety of events ranging from the Iroquois Memorial Steeplechase to the Atlanta Olympic Games for The Tennessean in Nashville. After retirement, he continues his passion for writing, contributing to the Civil War-based anthology, Filtered Through Time and conducting an interview with Stephen King for Feast of Fear: Conversations with Stephen King. In the last year, Tom has begun writing Western fiction short stories, two of which have been published by Western Trail Blazer. “Tennesseans West” is his next project with four other authors involved. He is also an actor and can be seen in several episodes of the ABC series “Nashville”. He also coordinates the Killer Nashville guest blog series. Vendetta Stone is his first novel and he is working on the sequel.
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