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Variations on Promoting a Book

With the pandemic dragging on way too long with so many variants, a book author has to find variations to in-person presentations and book signings to promote his or her book. Being a library lover and patron for many, many years, I am focusing on a few ways for library patrons and other book lovers to find my book, learn about it and borrow it from the library. And yes, I do get royalties for that from the Public Lending Right Program in Canada, as long as the library branches carry copies of my book. So, out there in library land are my three Beyond mystery books and my newest book The Enemies Within Us – a Memoir. It is the memoir I am going to spill the beans on what I am doing beyond getting the book into the libraries.

It helps that my East End Writers’ Group was meeting at the S. Walter Stewart library branch (as one of its programs), that is until the pandemic closed the libraries during lock downs, but even when lock downs were lifted and the libraries opened, in-person programs didn’t return. According to the librarian who I liaison with for EEWG, that won’t happen for some time. EEWG now meets twice a month on Zoom. But more importantly for this post, EEWG celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2020. I know, pandemic cancelled any in-library celebrations, but besides taping two appearances with a couple of EEWG members on the online TV show The Liquid Lunch, EEWG went virtual for a big 20th anniversary celebration in 2021. Hey, you got to do things differently.

My favourite meeting place

Three of us organized this celebration – two other members, Kit a speculative fiction writer, and Shane, who is also my publisher at Blue Denim Press, and also a published fiction author and me. I lined up members – new and longtime – to showcase their creative talents, Kit hosted it, and Shane put together the publishing panel as well as being on it, and designing the invitation and setting up the Facebook login for people to attend. Shane and I also sent out virtual invitations and some of mine went to librarians and a retired librarian from the Toronto Public Library system.

And I made my presentation relevant to both one of my Beyond books – the latest Beyond Faith – and my memoir The Enemies Within Us. I used a connection between them – that nun from my past who bullied me in grade school. The nun in Beyond Faith is based on her. So I did a combination of reading and a skit for my presentation. Shane edited the Facebook video, divided it into two videos and both are now online and have been for the few months since the big celebration of May 26.

But I also recently did something else. I emailed my liaison librarian to see if she could get the links to the two EEWG anniversary celebrations on the Toronto Public Library website – as we had been meeting in one of the TPL branches. That didn’t happen exactly, but she was able to get another TPL branch, the Danforth/Coxwell branch to post it to their Facebook page the end of July. So thanks to Luke at the Danforth/Coxwell branch and Jennifer at S. Walter Branch for making this all happen. To see the Facebook posting Log in to Facebook, go here and scroll down. Or log into Facebook and do a search for Danforth/Coxwell library branch.

The library branch posting video links to East End Writers’ celebrations

That’s not all I’m doing with the library – or trying to do. Toronto Public Library welcomes program proposals from authors – at this point for virtual and/for in-person whenever COVID will permit the latter. The big proposal form you fill out online lets you decide which you want – virtual or in-person or both. I chose both. My presentation, without completely giving it away, uses my little girl self and my senior self to present parts of my memoir, especially what it was like growing up with an elderly father who has cancer and being bullied. No bites yet, but I’m still working on the actual presentation.

The take-away here?

Find a writing-related event (yours or something else) you can anchor on to connect with the library and come up with an unusual presentation for your book that can be virtual. And remember libraries have branches for when they finally can open to in-person presentations, and there are libraries right across your country, which can be good for you and the libraries during a pandemic.

We book authors have to be creative to promote our books in pandemic times.

But don’t forget to get your book into the library. Find out how from your library and do it. Mine is in three Toronto public library branches and holds are on for it with some copies in transit from … you guessed it…the copy at S. Walter Stewart branch. The link to The Enemies Within Us in the libraries is here.

Good luck with promoting your book through the libraries.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

 

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Authors helping authors

Sharon A. Crawford's latest in the Beyond series

Sharon A. Crawford’s latest in the Beyond series

I have always tried to help other writers in whatever way I can – and I don’t just mean editing their writing or consulting for a fee. And this is so true for authors promoting their work – published and unpublished. We all have strengths and weaknesses here (and sometimes we don’t always know what they are at first).

Sometimes it is a good idea to mutually help each other – using our individual strengths. You know the old saying “two heads are better than one.”

Last evening I had a chat covering all this with another published fiction author (suspense romance) Karen Blake-Hall. When we met I had no idea that our conversation would lead to this mutual help to promote our books. Karen has a sales background and is willing to help me with using social media. Yes, I use some, but could do much more with social media and boy did, Karen have ideas.

On my side, as I admitted to her, I am better at the in-person promotion. A blogger once told me I am good at connecting people with what they want and need – in person and by email (All those business networking lunches, dinners, etc. in the past are paying off). And I am good at public (as in physically there) presentations and readings). Still need a little bit more promo slants there, though and Karen came up with something she does that would work for me, too. I also connected Karen with the TV and radio programs where I was interviewed.

I am glad to do so. For those of you who might have the idea that authors helping each other will interfere with their book promotion and sale results, think again. Think of a variation of the old saying “safety in numbers” – i.e., “more exposure and more fun in numbers.” Still don’t believe me? Read my guest blog post from March 9, 2015 on Shannon A. Thompson’s blog at http://shannonathompson.com/2015/03/09/author-and-reader-connection/

 

Often I help emerging authors –whether through writing workshops, my East End Writers’ Group, word of mouth, email, etc. And their thank you and getting some good, some success, out of what I have to offer gives me a good feeling.

I do believe that what you sow, you shall reap – in other words what goes around comes around.

It might not be right away, but it will happen. And good Karma is better than bad Karma. So why not work together?

Authors helping authors. It’s win/win.

And here is a link to Karen Blake-Hall’s website. Take a look and maybe some of her e-books will interest you. http://karenblake-hall.com/

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Sharon A. Crawford is the author of the Beyond book series. More info at www.samcraw.com and www.bluedenimpress.com – my publisher – you can also purchase e-books – both Kindle and Kobo – there.

Beyond Blood Book cover at the top of this post links to my Amazon author profile. If you buy a copy there, please do a review there.

 

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