Thursday, December 11, 2008

Notes from "When Memoir Inspires Fiction" Part 3

Promoting a book of memoir-based fiction:

1. If your book is historical, a good idea is to tie promotion in with big events, like the anniversary of Vimy Ridge, for example. You’ll have to work with your publisher on that, but it could help get you more media coverage outside of the Books section.

2. Autobiographical fiction is something journalists and readers are really interested in, so you will be asked personal questions. As well, the reality of what book promotion has become is about the persona selling the book (we see this with how authors are using Facebook and other social networking tools). It’s about using your personality to publicize. My advice is to decide ahead of time what you’re willing to reveal and what you’re not. Some things are just off limits and there’s nothing at all wrong with this. But you will have to reveal something of yourself. You do want to seem personable and someone who really wants people to read their book.

3. Easily the best thing I’ve learned in promoting is to tell stories or anecdotes when you’re doing a reading or in response to a question. If your story has to do with your life, or if there’s some touching story related to the book, use it. People are most drawn to stories and will respond well to them.

4. Enjoy the promotion. Don’t get too stressed about it or it will show. Not too many people get a chance to be in the limelight once in a while, so allow yourself to have fun with it. We all like being recognized for our strengths after all.