Julia Ember has stopped by the blog today to talk about how she promotes her work. Idea's that all us writers could use in the future.
Promotion as a Small Press Author
Increasingly, self-promotion is becoming important for all authors. Gone are the days where a physical book tour was the norm, and publicity mostly involved costly billboards and train station advertisements. Now even bigger publishers are relying on digital marketing and big conventions where they can promote more than one author at a time.
For small press, self-promotion and social media presence is even more important! Smaller publishers have smaller budgets and rely more heavily on digital campaigns. I know that new authors are often confused about what is their responsibility vs what is their publisher’s, but my experience has been that if your publisher seems reluctant or slow with publicity, the best way to get them excited about promoted you is to start promoting yourself. Publishers want a partner that they can work with.
For this post, I’ve prepared a short list of things debut YA authors can do themselves:
- Find and join a debut group! This doesn’t necessarily sound like a promotional thing, but it’s important. In YA, there are usually several debut groups for new authors. These are groups made up of new authors helping each other. Other authors will have great ideas for how to market yourself, as well as provide essential support in your first year! Many of the author friends I still talk to the most regularly, I met as a debut author when we were both new and scared.
- Setup social media handles on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook … in that order. For the bookish community, I would argue Twitter and Instagram are the most important platforms. Snap chat is becoming increasingly popular among teens, but due to the intimacy of the communication/messaging style on it, I don’t think it’s a good choice for authors. Twitter allows you to both post about your own work, and also keep up to date with developments in the YA community.
- Pre-order giveaways! I’ve done a pre-order giveaway for both of my last two books and it’s been very helpful in generating early sales. Bookbub recently posted on all the ways these can boost your book, and they talked about the giveaway I ran for The Seafarer’s Kiss: https://insights.bookbub.com/ways-to-sell-preorder-books/ It’s worth checking with your publisher to see if they will help you defray the costs of this. Some will and others won’t.
- Make teasers and aesthetics for your book! Of all the things I’ve shared on social media teasers and aesthetic posts about my book have been the most popular and most shared. A lot of authors think you need expensive software to make these, but you don’t! Canva.com is free and has lots of templates to help you create beautiful posts.
by Julia Ember
Publication Date: August 22, 2017
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Sixteen-year-old Tashi has spent their life training as a inhabitor, a soldier who spies and kills using a bonded animal. When the capital falls after a brutal siege, Tashi flees to a remote monastery to hide. But the invading army turns the monastery into a hospital, and Tashi catches the eye of Xian, the regiment’s fearless young commander.
Tashi spies on Xian’s every move. In front of his men, Xian seems dangerous, even sadistic, but Tashi discovers a more vulnerable side of the enemy commander—a side that draws them to Xian.
When their spying unveils that everything they’ve been taught is a lie, Tashi faces an impossible choice: save their country or the boy they’re growing to love. Though Tashi grapples with their decision, their volatile bonded tiger doesn’t question her allegiances. Katala slaughters Xian’s soldiers, leading the enemy to hunt her. But an inhabitor’s bond to their animal is for life—if Katala dies, so will Tashi.
Originally from Chicago, Julia Ember now resides in Edinburgh, Scotland. She spends her days working in the book trade and her nights writing teen fantasy novels. Her hobbies include riding horses, starting far too many craft projects, PokemonGo and looking after her city-based menagerie of pets with names from Harry Potter. Luna Lovegood and Sirius Black the cats currently run her life.
Julia is a polyamorous, bisexual writer. She regularly takes part in events for queer teens, including those organised by the Scottish Booktrust and LGBT Youth Scotland. A world traveler since childhood, she has now visited more than sixty countries. Her travels inspire the fantasy worlds she creates, though she populates them with magic and monsters.
Julia began her writing career at the age of nine, when her short story about two princesses and their horses won a contest in Touch magazine. In 2016, she published her first novel, Unicorn Tracks, which also focused on two girls and their equines, albeit those with horns. Her second novel, The Seafarer’s Kiss will be released by Interlude Press in May 2017. The book was heavily influenced by Julia’s postgraduate work in Medieval Literature at The University of St. Andrews. It is now responsible for her total obsession with beluga whales.
In August 2017, her third novel and the start of her first series, Tiger's Watch, will come out with Harmony Ink Press. In writing Tiger's Watch, Julia has taken her love of cats to a new level.