Your book is coming out. Congratulations!
Now you have to promote the thing. Don’t worry. The process is simple. No need to buy a bunch of books by book promotion experts (oh, they are so sneaky using those promotion tricks to get you to buy their book).
I’ve distilled everything you need to know into this simple ten step program.
1. Be famous. This is especially important if you have written a children’s book. Sarah, the Duchess of York, Julie Andrews, Jamie Lee Curtis and John Lithgow all parlayed their fame into successful children’s book careers. So can you.
2. If you’re not famous, be the child, and/or grandchild of someone famous (think: Andre Dubus III). Preferably someone with a Penguin Classic in print.
3. How about marrying a writer? If you have to resort to this, you’ll want to marry an author with serious star-power. A Kardashian is probably your only hope.
4. Build hype by creating a large presence on the Internet. You can easily accomplish this by humiliating yourself on YouTube. You might consider eating lit firecrackers or driving down the freeway with your child’s carseat latched to the ski rack on your roof. Be sure to get those stunts on film.
5. Befriend librarians and owners of independent bookstores. Just remember, libraries have no money and few people attend readings at bookstores, so this won’t affect your book sales. Still, it’s a mitzvah to be kind to librarians and bookstore owners. They’re sad, sad people.
6. Get book reviews and blurbs from famous people. How? See #1, #2 and #3, above.
7. Get lots of exercise and eat well to stay positive and energized. Unless, of course, you plan to gain a lot of weight and go on a reality TV show about weight loss. That would be a good idea. Just be sure your book is about a contestant on a weight loss competition reality show.
7.1 Substantially alter your book so that it features a contestant on a weight loss competition reality show.
7.2 If you’re serious about this tactic, consider moonlighting as a stripper and demonstrating your pole-dancing skills on the weight loss reality show. You’ll want to work a strip tease into your book, too. The cover should feature a strip club scene. Hollywood has capitalized on the public’s fascination with strippers. So has Andre Dubus III. Why shouldn’t you?
8. Clean your desk. Replace your clutter with a shrine to your favorite, most successful author. Three times a day, repeat the mantra, “I am becoming [insert name of bestselling author].” Bonus points if you choose Rhonda Byrne. As her book The Secret reveals, visualization will lead you to achieve your goals. You might be tempted to dismiss this as useless new age nonsense, but, remember, she’s sold something like twenty million books.
9. Clean your refrigerator. This won’t help you sell books, but we all know you haven’t cleaned it in way too long and it’s starting to smell gross.
10. Keep writing and be nice to your mom. She’ll probably buy anything you get published. If it’s any good, I’ll buy it, too. Heck, I even buy lousy books. Lot of people do. In fact, if your mother is the only person who buys your book, you can take comfort in the knowledge that it is probably too good for most readers, those people who are so busy snapping up books written by the Kardashians and Rhonda Byrne.
Disclaimer: I have read neither The Secret nor The Dollhouse. Maybe they are both brilliant. I bet your book is better though.
My novel, Drowning Cactus, is coming out July 26th. I’ve got my shrine to Rhonda Byrne next to my laptop and I sent Kim Kardashian a love letter. I think I’m ready for success, but welcome promotion suggestions in the comment section below.