From the Chronicle of Higher Education, January 14, 2008
Put down the pen, turn off the computer: Writing a book is only the first part of becoming an academic author. Today, more than ever, you also have to become your publisher’s partner.
It’s easy to imagine what that might mean while the book is still cooking. But the real work of promotion begins when the book is done. This isn’t the moment to be tired of your subject — you’re the only one to whom your book is old news. Here are a few things authors can do. Some require plane flights and hotel stays, others you can do from home.
Talk to Your Publisher’s Publicity Department.
Get its take on your book’s potential. If it’s a trade book, can you get a breakfast appearance or an autograph session at BookExpo, the massive booksellers’ jamboree? Can you get on “Fresh Air?” Cable? Network TV? For most academic authors, those aren’t likely prospects, but it’s always worth asking politely. If you’re not big media fodder, there are plenty of other ways in which to take part in your book’s career. Be sure you’ve filled out the author’s questionnaire that the publisher sent you to guide its promotion efforts. Fill it out completely. Which means all the parts.
Make the Net Work for You.
If you’re a blogger, you already have a platform. If not, maybe you’ve been a lurker on a forum or an e-mail discussion group. Now is the moment to step into the cyberspotlight and say something about your exciting new project. Don’t be afraid to e-mail friends and acquaintances. Spam filters and institutional protocols may set limits on what you can do, but an e-blast is a good way for you, or you and your publisher, to reach carefully selected lists.
If you have a Web site, use it to reward the curious. Offer more information (for example, visuals) about your project. Make the URL part of your e-signature. If you don’t want to mix holiday snaps with your professional writing life, consider creating a separate Web site dedicated to your subject.
Watch Amazon. Be sure your publisher has put up the cover of your book with the correct copy, advance blurbs, and good reviews as they come in.
Entire article is here.