3 Ways to Promote Your Work Online

You may have already seen something about this, but J. K. Rowling is serializing a children’s book online.  Each weekday from May 26 to July 10, she will be posting one or more chapters of The Ickabog.  She wrote this story for her own children while she was working on the Harry Potter books.  She had never done anything with this and suggested to her teens that she could make the book available to young readers.  Everyone agreed it was a great idea.

Search #TheIckabog on Twitter and you will find 1000s of messages.  I would give you a more specific number but Twitter gave me the number then refreshed and decided that I didn’t really need to know how many there were.  Thanks, Twitter.

Part of the reason that this has gained so much traction so quickly is, let’s be realistic, because it has Rowling’s name attached to it.  But she is doing three things:

  1. Giving away a serialized book for free.  Now registration needed.  Just click over to her site and read.
  2. Holding a contest.  Young readers have been invited to create their own illustrations and post them with the hashtag #TheIckabog. From among the entries, her UK publisher and her US publisher will choose images to be used to illustrate the book this fall.  And her proceeds?
  3. Giving something to a worthy cause.  All the money she makes on sales of The Ickabog will go to help those negatively impacted by the coronavirus.

Now, granted, none of us is J K She-May-as-Well-Be-a-Rock-Star Rowling, but we can use these things to promote our work.  You can give something away.  What you would give away would depend on who you are targeting.  Teachers love lesson plans.  Young readers?  An illustrator friend creates coloring pages.

You can also hold a contest.  Maybe you could give away copies of your book.  Or you could name a character after someone or even a setting.  Edwardsville?  Edwardstown?

Last but not least there are so many ways to give including supporting literacy programs which are a personal favorite.

What could you do to promote your work online?


Promotional Items

I hadn’t intended to write about promotional items this week but I saw a blog post about the most creative business cards and WOW some of these things are amazing.  You can see the entire line-up in the video below.  That said, I turned off the annoying sound track. Still some of the business cards really made me think.

I especially liked the ones that were interactive: the bike tool business card from the bike shop, the hair dresser card that you rolled into a little person with wacky hair, the photographer’s card that was a clear plastic view finder, and the adventure company’s card that was edible dried meat.  (Ick!)

So what would be interactive and clever for a writer in general or for a particular book?

A spider web on a clear plastic bookmark for Charlotte’s Web.

Blood red nail polish in a bottle with the title and author for Dracula.

A blue semi-transparent bookmark patterned with sea weed for a mermaid story.

My Maya story calls out for a stone knife book mark or a create-your-own stella bookmark.

Pearl Harbor?  A plane spotters guide?

What about your books?  Or your favorite classics?