I tried a million different things. Getting friends to buy my book, giving out free copies, holding a launch event, ads, pitching journalists, yada yada yada.
And to be honest here: a lot of it probably would have been more effective had I focused on the craft and gotten published somewhere.
The original title of my book garnered a handful of reviews from friends and family. Mostly positive. Of course none of that matters, because they weren’t a devoted audience of readers of that genre.
And realistically what I should have had a plan for from the beginning was getting my writing published in literary journals.
You can do all sorts of things – pitch bloggers, podcasts, whatever the marketing snake oil is today padding yourself with positive reviews, but the fact of the matter is that all of that stuff only glorifies the “built for clicks” economy.
Real readers might be checking out awful websites with bad SEO and terrible social media platforms. Not that you shouldn’t pitch those platforms – but keep in mind, they’re all optimized for ads and clicks, and the numbers that help them sustain their business have less to do with helping you gain readers than the good old fashioned literary journal.
Again, you should pitch big media. Some of them are in here. But if you’re starting out consider pitching some of these other outlets. In the beginning, if you’re not fortunate enough to get your article featured in The New Yorker or somewhere else with a massive following, you can still find other outlets worth your time.
Check ’em out!