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Three Ways to Promote Your Fiction Novel Before Publication

July 18, 2008 4 comments

Congratulations on landing a publisher! Your next step -- whether you chose traditional publishing or print on demand -- will be promoting your fiction novel. Yes, traditional publishers do more in terms of promotion for their authors than print on demand publishers, but the author should do his or her part as well. In fact, all publishers appreciate it more when the author steps up to help, and one great benefit for the author could be bigger royalty checks.

When should you start to promote your fiction novel? Before your fiction novel hits the bookstores is best. Some promotion will take place after your novel hits the market, but today were going to explore three ways you can promote your fiction novel while it’s still in the publishing stages.

Write and distribute press releases. Create a persuasive press release announcing the release of your book. Then distribute the press releases to local newspapers and other media contacts.

Create a media kit. You’ll want to create two media kits: one to send through postal mail and another for your website. Your media kit should consist of a cover letter, a booklist (if you’ve had other books published), press clippings (can be included later if you haven’t gained any yet), your press release, your bio, a color and black and white photo of yourself (headshot), a fact sheet that includes information about your book (release date, ISBN, publisher, etc.), sample questions and answers (in case they want to schedule an interview), a sample chapter or excerpt from your book, a flyer, brochure and your business card. Those are just the essential materials your media kit should include; feel free to add any additional materials.

Plan a virtual book tour. Virtual book tours are becoming popular among many authors, and the majority of them have reported success in sales. While you should wait until your fiction novel is released before beginning your virtual book tour, there’s nothing stopping you from planning in advance. For more information on planning a virtual book tour, read Cheryl Kaye Tardif’s Authors Tour the World With Virtual Book Tours. Cheryl organized her own virtual book tour and then wrote this wonderful article to teach other authors how they can do the same.

And there you have it, Three Ways to Promote Your Fiction Novel Before Publication. This is also the final post in my Fiction Writing Tips series. If you missed any of the topics covered in this series, visit the Fiction Writing Tips Series Table of Contents for a complete list with links.

I’ll announce the winner of the Mentoring Session Contest, which was tied into this series, here, tonight at 11:00 p.m. (CST). I’ll also contact the winner via e-mail so we can get started with the mentoring session.

With that in mind, if you haven’t entered the contest yet, there’s a few more hours left. One way to receive an entry is to comment on this post. Not sure what to say? Why not share your own advice on promoting a fiction novel before publication. Would you like a second entry after leaving your comment? Then subscribe to Life of a Writer for free e-mail updates.

Thank you for sticking with me throughout this long series, and may the Lord bless you with many book sales! Don’t forget to join me here again at 11:00 p.m. (CST) to discover who the lucky winner of the Mentoring Session Contest will be.

Photo credit: Nathan Dainty

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4 comments: to “ Three Ways to Promote Your Fiction Novel Before Publication so far...

  • Lillie Ammann 4:04 PM CDT

    Thanks for this series, Misti. My novel that you were so kind to read and comment on will be coming out in the next few months, and I'm thinking about promotion. I definitely intend to do a virtual book tour.

  • Misti Sandefur, Christian Author/Freelance Writer 5:17 PM CDT


    You're welcome! I hope you enjoyed the series and found it helpful.

    Congratulations on the release of your novel. When you begin planning your virtual book tour, feel free to contact me. I'd be glad to present you here at Life of a Writer.

    Don't forget to check back tonight when I announce the winner of the mentoring contest. Of course I'll also notify him or her via e-mail as well.

    Take care and best of luck with all your marketing efforts!

  • Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound 2:20 PM CDT

    I'd like to add a tip to your suggestion about writing press releases.

    Write and post them ONLINE through a service like PRWeb or ExpertClick so consumers can find your releases, read, click through to your website and maybe even buy your book. This bypasses the media gatekeepers.

    I get so many questions on the topic of online press releases that I've created a free email course called "89 Ways to Write Powerful Press Releases." It's very long, but stick with it.

    By the time you're done, you'll know more about writing and distributing press release than most PR poeople. You can opt into the free course at

  • Misti Sandefur, Christian Author/Freelance Writer 2:48 PM CDT


    Thanks for stopping by and adding an additional tip! I do hope you'll return and comment more.

    I believe many of my readers could benefit from your free course. In fact, I signed up for it myself, and I'm looking forward to learning more about writing and distributing press releases through the course. If I find it as informative and helpful as I believe it will be, I may write a review of it here at Life of a Writer.

    Blessings and best wishes to you!