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How I Promoted My Book

by Rhonda Empson


In this month's column, Rhonda Empson, award-winning author of romances, gives us an insight into her book-promotion efforts. óNann Dunne

Through the publishing house, my book was set up for sale through Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and thousands of other online bookstores. Unfortunately, the publisher does not promote, so that left me to market my work.

During the beginning of my writing career, since I am specifically interested in the romance genre, I joined RWA-Romance Writers Association. Through their monthly magazine, I was able to enter many of the contests that are held every so often. It was a great experience and the judges offered much advice. Plus, when I placed in the contests I entered, my name and book were mentioned in the magazine. I would truly recommend joining such an association or something similar. I also recommend joining as many writers groups as you can handle. Again, itís a great idea for beginners.

I have approached a few brick and mortar bookstores through personal phone calls, followed by sending a flyer via regular mail that detailed my book and all sales information, including the publishing company, phone number, fax and email.

Iíve done most of my own promoting online. I advertised on as many message boards as I could find, sent hundreds of press releases via email to every bookstore I found and invited my book to be posted on as many romance sites as I could find. And on all author sites I came across. Most were a free service. A few like bookzone I had to pay for their service, sending out my press release to everyone on their newsletter list. And lastly, I made my own web page on my first release and future novels. Just be careful and research well before spending your money.

I set up my first book signing in my hometown with the help of the owner of an Art Gallery. Three weeks before the big event, we placed ads in all newspapers in the surrounding areas, handed out flyers and had an announcement on the local radio stations. The result was wonderful. I sold 59 copies of my book, and in the following two weeks, sold over 40 more copies. Word of mouth helped to sell these.

Iíve done a reading at my hometown high school, which turned out to be great fun and I hope to do it again.

I spend at least two days a week on promoting, even if itís merely researching new sites or replacing old ones.

Most people are more than happy to work with you on promoting your first books, especially those within writing groups, romance sites, and new companies needing to get their sites up and going.

Always write or talk about your book with confidence. No one is going to be interested in signing you on if they sense a lack of confidence in your work. No matter if youíre self published or if itís your first book, be proud of your work and make them take note that you have something wonderful to offer. Remember, selling your work is the hardest part of writing.
Rhonda Empson is the author of Only in My Dreams, Knight of My Dreams, and Burden of Guilt.
For more information on my historical romance, visit: or 

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