I have a book out tomorrow, guys! I’m excited for it, but also nervous (and also weirdly calm). It’s been a strange experience for me. If you listened to my interview on Writers on Writing, you know I don’t have a publicist for this book, which is unusual. Normally, your publisher assigns you a publicist, and while often that publicist has many other authors, you have a point person to go to with ideas and places to send the book. They don’t do that at Random House Kids. Instead, they believe in “author driven publicity.” Essentially, I was my own point person. My agent and editor helped, of course, but it was a challenge. I’m not used to asking for help. If there’s one thing this experience has taught me, though, it’s that asking for help is ok, and that people often will help.
So, this is me, asking for help. I’m really proud of this book. People have said some nice things about it. So, please, help me get the word out. Here are some things you can do to help, if you’re willing:
- Pre-order the book. Pre-orders in the book world are like opening weekend sales in movies. A lot of them generates buzz, which generates more sales.
- Talk to your local independent bookstore and/or library. Libraries are great for writers – they pay for the book in such a way that we do make money off it (as opposed to illegal downloading, where we make nothing), which counts as sales, which, again, generates buzz. So talk to your local library about it – if they’re excited about the book, they’re more likely to recommend it. Same goes for independent bookstores. If someone goes in and says “hey, can I reserve a copy of The Memory Wall? It looks so good” then those booksellers are going to read it, and hopefully get excited about it, too, and sell more.
- Post on social media. I’ve done a few interviews and articles already – A short essay on the Barnes and Noble Kids Blog, a radio interview on Writers on Writing, and a written interview on Bookshelf Fantasies. Plus, on Wednesday, I have an article coming out on The Book Smugglers. Sharing those encourages your friends and family to buy the book and talk about it, too. Plus, just posting the link is an easy way to share more than just “buy this book.” You can also just tell your friends how excited you are about the book based on reviews or previous books of mine you’re a fan of.
- Reviews – if you have a blog, you can talk about it on that. If you have a book blog, you can even email me asking for a review copy – though I can’t promise you one. Your blog has to be approved by my publisher. But even if you don’t have a blog, please, review the book on Amazon and Goodreads. It’s amazing how much weight those reviews carry these days. Even if you think the book is only ‘meh’ – the number of reviews the book gets directly impacts where it shows up in Amazon’s publicity mailers, “also bought” lists, and so forth. And that helps get the book out there.
- If by any chance you know a professional book reviewer, ask them to review it. Again, they can email me for a review copy.
- If you’re a teacher or librarian, recommend the book. Maybe teach it in class! I think it’s a great classroom book for 6th and 7th graders. Action, fantasy, adventure, also social commentary and education about the Berlin Wall.
- If you’re in a book group, propose The Memory Wall as the next book. I’ll even visit, if you’re in the area, or call in if you’re not.
That’s it! It’s a lot, though. Just doing one of these would help me out so much. It’s hard getting word about a book out – and I know that more now than I did before. So any help you can give is so appreciated. In fact, I may have a little amusing bit of extras I’ll share later in the week as thanks. Not deleted scenes – just deleted insults. So stay tuned for that. Until then, I really hope you like the book, and thank you for your help spreading the word!