What Some Writers Don’t Realize
By Doug Hewitt
My latest novel, The Dead Guy, was published recently. What a thrill to see it up for sale at the online bookstores!
But now comes the hard part. Promoting it. Authors don’t have to promote their books, but the sad truth is, unless you’re published by a major NY publisher with an advertising budget, your book isn’t going to make it into bookstores and the general public won’t even know it exists.
So, what do you do?
I’m approaching book promotion with three distinct strategies in mind. First, I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you a little about my book. The Dead Guy is a novel about an amateur detective.
Jack Thigpen works in Detroit, nicknamed The Motor City, the perfect place for a fraud investigator who specializes in car insurance scams. He is on a case he believes is a typical, low-level crime, but it quickly turns into a situation with ominous international consequences. Ironically, as he is targeted for death because of his investigation, Jack is diagnosed with a fatal disease that is untreatable, a disease that will end his life within months. And instead of killing Jack, the hit man shoots Jack's best friend. Struggling to come to terms with his impending death, Jack vows to track down his friend's killer.
Jack plunges into the world of corrupt car dealerships, chop shops, and fraudulent auto repair shops. He is soon swept into the darkness of Detroit's criminal underbelly to uncover the truth about power struggles within organized crime rings. Death is staring him in the face, but Jack doesn't back down. He pushes ahead, plowing through perilous roadblocks planted by his enemies, propelling himself toward the finish line and a teeth-gritting, heart-pounding conclusion.
There, that’s an example of my first strategy in book promotion. Talk and write about your book at every opportunity. Write on blogs. Comment at forums. Get a website with a picture of your cover and post reviews.
My second strategy is to go to conventions. I’m not sure how effective this will be, but it’ll be fun! My next convention will be Sleuthfest, held in Florida. At the convention, I’ll be setting out free postcards with the cover of The Dead Guy on it and information on the back about where to download the first chapter free.
My third strategy, which I just illustrated above, is to have a website from which interested readers can take a look at an excerpt. I like having the first chapter, because I believe Chapter 1 of The Dead Guy draws the readers in and won’t let them go. Be sure to post this website with all of your blog and forum posts.
I hope these strategies help authors sell their books. I sure hope they help sell The Dead Guy! Check out my blog (website below), where I post about my strategies and how effective they are over time.
Doug Hewitt was born and raised near Detroit, Michigan and now lives in North Carolina. Along the way, he did a four-year stint in the Marine Corps and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics. He has been writing short stories for over 20 years and has been getting them published for most of that time, with over 80 stories in print. His stories have appeared in anthologies such as The Dead Inn and 100 Wicked Little Witch Stories. He has appeared in the premier issue of Apex Digest and has seen his chapbook, Slipstream, published by Scrybe Press.
He turned his attention to longer works and had his first novel SPEAR published in 2002. The Midwest Book Review calls SPEAR “a thrilling and deftly crafted novel.” After being remarried in 2004, he and his wife, Robin, founded HewittsBooks.com. In addition to authoring a non-fiction parenting book, The Practical Guide To Weekend Parenting, Doug and Robin teamed up to write The Joyous Gift of Grandparenting.
Doug returned to his original passion, writing fiction, and wrote The Dead Guy, which St. Martins author Lynn Chandler-Willis calls a “high-octane, pedal-to-the-metal ride through the criminal underbelly of the automotive world.” You can visit Doug Hewitt and read a free PDF chapter of The Dead Guy at www.HewittsBooks.com.