How to Sell Your Book and Yourself

by Victoria Purman
So you’ve written a book and it’s out there in the world, waiting for a home with a publisher. Or perhaps its about to hit shelves or e-reading devices. You think the hard part is over, right?
Before you take to your bed and pull the covers over your head, here are some tips on how to handle the whole talking-about-it thang.
Here are some starters:

If someone asks you (if you’re really lucky this person might be a journalist) if your book is like Fifty Shades of Grey, please don’t sniff. It’s been big, it’s sold a squillion copies, and it’s kinda the obvious question. What you don’t have to do is give the obvious answer. Instead of screaming, “I wish E.L. James had never been born!” or “I loved that book and why don’t you, huh?” there is another approach.
Try something like this… “What’s amazing about that novel is that its helped readers discover a whole world of books they may not have known ever existed. Romance comes in all shapes and forms, and the kind I write is….”

Always remember the golden rule: there’s no such thing as a stupid question – only a stupid answer. Whenever someone asks you about your book, it’s your chance to tell your story so don’t waste it. It’s almost like pitching to a publisher, in that you need to have a short, succinct description of who you are and what you write. “I’m Betty Boop and I write medical romance.” Boom. “I’m Jane Austen and I write witty Regency novels with biting social commentary.” Easy. You get the picture. Having this prepared line in your head and at the ready will help you overcome any nerves you might feel when talking about yourself and your writing.
If you are interviewed by a journalist, it’s important point to remember that the final result may not turn out exactly as you want it to. It will appear according to the journalists’ experience, knowledge, style, the information they have at hand, how forthcoming you were, the space available in the paper, and the editor’s final decision.
Your killer quote was cut? The story was probably too long. You don’t like your photo? Get over it – that’s what you look like! They didn’t mention the name of your book enough times? It’s an interview, not an ad.
One more piece of advice: it’s worthwhile formulating a one page bio/media release about you and your books. It’s handy to have on hand to give to a journalist and it will help you hone your message. Include a photo on it and contact details/social media addresses and so on. (I’m always happy to help you with that)Victoria Purman

My session at A Fair to Remember on Sunday June 15th will expand on these ideas help you with some tips and ideas about how to talk about yourself and your book.


Victoria Purman’s debut novel, Nobody But Him, was published in October 2013 and her second, Someone Like You, was released on February 1st 2014. Victoria writes “coastal romance”: contemporary romance fiction set on the beaches of the south coast of her home state of South Australia.

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