Today the Debs are excited to welcome “Big Apple” author Lorraine B. Diehl. A native New Yorker, Lorraine has always been madly in love with all that is Gotham, and she displays her ultimate devotion in her books, “Over Here! New York City During World War II”, “Subways: The Tracks That Built New York City,” “The Automat: The History, Recipes, and Allure of Horn & Hardart’s Masterpiece,” and “The Late, Great Pennsylvania Station.”
Welcome to The Debutante Ball Lorraine, thanks for fitting us into your busy schedule! We can’t wait to hear about promotion from you, you’ve been in the game for quite some time.
Thank YOU Debs for inviting me to the forum. Please forgive me for being brief, but I’m on vacation with my beautiful grandchildren in Maine, and I’m lucky if I make it through this article without some peanut butter and jelly on my computer!
I’m going to begin by saying the absolute key to promoting a book is to be know your audience, and be realistic about your expectations. Your publisher may adore you and your book, but believe me, their help in promoting your specific book is finite, and you can’t expect them to devote an extraordinary amount of attention to you when they have other books to promote and many others in the production process. You would be wise to thank them graciously for any promoting they do on your behalf.
Knowing your audience is the next step. Do not waste precious time and/or effort targeting readers who have no interest in your particular subject matter; they might become aware of your book, but if they are not passionate about the material they will not make that magical purchase. With my latest book, I needed to spread the word among the World War 2 generation, those who remember what it was like to be there in the flesh, or WW2 buffs who were in New York City during that spectacular era.
This is no surprise, but another fantastic way to promote a book is to land even the smallest excerpt in a national newspaper or magazine, and don’t let even the most intimidating periodical get in the way. Without really expecting it, I was featured in the New York Post, and Cindy Adams devoted an article to my offering simply because my book evoked an onslaught of memories for her. My Amazon numbers shot through the roof!
And finally, I actually stumbled onto this promotional gem when I was planning a museum excursion. If your book bears historical significance, you may solicit local museums for FREE exhibition space to display your book. The exposure is tremendous, and if your exhibition is part of a larger display, journalists may even offer a review and spread the word. Priceless. The same goes for libraries, which are also a marvelous resource.
Whatever you do, do not give up in your promotional quest, you will eventually find your audience, and they will stick with you on your journey.