I’ve heard from a number of authors recently how they wanted to wait until their new books came out to run features. As always, I offered to them the opportunity to run a Sneak Peek (book excerpt) for their book since it was more than 90 days old and therefore didn’t qualify for an announcement feature. Their response “Nah, that book’s time is over.”
No. I don’t buy that. Sorry. So, the book didn’t take off the way you’d hoped. That doesn’t mean you should give up on it. There’s no reason that you shouldn’t take advantage of book excerpts or guest posts or any other opportunity which comes your way to feature that book.
I have to say, much to my surprise (and chagrin), my first novel, Lust for Danger, is still my best seller – and it came out in 2001. It chugs along at a few copies per month, but saw a resurgence of interest when we ran a Book Brief feature on it here on Indies Unlimited. Not only did people purchase the book, it got a 5-star review – the first since 2002 I think! I’m eternally grateful for that review because it made me feel like the book doesn’t suck as badly as I thought it did. Thank goodness.
There’s absolutely no reason not to feature an older book. Not sure how to do it? Check out the IU submissions page. Check out other book bloggers and try to get some new reviews. Jim Devitt’s post here shows you how. Make a book trailer video. Even if you already have one, that’s okay – there’s nothing wrong with having more than one. Movies have more than one commercial “trailer” – why shouldn’t books? A fresh or different perspective may attract different readers. Do a book give-away on Goodreads. There’s no rule against it just because you think your book is old.
Speaking of Goodreads, a great way to get interest from folks who haven’t heard of you or your book before is by adding it to some lists in their Listopia feature. I didn’t even know such a thing existed – thank goodness Melissa Pearl brought it to my attention (tutorial here.) While I was checking out her article (yes, I really do test-run every tutorial!), I added Bad Book to a few lists, including “Funny as Hell” – next thing I knew it was #15 on that list and over 150 people had marked it “to be read.” How’s that for resuscitation? (Oh, and if you click through to check it out, please vote for it. Thanks.)
Are you on Pinterest? Have you made a board for your book? What about on Socl? Have you put your book up on Shelfari or LibraryThing? What about on LinkedIn? We have tutorials for these as well, of course.
I don’t know how long it took you to write your book. I started the sequel to Lust for Danger in 1991. You better believe when that book comes out, I will be launching a long-term slowly-but-surely campaign for it. Trust me, I know how easy it is to get discouraged when books don’t sell the way you’d like. Honestly, with sixteen published titles, I figured I’d be getting jig-inducing royalty checks by now. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to sell myself short. I figure if it took me twenty-two years to write the darn book, I can at least do it justice and take advantage of every opportunity that arises to get it out there. And if that means four minutes, days, months or even years after the release, then darn straight I’m going to. Books don’t have an expiration date. Thank goodness, right?