32 CANDLES and the Art of Self-Promotion

bullhornI promised myself that I would hit the ground running with this self-promotion stuff as soon as I scheduled my first interview or received the cover art for 32 CANDLES, whichever came first. Well, I had my first interview on Monday for the Smith Alumnae Quarterly. Fellow Smithies, look for that profile in the spring edition, and big thanks to writer and Friend of FaN, Aimee Swartz, for making the interview so lovely.

Also, I received the first pass of the cover yesterday and I adore it. It’s so fun and man, will it stand out in a bookstore! I’m hoping to be able to debut it soon here.

So yes, it’s time to start self-promoting. I won’t say that I dislike self-promoting. My FB friends already know that I drop several nudges a day about checking out the many wonderful posts and items at fierceandnerdy.com. But I’ll admit that I don’t know much about promotion outside of Fierce and Nerdy, so I’ve got a lot of learning to do and I’m hoping my experiences with this (new-to-me) artform will help other aspiring writers, too. Let’s navigate, shall we?

First up, a three-part favor:

1. The first part is simple really. I’m working on my calendar for the rest of the year, and I need to know which bookstores you love, so that I can try to hit them up for visits before January 2011. You can either leave a message in the comments, PM me at etc AT 32candles dot com, or Facebook me. However you do it, I’ll be grateful for the info.

2. The second part is even more simple. If you haven’t already, please Become a Fan of 32 CANDLES on FaceBook here. And if you’re already a fan, please do me the huge favor of clicking on the link beneath the picture of smoke, and inviting at least two of your friends to join the group.

3. The third part is the simplest of them all. The next time someone asks you if you’ve read anything good lately, just tell them that you’re looking forward to this alternative fairytale, 32 CANDLES, which will be out this summer and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.com. Word of mouth is still mostly person-to-person (as opposed to internet-to-person) driven, and I would appreciate the advance buzz.

Alright, that all self-promoted, I’ve got to ask if you guys have any advice about self-promotion. What have you done or seen that you liked and remembered? It doesn’t necessarily have to be in the realm of books. This is basically an open brainstorm.

100% Thanks!



Ernessa T. Carter is the author of the novel, 32 CANDLES, which will be released by HarperCollins/Amistad on June 22, 2010. Pre-order your copy on Amazon here.
Photo Credit: rex dart: eskimo spy