I saw someone post in a writers’ group I’m in that “Yay! I got my first review. Now I can finally start promoting!” And I didn’t want to be all “step on their happy time” but … you do not have to wait until you have reviews, even a single one, to start promoting your book.Heck, your book doesn’t need to be released, up for pre-order, edited, or even written to start.
The earlier you build excitement for a project, the better your results will be. Starting your social media and promotion plan AFTER your book is out for long enough for the first few reviews to show up (and believe me, the less promotion you do pre-release, the longer it will take for reviews to show up) is kind of like going shopping for baby supplies and setting up the nursery on the way home from the hospital … nesting is a thing for a reason.
Generally speaking, you should have your social media platform set up well before you think of publishing. You might not start with a lot of followers or much interaction, but these things take time to grow. The sooner you start, the longer you have to nurture a following that is ready and waiting when you do publish.
Honestly, pre-publication is the best time to build excitement and community because you AREN’T just selling. You aren’t there to promote, but rather to get people as excited and eager for your future book baby as you are.
But if you don’t have a book, what can you share?
Share about writing the book! Bring your readers into your process. Give them snippets of your story to whet their appetite. Make them hungry for what’s to come.
Now, what if you aren’t just starting? If you have a book that’s been out a while, and you haven’t been promoting it, you haven’t set up your social media, and you’re worried it might be too late.
Good news, it’s never too late. Also, I know very few writers who only write one book. The best time to start is NOW! That way, when book number two (or three, four, five, six, wherever you are in your publication history) comes out, you’ll be a little further on the path than you were before.
So, don’t wait for a review, or anything external for that matter, to give you permission or validation. Jump in front of this baby and get your story out there!
H. L. Burke is an indie fantasy author, Fellowship of Fantasy founder, and author mentor with Sparkly Writer Princess Author Services.
You can find out more on her website at: https://www.hlburkeauthor.com/sparkly-writer-princess-author-serv