People sometimes ask whether or not the membership fee for the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America is worth it. I think it is, but mileage will vary. That mileage is certainly dependent on how effectively you use it. So here’s a sample action plan I’m putting together for my next book.
4-6 months ahead of time
- Look to see what upcoming events, such as local reading series, conferences, and conventions work with your schedule. For example, if your book were being released in May, you might want to supply some ARCs for the Nebula Conference swag bags. Or if you’re in the Pacific Northwest area, you might contact the local organizers of the readings series in order to set up a reading.
- Scan the SFWA blog to see what things there might spark good promotion ideas. Here’s something I wrote about working comic conventions that might have some useful reminders. Here’s another on book promotion giveaways.
2-3 months ahead of time
- Submit for the New Release Newsletter; perhaps think about paying extra for the special focus slot.
- Think about pitching the SFWA Blog a related article.
- Get the book listed as a featured book.
- Look at the SFWA boards to see if there’s any upcoming cooperative efforts you might become part of, or propose your own, along the lines of “Hey, I’ve got a book coming out on this date, anyone else got something coming out around then that wants to coordinate publicity?
1 month ahead of time
- Get book up for NetGalley.
- If you’re doing that cooperative effort, make sure all your items are lined up!
The day of the release
- Make sure you say something on your personal thread in the Discussion Forums so people know to spread the word! Give them as many resources to do so as you can, such as supplying a graphic or a pre-composed tweet.
- Tag @SFWA in a tweet or two to get them to RT it.
After the release
- Keep an eye open for the next SFWA Storybundle; they appear every six months or so.
- Make sure there are copies in .mobi, .epub, and .pdf forms in the appropriate forums on the discussion boards if you want members to be able to read it when thinking about making Nebula nominations.
- List the work on the Nebula Reading list. It’s okay to put your own work up there.