So, you’re a new author and have a book coming out soon, but you don’t have that following you wanted. Hell, your family barely knows what you write forget the public in general.
How do you get the word out about your book while building up a following at the same time?
Simple: Introduce your readers to you.
The best way of getting people to want to read your stuff is by using the same technique that grocers have used to get people interested in what they’re selling: Giving out free samples.
Now, I’ll admit that sharing writing isn’t as easy as rolling up a pice of ham and putting a pretzel stick through it to entice people to buy, but with social media and blogs you can easily put out something for people to “chew on” before the release of your novel.
A good way of doing this is to write short stories that take place in your universe.
What do you write about? You know that big stack of notes in the corner that you made about your world while writing the novel? Put those to good use and write a prequel short or a story about a character you would love to introduce more detail on. Or you can write about some ancient historical event that forms the basis for some of your character’s beliefs. Those legends and myths have to come from somewhere, right?
After you’ve written these stories, place them on your book’s website, or author’s blog, for everyone to see. Then post the link to Twitter, Facebook, or anywhere else you can think of. Place a link to it on a business card. People will read the story and if you did a great job in writing the story they’ll be ready for me.
Now you have a instant reader. Just add book!
A good example of this practice is what Peter Orullian did for his Vault of Heaven universe. He wrote three short stories that took place before the first novel, The Unremembered. I’ve included the links below. This was a great example of getting readers into your book without even having released it yet!