Fun Fact! Balzac, the most revered of French novelists, wrote, “For artists, the great problem to solve is how to get oneself noticed” in Lost Illusions. In 1887, Guy de Maupassant sent up a hot-air balloon over the Seine with the name of his latest short story Le Horla to promote his work.
From ancient times to modern society, the author’s self-promotion has a long history. Many authors tried to catch people’s eyes with self-promotion. But things about it come easier in modern society. At least, writers do not need to send up a hot-air balloon only for one story. With the Internet, self-promotion is more diverse, effective, and cheaper. Suppose you are a writer who wants to apply this method to gain more exposure, accumulate readerships, and even get the opportunity to get published. In that case, you should clear and define different goals at different points in time.
The Goals of Self-promotion
(1) Short-term Goal: Increasing the Exposure of Story
In the beginning stage of self-promotion, the target for every writer is to maximize the exposure of their stories. In short, let more readers know about you and your stories. Especially when you are an amateur writer or when you start writing a new story. To make people have a primary impression of your stories, you can apply social media, comments, and the Author’s Note (if you have already become a Stary writer) to promote your works.
(2) Medium-term Goal: Building Up the Readership
Making others hear your stories might not take too much time in the digital era. After achieving the short-term goal, you can pay more attention to building up your readership. The purpose of this term is that people should not just hear of the stories but read the story and become readers of you. Therefore, it is a stage to form a circle of readers. The number of readers might have an effect on your stories’ commercial values.
(3) Long-term Goal: Getting Published Even Adapted
Along with getting published as paper books, there is a trend of adapting popular novels into multi-media products, such as audiobooks, movies, video games, etc. It can be seeming as the long-term achievement of self-promotion that developed from the short-term and medium-term goals. Whenever a story gains broad exposure and is read by a large number of people, commercial companies will recognize its value and potential.
Three Ways to Promote Yourself and Your Stories
(1) Contact with Readers
Interacting with readers is one of the most efficient ways to do self-promotion. In this term, writers can easily use the functions on writing or reading platforms to communicate with readers. For example, you can apply the Author’s Note to promote their stories and talk to your readers with Stary Writing. Every time you publish a new chapter, you can fill up the Author’s Note with the core of the chapter, your thoughts about the chapter, or the writing event you take part in. Applying this tool appropriately, readers will know you and your story better. Meanwhile, you can keep in touch with readers through comments frequently to thank them for their support and know about how they feel about your works.
(2) Run the Circle of Readers
The process of running the readers’ circle is the process of maintaining a healthy relationship with readers and increasing loyalty among them. To achieve this, you can pay attention to three aspects — reminder, preview, and opinion collection.
Reminder: inform readers when you will update a new chapter or start writing a new story. It would help them keep up with your pace.
Preview: at the end of a chapter, give a short preview of the next chapter. You can leave an exciting plot or suspense, which will cause the reader’s curiosity in the preview. Their curiosity will push them to continue reading your story.
Opinion Collection: readers’ opinions always matter. As a writer, you should listen to readers, figure out what they evaluate your story, what they wonder to read in the story, and what inspiration they might bring to you.
(3) Use Social Media
There is a golden rule for writers who want to promote their works on social media — adding the link that can jump to the stories. This link would increase traffic to their stories and might make self-promotion more effective.
Besides, you can select different social media based on your target readers and writing style. For example, if your target readers are young and you want to have more in-depth discussions with readers and writers, Facebook could be your first choice.
When and How to Start Doing Self-promotion?
Self-promotion is a long-term process that cannot be done in one go. Even if you have no experience, you can start by communicating with readers through comments and Author’s Note. To encourage writers to do self-promotion and assist them in mastering it, the Stary 3rd Anniversary has launched various missions of self-promotion. By completing missions like sharing the event to the Author’s Note and social media and replying to readers’ comments, writers can gain the Lucky Draws to win the big prizes! If you want to practice self-promotion, as this article mentioned, take part in the Stary 3rd Anniversary here.