Shameless Self-Promotion - Excerpt from my novel & Black History Month
As important as promotion is to getting the word out about an author's books, it's often the most difficult (and time consuming) thing to do until you're so famous that it seems like you don't need worry about it anymore. I rely on the kindness of friends and strangers to help spread the word. That being said, it seems like blogs are becoming one of the top ways that booklovers share their love (and dislike) of various books. Not long ago, Agent Obscura (Nadia Cornier) tried something called The Great Blog Experiment to see how many people she could get to buy and talk about a certain book in order to help it get the push she felt it deserved. I haven't heard how that experiment went but I do know that it's getting harder and harder to find a reader who hasn't heard of R. A. Nelson's controversial book Teach Me. (Go Russ!!!)
Now's the part where I ask for a little help of my own. My latest book, Robert Smalls Sails to Freedom, is out now. It's an easy reader, On My Own History title from Millbrook/Carolrhodda. Robert Smalls was a slave in South Carolina during the Civil War. He worked (handing over his money to his master) on a sidewheel steamer and knew every inch of the Carolina waterways. When he got his chance, he stole the ship he was working on and sailed himself, his family, and a few friends, right out of the harbor under the eyes of the Confederate troops. He handed the ship over to the Union Navy. For the rest of the war Smalls assisted the Union Navy. After the war Smalls went on to become a South Carolina congressman. He is considered one of the first African American heroes of the Civil War.
I haven't had nearly the time I needed or wanted to promote this book in time for Black History Month next month. If you are a teacher or a librarian or know someone who is a teacher or a librarian or a homeschool parent or anyone who is looking to read about an interesting slice of history, please consider taking a look at this book. And I hope you will help me spread the word. If anyone can, bloggers can and will.
I have more time to get the word out on this next book, but as many of you know, it takes time to build a buzz, and that's what my publisher and I hope to do with my middle grade verse novel, Hugging the Rock. It will be published in the fall of 2006 by Tricycle Press. This weekend at ALA Midwinter Tricycle is handing out excerpts from the book with information on how librarians and reviewers can request a galley. If you weren't able to make it to ALA and pick up a copy of your own, never fear. Download an excerpt of Hugging the Rock in PDF form right here on my website.
Fall books have a higher chance of being lost in all the holiday stuff so please help me spread the word about the availability of the excerpt to any librarians and reviewers you might know. And if you like what you read, please let me and/or Tricycle know.
How far can a blog reach? Let's find out, and thank you, in advance.
Write on, right now.