I have marketing and promotions on the brain, so I'll be talking a little bit about them now. I'm starting to promote the books that my press will be putting out next year, and it recently occurred to me that in less than 365 days the book that I wrote will be released. So, I decided as an interesting case study to use myself to talk about promoting your book.
Now, since I'm aproximately a year out from release, there's not as much this moment that I need to do. I don't have cover art, so I can't make bookmarks or postcards or the like. What I can do though is go ahead and buy my book's domain name. I must take this opportunity to admit that I'm a bit of a domain name junkie. I think I'm up to 10 at this moment, but it is absolutely imperative that you have at least one domain name, possibly 2. The one you must have is your name or whatever domain you choose for your author site. If your name is something like, say Madeline Smoot, you won't have much trouble picking up www.madelinesmoot.com. However, if your name is Matt Smith (I know 3) or you happen to share the same name as Howard Stern (there are 2 of those), then you'll probably have some trouble. At that point, you'll need to just come up with an interesting domain name. Shannon Hale's Squeetus comes to mind. Now, I long ago bought www.madelinesmoot.com. You can see that it's shamefully our of date and that it serves as a sort of interactive brochure. Although kid-friendly, it's geared to adults and teachers.
The other site you might need to buy is your book's site. Now sometimes, the publisher does this for you. If so, be glad, and let them and their webmasters deal with it and do all the work. But if they don't, or if your publisher just devotes a page of their own website to the book, then you'll need to get your book it's own site. This is what I did last night. I had lots of options. I could have gone with the book's title. Since Fergus doesn't have a finalized title yet, this seemed like a bad plan. But for many books this is the way to go. I used wordsofpowertrilogy.com when I picked a domain for David's Book of Nonsense, Book 1 of the Words of Power Trilogy. If my book had some interesting location or slogan, I could have chosen that. In the book Evil Genius the main character goes to a school called the Axis Institute. That book's site is axisinstitute.org. Clever. Or you can go with the character's name. That's what I did. I'm now the proud owner of www.fergusferret.com. There' nothing to see there yet, but it's a start.