The National Writers Union can help you promote your book. How much it can help depends on two variables: you and other NWU members.
Getting the Word Out
You need to take the initiative and let the union know that you have a book or significant article or other piece of work coming out. Think of NWU as a publicity source – or even your publicist’s assistant.
Send a note to the national newsletter editors with the title of the new work, your name and Chapter, an electronic image of the cover or some other relevant photograph, chart or map, and a link to the web site about the new work. Include a brief paragraph that describes the work. Write some additional material in case an editor wants to include more than just a kudo. Also mention the publisher and the best place to buy the book (we’d prefer indie book stores or Powells Books over Amazon, but it’s up to you).
Send the same information to your chapter communicator.
Write or update your information on Find a Union Writer. Simply log in, complete your profile, and opt-in for it to be publicly searchable.
Post news about your new work on the NWU Facebook Page.
Getting You Out
If you are planning a book or story tour (or would like to plan one), check out the Authors Network. NWU members all over the country have volunteered to host touring member authors. With luck, there’ll be volunteer hosts in the cities you plan to visit. If there aren’t any yet in those cities, your request may help us recruit some.
And if you already have some tour dates lined up, make sure those are included in your notice to the newsletter editors and to also write to the Chapter communicators in the cities where you will be appearing.
A little Authors Network etiquette. If an NWU member agrees to host you, take some time to talk with him or her before arriving. Ask about rules of the house, such as whether your host smokes or permits smoking; whether there are pets (if you have allergies); whether you will have your own key during your stay; and whether your hosts will be busy and can only provide a bed, or if part of the reason they are hosts is in order to meet other writers. Find out how to get to your host’s home, and whether it is near public transit or has adequate parking. Will your host provide breakfast, or will you need to find your own? When it’s over, thank your host. And, while not every host will be interested in your genre or book topic, a signed copy of your book may be a welcome token of your appreciation.
If your tour takes you to an area with an established NWU Chapter and your schedule isn’t too tight, members in the area may want to schedule a get-together or other event around your visit. This can be a good opportunity to sell more books; it can also be a chance to unwind with fellow authors and talk about what has gone right and wrong with your tour.
The Authors Network list also contains a partial list of independent bookstores. While you should use this guide to help come up with bookstores to contact, this information is always changing. Members who live in a given area may be able to suggest recently opened bookstores or hot new media, or off-beat possibilities that would be ideal for your particular book.
For instance, this guide does not list outdoor outfitters or specialty cookware stores, but if your book is about hiking or cooking, a member might be able to suggest appropriate venues to contact.
Think of the National Writers Union’s Authors Network as one of the many resources available to you. If we have ample notice of your needs, we may be able to help you a great deal—but please don’t expect us to plan your tour or to have hosts or an active Chapter in every city. We’re growing our services, with your help.
Remember, the only way the Authors Network can grow is if members volunteer and use it.