“If you don’t push against the mirror, how do you know you’re standing in front of it?” asks author Martin Pousson. His PEN award-winning novel Black Sheep Boy, also an L.A. TimesPick of the Week, inspired Susan Larson (NPR The Reading Life) to say: “An unforgettable novel-in-stories about growing up gay in French Acadiana, so vivid and almost fairy tale-like, drawing on folklore from the region, and yet so brutally realistic. Brilliant. I loved this book.” I loved it too, for Pousson’s poetic prose, among other reasons. I’ve been able to ask Martin Pousson a few questions about the novel. His answers reflect his literary acuity.
Whether a new title is put out by a publishing house or is self-published, marketing experts advise that the work done months in advance of one’s release date is critical to a successful launch.
In addition to the burden of getting the book in shape in terms of content, the cover and the like, authors are asked these days to play a major role in advance marketing. These steps include building up following of friends, family and people who have expressed an interest in one’s previous titles, establishing a social media presence, and identifying potential reviewers.
In preparation for launching my sixth novel, Inauguration Day, on November 1, I offered advanced reading copies (ARCs) to a number of people I hoped would read the book and post a review in social media sites as well as on Amazon on launch day.