Monica Valentinelli is an author who lurks in the dark. She has over a dozen short stories out in the wild, two novellas, and more on the way. Recent releases include “Don’t Ignore Your Dead,” which debuted in the anthology Don’t Read This Book and Redwing’s Gambit, a science fiction adventure novella.
There are a few ways to shape the promotional plan for an anthology.
1) Editor – No guts, no glory. Editor is in the spotlight for the antho and all PR is shaped around him/her. He/she decides who he/she wants to spotlight.
2) Joint – Make a plan, then ask the authors to volunteer to take part in whatever efforts they wish. Usually best responses come if you can stick to one initiative at a time rather than wow-ing them with PR-ness.
3) Select – Pick your “named” authors who have the biggest audiences and primarily work with them. Yes, people do promote this way and yes, it’s a fine line to walk. I’m of the mind that you never want to treat any author poorly — because they’ll remember you fondly the further they go in their career.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to use a calendar for book promotions. When you plot out when stuff will appear, you will be able to ensure you’re getting the right coverage. Either a) drop the bomb ll at once b) eke it out slowly over time or c) both.
* Blog Carnival – This is basically a fancy way of saying on “X” day all of the authors write about something specific (e.g. interview questions, design notes, etc.) on their websites and link to everyone else. So you get 13 (15 if you add Publisher plus Editor) articles that all go live on the same day. It’s content saturation and it has an effect on all boats.
* Interviews – Keep it small and you’ll get a better response. Answer me these questions three usually works really well. See Maggie Slater and what she did for me here: Three Questions: Monica Valentinelli
* Link Bait Contest – So the anthology has the potential to reach outside of the gaming industry because it’s about insomnia. Ask for people to share their experiences with insomnia to win a copy.
* Book Plates / Digital Signings – If you want to go crazy, create book plates for each author and send them twenty or twenty-five. If you want to go REALLY crazy, invite artists to design book plates based on their stories. Otherwise, offer a simple one for everyone that can be mailed around to get the authors’/editor’s/publisher’s signatures on them.
* Online Readings – Set up a Google+ Hangout where the authors read from their stories. They don’t have to read the hole thing and you can stretch this out over several episodes.
* Story of the Week – Feature and promote a different member of the anthology team (Yep, this is how *I* roll!) for fifteen weeks. Many readers appreciate that sort of thing because they view anthologies as “samples.”