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Digital promotion: Do you need a website to promote your book?

So, this week I have been continuing my publicity onslaught for my book, Dark Dates. This has taken two forms: the usual round of blogs (with some of the contacts I made months ago starting to pay off in terms of reviews, which shows that you need a fair degree of patience in trying to get reviews, as often book bloggers have enormous backlogs of books to get through before they get to yours, though Since my reading this year seems to have ground to a halt, I admire the fact that they get through so many books a year…) With Halloween approaching I have a few themed posts lined up, and I have discovered that offering  a giveaway – which of course costs nothing, as it’s a digital version – is a great way of engaging readers, and gives the bloggers you interact with something to plug. (See below for a round-up of reviews and guest posts).

Dark Dates website
My friend and cover designer Caroline at Red Button Publishing and I have been discussing setting up a website for a while. I must admit I wasn’t sure it was worth the effort – who is going to visit the site other than people who have already bought the book? But we batted around some ideas and I decided to take the plunge. The cost is minimal – I simply bought a WordPress domain, – and Caroline provided some images to personalise the site. When it came to content, I decided there was no point in having something that just plugged the book, so I went for something a little different. I set up the site as if it were for Dark Dates dating agency, and put some fun pages in there, including a ‘where in London is this?’ image quiz, and a ‘who’s your ideal vampire’ multiple choice, both of which have already got me some traffic and nice comments. Will it help me sell any books? I have no idea, but it was fun to do and not a huge amount of work, so it can only be a good thing… So why not pop over and have a look and see what you think? And if you have any experience – good or bad – of having a website for your book, I’d love to hear from you.

Dark Dates online:
This week saw a guest post on author Jade Kerrion’s blog and an enormously fun interview and giveaway at the Book Tart (with whom I seem to have an enormous amount in common!) – she also posted a very nice review.  There was also another lovely review at Bookish Whimsy. In terms of giveways, I took part in the Fangs, Fur and Fey giveaway over at Michelle’s Concise Reviews. I also signed up to another Read to Review programme on Goodreads, so we’ll see how that works out…

I used images of London on the Dark Dates site (photo by Caroline Goldsmith)