a watercolor of a stack of NYU Press books by Instagram bookstagrammer @zoe___creates

Tips for authors during COVID-19

Just because your local bookstore has closed its doors or your campus has shut down, that doesn’t mean you can’t still have launch events or spread the word about your book. It just means we have to get crafty with our online outreach and utilization of online resources, like Zoom and social media.

If you’re an author looking for guidance on how you can continue promoting your book when cyberspace is the only safe option right now, check out a list of ideas and resources we’ve collected for how we can work together during these trying times.

Events

Now that we are all in cyberspace until further notice, Zoom is your best friend. It’s easy to use, most universities and large corporations use it (so you probably have access to an account), and those who do not have an account can still join Zoom events by just clicking on the Zoom meeting link.

New to Zoom? Don’t worry there are tons of resources out there to get you set up and comfortable. Consider these easy tutorials directly from the source. There are also tons of other programs like Zoom you can use, check out this shortlist from Forbes.

We would be more than happy to promote your online Author Event by posting it to our website and promoting it on our social media channels. If you need additional support, please reach out to your marketing manager.

e-Blasts

One of the easiest ways to stay in touch with a bunch of people at once is sending emails. Your NYU Press marketing manager is happy to create a bespoke email promoting your book. All we need from you is a list of your contacts and their email addresses. Be in touch with your marketing manager for delivery details.

Remember, NYU Press also sends out monthly subject-specific eNewsletters, so encourage your readers and potential readers to sign up for our eNewsletters here to make sure they can always be in the loop and learn more about your book.

Blog Articles / Op-Eds

Another great way to stay active on the interwebs is writing new content. This could be op-ed pieces you work on with your NYU Press publicist on or a blog post for our NYU Press blog (fromthesquare.org). Reach out to your marketing manager if you have a blog idea and want to work with us on posting it. We’re interested in posts that tie your research to current events, interview-style posts, and more.

Author Websites

If you have your own author website set up, make sure any links to where people can purchase your books are active and up to date. This means buy button links to Amazon, NYU Press, etc. If you don’t already, consider adding a link to IndieBound.org where people can find your book across the country at their local bookstore or Bookshop.org where folks can buy your book online and support indie bookstores all over the country.

Supporting Indie Bookstores

  • Start your search to see what indie bookstores are doing what (like filling orders, selling gift cards, etc.) here on our living list of indie bookstores.
  • Follow your local indie bookstores on social media; remember to mention them too—
    • When you promote your own book
    • When you make a purchase
  • Encourage your followers on social media and other audience members to buy books and gift cards from indie bookstores to purchase your book with later
  • Remember you can always donate directly to the indie bookstore of your choice!
  • Reach out to your local stores to ask if you can sign stock for them (from a distance or if it’s safe to go in)
  • Did you have an event scheduled with them that has been canceled? Remember you can always reach out to them to see if they would like you to do a live-steam reading or book-talk via Zoom, Skype, Instagram Live (on their channel), among other avenues!

And remember, in the wise words of Tayari Jones (which we saw reported by LitHub): https://twitter.com/tayari/status/1239178331897106432.

We were inspired to create this blog post by the American Booksellers Association’s resource for authors, which you can find here.

The feature image of this blog post was a collaboration we did with @zoe___creates, a bookstagrammer in South Korea, who you can find here.