I wish I could clone Kevin Hearne.
Not only is he one of the most conspicuously talented debut authors ever to grace Del Rey’s list and a charming, delightful, and incredibly spiffy personage who has written a wildly inventive, completely hilarious, and just plain kickass urban fantasy series, The Iron Druid Chronicles–he’s also a self-promoting dynamo.
But until Del Rey’s in-house mad scientists perfect our Kevin-cloning technology, the best I can do is share some of his social media promoting secrets with other aspiring authors.
It’s just three months until the first book in Kevin Hearne’s debut urban fantasy series, Hounded, goes on sale on April 19, 2011. But in addition to polishing Hounded to a red Ferrari sheen, and writing and revising books 2 and 3—Hexed and Hammered–Kevin has been working hard on promoting the series for more than a year.
Best practices for Your Blog: Visit Kevin’s blog, “The Writer’s Grove,” and you’ll find that his archives go all the way back to October 2009—when Del Rey first bought his book. Even before the book had been publicly announced, Kevin got started creating a rich, deep archive of content, with many hours of pleasurable reading for his fans.
Kevin writes often and well about his experiences as a newbie author—such as his recent series “Stuff They Never Told Me About Publishing.” But he also doesn’t confine his blogging to book stuff—his recurring features “Still Life with Fantasy and Fruit” and “Still Life with Dwarfs and Beer” make for great reading—but bring him closer to his fans.
Most of all, Kevin is a personable, charming, and hilarious blogger: The experience of reading Kevin’s blog feels wonderfully personal, very much like the experience of sharing a nice pint and a plate of fish and chips with the man himself.
Tweet, tweet, tweet: Kevin is also a prolific tweeter, mixing links to blog posts and news updates with conversations with readers and fun little tidbits like Bill and Ted trivia. It’s the perfect insight into the same deviously witty and brilliant soul behind the books. With so many media options, it’s difficult to reach every reader through just one channel—Twitter gives Kevin a shot at reaching readers that the blog or the Facebook page might not.
Tweet-of-the-Week: “Get your hands off me, you damn dirty mime!” #PlanetoftheMimes
Start a Facebook Page: Kevin hit another channel when he started up his Facebook page. Readers who prefer this channel can get some of the same content that appears on the Twitter or blog feed, but Kevin also includes some nifty bonuses, like free Iron Druid wallpaper downloads.
Network with Other Authors: Kevin joined forces with the League of Reluctant Adults, a webring of urban fantasy and paranormal romance authors including Cherie Priest and Kelly Meding pledged to mutually support each other’s work—and have ridiculous amounts of fun doing so!
Kevin’s also a fanboy at heart, and he reached out to some of his favorite authors for interviews for his blog, who generously gave him their time, including Nicole Peeler and Peter Brett. And Kevin himself takes plenty of his time on his blog to praise the work of authors he loves–karma in action!
Sponsor Giveaways and Contests: Kevin frequently throws fun giveaway contests, with prizes like an Advance Reading Copy of Hounded. It’s also an example of the social media machine in motion: The entrants for one of Kevin’s previous contests came from all over, some from his own social media channels, some from Suvudu’s.
Kevin’s latest giveaway is a real treat—free signed bookplates to every fan who pre-orders Hounded.
Free Samples: As Kevin’s editor, I’m proud that I experienced the Kevin Hearne Effect for myself—just a couple of sentences into his manuscript, I became an instant Kevin Hearne fan.
Kevin’s helped mass-multiply that effect by offering a free short story, “Clan Rathskellar,” set in the world of “The Iron Druid Chronicles,” through his site, social media channels, Suvudu.com, and Scrib’d. You can read or download here.
But all of these efforts are really about one thing–reaching and interacting with fans. Readers, are there any authors whose blogs, Twitters, or websites you love?