Jessica Ingold recently put out a tweet asking for “new and different ways to promote her books”. It got me thinking about a way authors occasionally overlook that would help not only themselves but other artists as well.
I don’t make it a secret that I love to draw. In fact, I have an Instagram and a Deviant Art dedicated to building my writer’s platform through art. One thing I’ve found, however, is that the best way to promote myself isn’t to plaster up ads on Facebook or spam my twitter followers with automatic messages. It’s to get other artists involved in my work.
Here are two ways to create healthy relationships with artists to help promote your work.
1. Have a contest.
One of the first ways I got my writing on the radar was to hold a contest. I put up 7 scenes, between 3 and 5 pages each, from different short stories, one offs, and the novel I was working on and asked artists to draw what they interpreted from the passages. What I wound up getting was not only people reading my work, but also artists posting up artwork of the pieces that linked back to my page.
2. Hire Artists
If you have the money, this is the fastest way to get artwork. Many artists will put up some information about what they’re drawing, or what the story’s about for their fans to get some extra information about what they’re looking at, so feel free to ask for them to link back to your website, amazon, or any social media.
You can also hire artists to design characters for you to use in stories or novels. When people see a character design, they usually begin to wonder “What’s the story with this person?” That being said, some don’t like their artwork being used for momentary gain, other’s don’t care, so be sure to ask your artist when hiring if you’re going to use the character in a book /short story you plan on submitting for money.
Here’s a big “don’t list” when it comes to working with artists.
- Don’t offer them publicity as payment. Publicity doesn’t pay bills or put food in your stomach.
- Don’t ask for artwork for free. It’s insulting. You wouldn’t write a whole book for someone for free just cause they wanted it would you?
- Don’t offer payment when you “hit it big”. That could take years, and artists don’t want to wait around for that to happen.
- Don’t hire artists you know nothing about, check reviews for artist. I paid fifty bucks one time for a character design and the person vanished. I’m still a little stung over this.
- Don’t use their artwork for unintended purposes. Many artists have copyrights, so be sure you’re following them if you post the artwork elsewhere, or want to use it in promotional items.
Hope that opens some doors for you as far as hiring artists and looking for promotion!