Think Outside the Book

A book promotion tip from Midge Raymond

When my story collection, Forgetting English, came out in 2009, I had just moved to a new city where I knew exactly one person. I wanted to line up events to promote the book—but I also didn’t want to host the sort of event that would end up with me reading to one person, or worse, no one at all.

So I decided to look beyond my book to consider what might bring in an audience. Because my book features stories set in eight countries spanning four continents, I decided to offer a free travel-writing workshop at a local bookstore, and not only did it bring in travelers and writers, but it earned me a few new readers as well. I’ve since done this event in a half-dozen other cities; at bookstores; libraries and literary organizations; and alone as well as with other writers—and it’s always been both fun and rewarding.

If you have a new book but don’t yet have an audience, think outside the book itself and find something you can offer your readers, whether a workshop or a museum tour or a happy hour event related to the theme of your book. It will not only make the event fun and engaging for the participants, but it will help you build your network of readers.


Midge Raymond is the author of the short story collection Forgetting English, which received the Spokane Prize for Short Fiction, and two books for writers, Everyday Writing and Everyday Book Marketing. Her work has appeared in TriQuarterly, American Literary Review, Bellevue Literary Review, The Lascaux Review, the Los Angeles Times magazine, The Writer, and other publications. Visit her online at

Click on any of the covers to visit the books’ Amazon pages.

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