Thursday, June 10, 2010

Marketing *Gulp* and the Writer

I used to think that getting a publishing contract was the finish line. The publishing house takes care of the rest, right? According to many writers and agents out there this is wrong…so, so wrong.

So when I think about marketing my *fingers crossed* future books I try not to get too overwhelmed. There are a lot of agent and editor blogs out there that have wonderful ideas for marketing your book once you get published. Instead of lamenting the fact that I don’t have use for them yet…I collect them, categorize them, pysch myself up with the idea of me doing them. In that vein, I thought I'd share a bit of my insanity with you all today.

Chip Macgregor wrote a great article called The Hidden Cost of Social Networking. In it, he explains that Facebook and Blogging are all well and good, but if they don’t create book sales then you’re wasting your time. Web presence is nice, but there is much more work that a writer must do. There are some great suggestions you can, and are expected to do, yourself.

• First you need to educate yourself. Read a marketing book and come up with a plan you intend to implement. This is really great when talking to agents at conferences. It shows you are serious about the business side of publishing.

• Pitch yourself to local radio stations and give them segment ideas. Does your story revolve around a current controversy, event, or breaking news?

• Regional magazines often do reviews of local authors, offer them an incentive like a signed copy for a contest.

• If you’re having a book signing, call not only the local papers, but the free community readers. Print up inserts for bulletins and bookmarks for libraries, coffee shops, and other venues willing to promote book signings by a local.

• Online community calendars sell advertisement space, and you can put in your book signing date and a link to your book website.

• Go and physically visit your local book stores. Get to know the owners or managers and let them know that not only is your book coming out, but you’d love to come in and sign some.

• Create press releases and send them to local events, like Renaissance Faires, Comic book conventions, etc…anything that includes people that are into your genre.

• Go to conferences and build relationships; this is a key item on any writer’s marketing list.

• Promote your book on It offers an amazing opportunity not only for unpublished authors to set up a profile page, but for published authors to set up links to their website, upload signing events, do giveaways, and even book trailers.

Writing the novel isn't the end of the journey, but the good news is that there are a lot of ideas and strategies that we can use to make sure all our hard work ends in sales success.  Do you have any ideas to share? How have you prepared for your own success story?

Until next time...Go Write!

Photograph by David Boyle. Photgraph by A. Germain. Photograph by rintakumpu.


Ann Best said...

This is great information. Glad I found it today. The book industry has changed so much just in the last decade. So many people writing and publishing. You do have to be an active advocate/promoter of your book whether self-published or published by a "house."

Happy writing! Hope you're having a good week.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

As I begin the task of promoting, I appreciate your tips more than you know!

Anonymous said...

Looks like a lot of good ideas and allot of time from home.
How do you balance the mix?
Hope you are well and still not that hysterical laugh,
the good belly one!

Eric W. Trant said...

That sounds like so much WORK!

I am getting my feet wet in the marketing realm with some anthology short stories and a local micropublisher here in Dallas.

We did a reading of our story, cameras and all, but we still haven't done a book signing.

We have t-shirts, mugs, and are being asked to sell to anyone we can sell to. As far as I know, of 13 authors, I have sold the most, and he's offering the lead seller a full book deal.

He said to me: "I don't care about the genre. I want an author who will ~sell~!"

I will say this: FB and Blogger have netted 0.0% sales for me. Social sites are for visibility and community only, and perhaps networking among professionals.

- Eric

Raquel Byrnes said...

Ann - I agree with you on that. You have to go out there and sell your product whatever avenue you take with publishing.

Alex - Good luck with the promoting. You'll do great.

Anonymous - Thanks for commenting Uncle Pat.

Eric - From what I heare it IS a lot of work. Sounds like you're square in the marketing world right now. Hope you continue to blow away the competition. Good luck!

Laura Marcella said...

Great info! I had an internship in college that involved marketing and PR. It was hard! It seems like people just don't care unless they get something out of it. So I'm not looking forward to the endless promotion that might go nowhere, haha. But these are all excellent tips!

KarenG said...

I used to think that getting a publishing contract was the finish line. The publishing house takes care of the rest, right?


Once that contract is signed, the real work begins. And I don't mean editing.

Watery Tart said...

Great reminders Raquel! That's awfully organized of you to have been keeping track so well! HA!

My opinion on blogs is that they aren't about DIRECT sale, but about tapping our author friends to help with some buzz. Some of the marketing venues intimidate me, and some I just haven't taken the time to learn to use properly (I mean I HAVE a Goodreads account, BUT.....) but it is definitely important to start NOW, because there isn't time to master all of it between the contract and the book...

Raquel Byrnes said...

Laura - You are right. It is all kinda done on spec, but the results might be great.

Karen - Glad I could amuse. I'm beginning to see that you are right about the 'real work'.

Hart - I see what you mean. I think what I get out of blogging is the ineraction with other writers, serious ones, that I don't seem to have a lot of out here in my little section of the desert.

Saumya said...

This is all so valuable!! What a great blog you've got here. I hope that someday, I can use this great information :) Good luck with everything!!

arlee bird said...

The more work you put into promoting the more results you will get. And if somethings not working figure out why and fix it and if it's not really productive and cost effective, focus on something else.

Good info in this post.

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