Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Author to Author Advice 2

More tips from my Author Publicity Questionnaire. Some are contradictory--one size doesn't fit all when it comes to book publicity. As I constantly tell authors, you have to figure out what works best for you and your particular book.
  1. Be persistent and don't depend on the publisher to keep your book at the top of their agenda.

  2. Assume the publisher will do nothing and you'll have to do it all yourself. Use your contacts to get to people who can help.

  3. Do as many appearances as you can.

  4. Show up on time and don't leave early.

  5. Meet local booksellers. Also, keep informed and don't pass anything up. I came across a reference to BookTour.com on a writing blog (it might have been yours!) [It was in my newsletter.] I signed up and pretty much instantly forgot about it. A few months later, another local author saw my name and invited me to an event I'd never heard of. I sold a ton of books and now I'm locked into that event for future years. This kind of thing has happened a few times and it's always a surprise, because it came about from something else I thought inconsequential at the time.

  6. From professional speaker Debra Fine:
    Watch the news, keep abreast of what is on the minds of people, what season of the year it is, including holidays and activities and hit the media with how your book is related.

  7. From workshop alum & business writer Cynthia Shapiro:
    You have to run your book like a business. It’s a product in an overwhelming sea of other products and you can’t count on any publisher for help – you have to do it yourself if you want to have any success.

    First: You have to make sure your book is on a new or potentially newsworthy topic--a hook. If it doesn’t have one of its own, the topic can be spun into a newsworthy topic. (I now help authors do this with their books--from sci-fi to romance to nonfiction--so they can learn how to get the media interested in them.)

    Second: You have to read the publicity books, take the seminars, and prepare yourself for full-scale publicity of your new product/book and you as the expert on whatever topic you determine could be your unique hook.

    Third: You have to create a website, get a blog going, and position yourself as a media expert on that hot topic that somehow relates to your book. If you can do that, after a while, the machine will start to work FOR you, not against you. The media will be calling you, not the other way around. Once that happens, your publisher will see you completely differently and things will start to get much easier.

    Fourth: Don’t waste your time with book signings or public appearances across the US. Get your name in a feature in a major newspaper, magazine or on TV, and you’ll see tens of thousands of people Googling you and buying your book. Now that’s a good use of your time!

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