Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Author to Author Advice 3

Still more tips from my Author Publicity Questionnaire.
  1. From a nonfiction team with a small press:
    The really hard work begins six months before your book comes out. Don't be afraid to get out there and promote yourself and your work. No one else cares about it as much as you do.

    Visiting bookstores is also helpful. In many instances when our book was not on the shelf, someone would order it simply because we came into the store, and we sometimes got face-outs just by showing up and signing whatever copies were in stock.

  2. From a mystery author:
    Regional and local efforts, or author-generated national efforts may sell a few hundred copies to as many as a couple of thousand copies. Beyond that, an author must have a large entity, such as a large publisher, behind them to make a big impact; or, if they are lucky and spend two to three hours every day networking online, they may gradually build a bigger audience.

    It's extremely difficult to try to reach a large-scale audience with a novel these days because there are many more novels published than ever before. That doesn't even include all the self-pubbed and vanity press pubbed types, which muddies the water even further. You need a unique hook and a consistent message, and, most important of all, an entertaining novel that people will recommend to their friends and families.

    You also need to know when to say enough is enough so you can get on to writing your next novel--which, truth be known, may be the very best thing any author can do to promote their work. Agents, publishers, booksellers and readers, are all hungry for the next big thing, which explains why sometimes a new, unpublished author is actually better off than a veteran one. The desire for "newness" trumps all.

  3. From a prescriptive nonfiction author:
    There seems to be this conspiracy of silence about what you can/should get paid for giving talks. Authors should be more open about it.

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