A unique blog dedicated to covering the worlds of book publishing and the news media, revealing creative ideas, practical strategies, interesting stories, and provocative opinions. Free speech, literacy, and great books are also discussed. Along the way, discover savvy but entertaining insights on book marketing, public relations, branding, and advertising from a veteran of two decades in the industry of book publishing publicity and marketing.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Why Must You Promote Your Book?
you write a great book. It gets
published. Book reviewers find the book
on their own and rave about it.
Bookstores sell copies faster than they can reorder them. Book clubs voluntarily adopt your book. Foreign publishers inquire about rights to
publish in their languages and movie studios want to option your story.
it sound like a fantasy?
yes, it is!
scenario may play out once or twice a year.
The rest of the publishing world has to make its own breaks. Little
happens organically or accidentally in book publishing. Often there’s a force behind a book that
propels it forward. Marketing and
publicity drive sales and today’s author has to push his or her brand or they
are left to the mercy of the marketplace, one that’s deluged with some 2,000+
new titles released every single day of the year – including weekends,
holidays, blizzards, birthdays, and election days.
will say: “Why can’t I just write and
let sales take care of themselves?”
if you are self-published you know that no one else is pushing your book if you
don’t. It simply will not sell on its
own. There’s no guarantee it will sell
even with a big marketing campaign, but there’s a virtual guarantee it’ll die
if you don’t promote it.
you have a publisher, don’t expect them to do a lot for you, no matter what
they say. They may have good intentions
– they want the book to sell – but they have different motives and models for
success that often do not position them to promote your book as much as you
need it to be promoted. Let me explain.
publisher may publish books that it believes can earn a profit or at least
break even. When it publishes a book it
believes that several will break through and make a lot of money. It will put its limited resources into
promoting the handful of books it is banking on. The rest get few or no resources at all.
when the publisher shows support for a title, it can only go on for so long for
so much. But the author can always -- and
should – supplement their efforts.
publisher and author have different goals, though they both want more
sales. A publisher has to first make
sure it recovers its investment. An
author is looking to sell books to earn a royalty beyond his advance. A publisher only cares about book sales,
whereas an author cares about branding, being in a position to earn a new book
deal, and possibly improving one’s speaking career, consulting business, or
professional track. Both would love for
other rights deals – foreign, audio, movie, digitally, theater – to come of it, too.
beauty about book marketing is there’s always something that could be done and
you can rest assured even if you have a very active publisher they are not
doing everything, nor doing anything for too long. You must fill in the gaps. Look at what could be done to promote a book
and divide and conquer the tasks:
the news media’s book reviewers prior to publication.
You Tubing, Podcasting, Webinars.
media: FB, Twitter, Pinterest,
Instagram, Linked In.
or free speaking gigs.
organizations, schools, non-profits, companies, or gov’t agencies for bulk sales.
you can’t afford the time or resources to support your book, rethink publishing
it. If you find your writing speed far outpaces your ability to promote your
books, slow down. You need to rally your
efforts around a single book or series, establish yourself, and then look to
build on that brand.
all wish to get lucky and win the book publishing lottery but the odds are so
stacked against you. There are plenty of
great books that go unread and lack public discussion. Don’t let you hard work go to waste by
failing to give it the support it deserves.