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. 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.
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Wednesday, February 6, 2019
How Authors Kill Their Books: A Case For Marketing
always amazed when I talk to authors who tell me their book is about to come out,
they think it’s great, and want to have it do well – but they have no interest
or skillset or time to market and promote it.
So, logically, they come to me and the book publicity firm that I work
for, to do the heavy lifting. But what
they fail to understand are two very important things:
is an investment and they should be prepared to spend $10,000 and up to do a
very good, thorough PR campaign.
is a collaborative effort. No matter
what authors pay a book publicist, they need to be prepared to actively participate
not only to help the publicist do his or her job, but to do things the
publicist doesn’t do or that they can’t afford to pay for.
love to write and share ideas, experiences, opinions, analysis, and
stories. They believe what they have to
say is important, interesting, and even entertaining. But they often fail to back their words up by
giving their books the marketing muscle and public advocacy that they truly
is ignorant or egotistical to assume everyone will want your book. They won’t.
In fact, most of the country will never, ever even hear of your book or
know anything about it. How are they to
discover it? They won’t. You need to push your book in front of many
eyes, in a meaningful and informative way, in the hope of getting even a tiny
percentage of the recipients to take an action step and buy your book.
doesn’t happen organically, easily, or cheaply.
You have to make it happen. How,
you ask? Let me explain.
effectively market and promote a book you need a comprehensive and targeted
plan, one that involves a number of the following elements:
media – FB, Twitter, You Tube, Linked In, Instagram, Pinterest
News Media/Book Reviews
Media – podcasters, bloggers, websites, online book reviewers
Media Placements and sponsored content
·Packaging your book with other products, services, or books
also need strong distribution channels to bookstores, libraries, and other
retail outlets. You need a way to
generate bulk sales to groups, businesses, schools, government agencies,
religious groups, and non-profits.
don’t say this to overwhelm you or turn you away from writing books. I only share this to advise you that
marketing books is a time-consuming, expensive, and labor-intensive
pursuit. It needs to be done – and it
needs to be done right.
what are your options?
to find a big publisher that can take on the marketing of your book.
Reality: Most books are not published by big
publishers. Most books put out by big
publishers are not given a lot of support from the publisher. No one will take the best care of your book and
author brand than you.
but not do much to support it, hoping you get lucky.
Reality: Like the lottery, only a few people win and the vast majority loses. If you only want to
see 100 copies of your book sell, take a hands-off strategy, but if you want
any chance of establishing yourself as a writer, you’ll need to work at it.
where costs for printing and sometimes marketing are split between author and
publisher. Profits are split too. Reality: They won’t hire outside help directly, but
you should work with them to give your book its best shot to succeed.
ones in the best position to market a book and hire a publicist are those who:
other products, books, services to sell simultaneously, this allowing them many
ways to recover their investment.
willing to even lose money on a book in the hope that the PR campaign will help
lay a foundation for future, profitable ventures and activities that will yield
a return on investment.
in their book and know they have a big pool of readers to market to.
course, it’s easy for me to just bark that you should open your wallet and
spend on book publicity. But I say it
because I know it is your best shot at making it as a writer. I’ve seen too many good books go nowhere fast
because nothing was done to promote them.
I’ve also seen many authors grow and profit from the marketing that took
a book may feel like a calling, but book marketing is a much-needed component
to ensuring your book doesn’t die the day it’s published.