If authors hope to be published, they are told they need to get a literary agent. When they approach the agents, they can’t get their work looked at because some intern screens to see how many social media followers the author has. Writers can pen a book that heals the heart, brings joy, solves problems, entertains, or probe’s life’s deepest questions, but publishers no longer see words. Only numbers. Screw them!
So, authors are left to self-publish. They will get hosed by everyone every step of the way, from self-publishing companies that do little and overcharge, to every website asking for money to post a review or perform a trick to give your book exposure. Most of these things sound good -- display a book at a book fair, e-blast to 1000 indie bookstores, post 10 book reviews on Amazon -- but most of it goes nowhere.
So, authors are forced to do things on their own - get speaking engagements, apply to book awards, and contact the news media. However, they lack the desire, time, skill set, or knowledge to pull this off.
So, authors hire out for publicists to help them. Problem: most publicists hose their clients for little in return. Authors hire the wrong people to do stuff that won’t work or that they didn’t really need. It’s not the author's fault. Things sound good and they want to trust someone to do this for them.
So, authors need to take matters into their own hands and go hog wild on social media. But they get burdened by posting on several social media platforms daily, crafting blog content, and surfing the web to solicit for new connections. Even when they build up a following, how often do those connections translate into sales?
So, the independent author, feeling frustrated when he pays for little results and exhausted from trying to do things on his own, is determined to either never publish again or to once more desperately seek out a publisher or literary agent.
The cycle continues.
So, what’s the answer?
First-time authors shouldn’t bother pursuing a publishing deal. Accept it and don’t waste time on it. When you self-publish, bypass bullshit middlemen like Dorrance and Fulton Books, and just go to Amazon KDP and Ingram |Spark.
Second, get a budget for publicity -- in money and in time. Determine what you can and will do -- and what you’ll outsource. Choose your professional helper wisely. Experiment and stay resilient. Don’t default to excuse making or whining. Suck it up, put your heart into it, and see where this leads.
Lastly, don’t give up. Just keep moving and pushing. Write books while promoting other books. Somewhere along the line a quality writer who consistently markets can break through. Yes, I’m talking to you. Go for it!
Need Book Marketing Help?
Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has over 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres. Let him be your advocate, teacher, and motivator!
About Brian Feinblum
Brian Feinblum should be followed on LinkedIn. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2023. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog, and El Chapo, a pug rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent. This award-winning blog has generated over 3.4 million pageviews. With 4,600+ posts over the past dozen years, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by www.WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Todd Duncan, Susan RoAne, John C. Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, APEX, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult: www.linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum.