Promotion? It’s A Success Thing
Are you an author with a best seller and a marketing
budget the size of a small South American country? My
guess is that you are not and that only the tip of the
author iceberg gets this treatment. As a result, the
odds are you just like the majority of other authors:
you’ve got the publishing deal, but author
promotion is critical in your
next step of world domination. The internet and its
ever-growing power in the world, is now becoming integral
to the process of writing success, as authors can now
be Googled and newsletters of latest releases can be
sent worldwide at the will of the publishers. The more
that is known about the author by the most accessible
forms of information, the more rewards all of the hard
work writing the novel will receive.
Web Promotion for Authors and
Websites, as a weapon in the
promotional armoury of successful authors are now as
vital to their marketing strategy as the word processor.
Word of mouth is still vitally important, but to become
a household name – an Ian Rankin, say, or a Stephen
King – then an author must get out and
get noticed and the easiest, cheapest way is
to have a Website.
>Article: Good Author Websites
So now the book is in your
hand – a living entity complete with nicely drawn
cover and real pages. It feels great. It looks great.
Now all it has to do is sell, which you as the author
and having travelled the long road to literary superstardom,
are more than confident of it doing in shed loads, simply
on its own merit. All the author – i.e. YOU –
has to do is sit back and watch the money roll in. Surely,
once an author is published, that’s it –
they’re made for life?
Well, actually, no, not at
all. The book is a product and like any other
piece of manufactured material it needs selling.
The only person who can do that is the person who knows
the product best – the author.
Publicity: The key to getting
Publicity is crucial
in the promotion of a book and since budgets
are usually very tight, this can’t be wasted.
Books are news and publishing comes in for far more
than its fair share of free promotion through exploiting
their news value in the press and media. It is particularly
important that your promoter knows about any special
contacts you may have, any interesting angles raised
by the book, or if you yourself might be promotion-friendly.
You must have a firm grasp on what your writing (or
latest book) is about. And you must be able to define
it clearly and quickly. What sets your book apart from
others in its genre?
But surely the agent, who is after all taking 15% of
your earnings looks after this? Well, no. The agent
finds a publisher, looks after the legal stuff, supplies
an editor and advises the author … to an extent.
Selling’s not really their game. Publishers do
have budgets set aside for promotion, but only those
authors in whom they have extreme confidence –
literary giants such as Jamie Oliver, Wayne Rooney and
Trinny and Susannah for example – will have bucket
loads of cash hurled at them because the returns are
nailed on. You? Unless this is the next “Da Vinci
Code” or “Extreme Makeovers For Dummies”,
forget it. You come at the bottom of a very long promotional
food chain and will need to work your toes off getting
your book recognised. Your publicist will possibly send
copies out to critics and the press for review. They
might, if you’re lucky, even arrange interviews.
After that, you are pretty much on your own and need
to impress people with your real voice and attitude,
more than your literary style.
So how does an author get noticed?
Mostly by being stubborn, hard working, diligent, organised,
willing, brave and thick-skinned. Not a lot different
to those skills needed to be a writer in the first place,
Hiring somebody to
look after the arrangements of interviews and publicity
allows the author to concentrate on that all-important
second novel. Publicity services, such as those
offered by CHAMPS,
arrange interviews on TV and Radio, organise press coverage,
design Press Releases for novels and events and endeavour
to get the highest possible profile for their clients
in whatever outlet is available. A publicist’s
main job is media relations, scheduling interviews,
book reviews and feature stories for a client. Occasionally,
other services are offered, such as book tour coordination
and promotion, media training and development of marketing
materials. However, a publicist does not typically find
agents, publishers or distributors for the book, schedule
speaking engagements or coordinate travel arrangements
for a book tour.
Some authors are willing to
do just about anything to get their work noticed. What
is most important, however, is that the promotion suits
YOU. You’re the one doing the selling. You’re
the one in the front line. If “I’m a celebrity”
isn’t for you, say so early on and you’ve
not wasted anyone’s time and energy. There are
other ways that work can be promoted that are not so
adventurous. Radio interviews can be pre-recorded, for
example, and presenting talks to libraries and book
groups are always pleasant experiences. No author needs
to needs to be a personality to engage an audience.
The book that the author has written will be more than
The thing is that, as an author,
you must make yourself available. If
you’re not prepared to go that extra mile in the
marathon race that leads to success, the first twenty-five
miles might prove to have been in vain.
Quote from Danuta Kean in the
Independent on Sunday
'Famously nice to all they
'What is the X-factor that turns a
book into a bestseller? They don't just happen by chance.
Publishers put their efforts into marketing and publicising
a book in a way that will make it stand out from the
200,000 others published every year. Booksellers are
wined and dined and critics courted to get the buzz
going long before the book appears. At the centre of
their efforts is the author, who nowadays has to put
as much work into selling themselves as they did into
writing their book.
So what do this elite bunch have in
common? It's simple. Rankin, McCall Smith and Binchy
are famously nice to all they meet, as are Joanna Trollope
and Jacqueline Wilson. They are prepared to wait until
the last fan's copy of their latest books is signed,
and to visit libraries, schools and book festivals in
the back of beyond to talk to tiny audiences of enthusiastic
readers who will spread the word about them. The result
is huge loyalty among booksellers and librarians who
are willing to push their work.'
Interested in Author Promotion? http://www.chrishigh.com/chrishigh_author_promotion.htm