Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Marketing Your Book

Richard Pachter wrote an interesting article for The Miami Herald yesterday. It was an article about how authors are having to market their books. What made it interesting is he didn’t focus on the self-published or small press authors. We all know how hard they have to work to promote their titles. Pachter focused on writers from big houses.

And, yes, they too have to do marketing and devise promotional campaigns. Being with a large publishing house doesn’t mean you get a free ride. Maybe an easier ride with some help on the cost of the ticket, but it’s still a lot of work. And being with a major publisher doesn’t guarantee any help at all.

Joseph Finder worked with his publisher, St. Martin’s Press, to include in his book an audio CD to promote his next book. Finder also paid someone to design and run his website. I thought one innovative thing he did was put up “special websites in countries where his books sell especially well, such as the Netherlands.”

Author Edwin Black “wrote and helped produce a video trailer for his book that was completed with the assistance of volunteers, packaged on DVD and distributed online through YouTube.”

When author and marketing expert Seth Godin is about to publish a book, he puts out a rash of online promotions, special offers, podcasts and blog postings on different websites. He often uses a marketing campaign to send out his books. “A colorful cereal box, boldly announcing, Free Prize Inside, contained not a decoder ring or tiny plastic soldier, but a copy of Godin's book of the same name.”

What this article and our common sense tell us is you can’t sit back and expect your publisher to do the work for you – whether that publisher is Scribner or yourself. Those days are long gone.

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