Daily Archives: December 9, 2009

How Far is Your Reach?

A recent response on a message board got me thinking about this.  If your book was published today, to what extent can you promote yourself?

Social networking is all the rage, as discussed by Kathleen Y’Barbo at Books & Such Literary Agency.  People tweet, post on their FB walls and blog.  The question is, do these things really sell books?  The commenter who sparked my interest in this topic emphatically stated, “NO!  I have never sold a book through FB or Twitter.”

(Although, how would you know?)

Others claim that book signings are an ancient practice and have a spot at the top of the “Worst Publicity Dollars Spent” list right next to school visits and radio interviews.

I write resumes and have learned the power of tweaking words.  I can make anyone look good on paper, as most writers can.  It’s why we write.  I believe this ability is the biggest pitfall apsiring author’s must face when creating their marketing plan.  A marketing plan is only as good as one is able to execute it.  Editor Lynn Price discusses this at length on her blog. 

While we have grandiose ideas of traveling the country, appearing at all the right events and selling trunk loads of books to the waiting masses, this typically does not happen to Jane and Joe Writer.  Traveling costs money and marketing budgets are small.  Book signings take coordination.  And the masses don’t just miraculously appear because we want them to.

“Fine,” we say with slight indignation.  “If our publisher won’t spend the money letting me sell my Arctic Adventure on the beaches of Cabo, I will use my profit do do so.” 

Think again.  Revenue on books is much smaller than you think.  It will take massive sales to pay for that Cabo holiday book signing.  If you don’t believe me, check out what Agent Nathan Bransford has to say. 

All this information got me pondering what we can and should be doing to promote our writing.  Which tacticts work, which ones are dreams. 

Do you have solid plans regarding self-promotion?  Contacts in all the right places?  Or are you still building your brand and a faithful following of future book buyers?

One thing I know for cetain, when I do get published and begin marketing in earnest, I will work with my agent, editor and publicist as suggested by Agent Kristin on her blog, Pub Rants.