In “the old days,” as recently as five years ago, it used to be that book publishers were instrumental in helping authors with their publicity, promotion, and (for the major authors) advertising. But, sadly that is no longer true.
Very few publishers these days do anything substantial to support their authors in these areas. Especially their first time authors. This lack of support often results in minimal sales and then, of course, the publisher doesn’t pick up their author’s next book because the last one didn’t sell. It’s a frustrating and vicious circle.
So in this really troubling climate, what is an author to do?
Last spring, my client John Locke wrote and self-published a book titled How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months. In a nutshell, this book describes John’s marketing system for becoming a bestselling author. Among other things, he includes information about how an authors needs to identify their audience even before they write their books; how to create a memorable and creative website; how to use Twitter effectively; how to create a simple, no-nonsense blog; and how to write life-changing blog entries.
John’s system worked for him and for many, many he has shared it with. I strongly believe it can also work for those who publish their books more traditionally as well.
Just last Friday, one of my publishing colleagues, an editor at an established publishing company e-mailed something that I have found to be very important and I think it worthwhile that I quote him here:
“About the digital and social media outreach, the one thing I’ve learned from experience is that it’s a little too late when the book is just launching to start an initiative. You build those followings over months, even years and then blast them when you have a new product.”
I hope that all of those currently writing books will pay attention to this sage advice. In this day and age where publishers are pulling back this kind of very important support, the authors themselves must step up to the plate.
Of course, I am always eager to hear your thoughts.