Deb Rachel Knows Marketing Is In The Job Description

MWF Seeking BFF, by Rachel BertscheIf you’ve been keeping up with the Debs this week, you know that everyone’s marketing plan is a bit different. We share elements–Facebook and Twitter and blogs, oh my!–but everyone emphasizes different aspects of the promotional plan, and that largely has to do with the content of  the stories. For example, since my publication, I’ve spent a lot of time visiting and Skyping with book clubs. For MWF, it made good sense, since the book is targeted at adult women and deals with an issue (friendship) that adult women like to discuss. A lot.  For someone like Deb Joanne, that strategy might be less effective since Small Medium at Large is a middle grade novel. For her, targeting school librarians makes a lot of sense. For me, less so.

So I’m not going to tell you all the ways you can and should go about marketing your book when the time comes. My fellow Debs have already shed light on some options, and I don’t have all that much to add. But I do think it’s worth revisiting, and reiterating, Deb Erika’s Do Something post.

When I was first offered a book contract, I remember talking with my editor and telling her I was willing to do whatever the marketing team wanted from me. I also remember hearing the relief and surprise in her voice. Because there are still authors out there who think that writing the book is the whole job.

For some authors (JK Rowling? James Patterson?) maybe that’s true. If you are a enough of a rock star, you can probably turn in material and have a marketing force do the promotional work for you. But even Ms. Rowling has to do an interview or an appearance every now and then. And most big-name authors agree to do the interviews that are asked of them, because that’s how one sells books.

The idea of sitting in a quiet room and writing in solitude is the dream for some authors. I’m pretty sure Jonathan Franzen exists sans Internet for years at a time while he’s crafting a novel. But for those of us regular folk who still engage in celebrity gossip or the occasional Tweet, it’s necessary to remember one thing: The book world is a business. At the end of the day, books need to sell to succeed. And if you want to write for a living, part of your job is to market your book. However you can. It’s rare that any job comes along where you can do only the parts you like and skip the parts you hate. And being an author is no different. (Though I should point out, I’m one of the lucky ones who actually enjoys the marketing aspect of the gig.)

Of all the marketing I did–maintaining my blog, setting up book readings, creating book club discussion guides–my favorite piece might be the book trailer. Keep in mind as you watch this that it was put together quickly, by my brother. Which is to say you can do a book trailer for cheap!

So, moral of today’s story: Remember that marketing is part of the job, not an extra to-do if you’re willing. And always include a slow-motion run in an any and all self-produced videos.

Chime in! Does marketing a book sound exciting to you? Or dreadful?


6 Replies to “Deb Rachel Knows Marketing Is In The Job Description”

  1. Rachel, you are so right–every author’s marketing plan will be a little different–you have to figure out what works best for your book, and tailor promotion accordingly.

    And I still love your trailer. It totally captures the feel of MWF Seeking BFF. 🙂

  2. I agree with Linda–you NAILED the book trailer thing, Rachel, you really did. It still impresses me!

    And it’s so true that everyone’s plan will be different–but short of being a handful of established authors, we all must have SOME plan and understand that our work isn’t finished when we turn in our final proofs–if anything, it’s just beginning, isn’t it?!

  3. Your trailer is awesome, Rachel – great voiceover! And a great reminder to have fun with your marketing plan. If it feels like a tough slog for you, it’s going to show.

  4. FABULOUS trailer. I love it! Your brother has awesome skills!

    I’m excited about book marketing, actually. My release is a little less than a year away, and I’m actually looking forward to every part of it – I definitely need all the advice I can get, though, so I’m soaking up the great posts this week!

  5. You love the marketing aspect of promotions and networking but for those new novelists, or those taking more control over their marketing, we’ve put together a great “basics” site. Former Deb, Tawna Fenske was a recent guest post author for our Finer Points Fridays.

    So please share our site – we really want to see authors succeed. Check out
    before you put money into any promotional materials or business cards.

  6. Love that trailer! I’m excited about marketing my book. The only concern I have is how I’ll juggle marketing my debut while working on my next book and other projects I have in the hopper. I want to dedicate as much time as I can to promoting my book, but I realize that could end up being a *lot* of time. Guess I’ll have to step up my juggling skills!

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