If 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?
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