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Thread: Question for Published Authors about Marketing

  1. #1
    ncq13
    Guest

    Question for Published Authors about Marketing

    I'm new to the world of publishing and have a couple of questions. How much marketing do you do for yourself on average? I'm talking, websites/fan sites, book signings, purchasing your own marketing tools for fans and signings etc. Secondly, how much marketing can you expect a small publisher to do for you? And lastly, have you ever purchased copies of your own book to bring to signings?
    Thank you for providing this helpful info!

  2. #2
    vstrauss
    Guest

    Re: Question for Published Authors about Marketing

    >>How much marketing do you do for yourself on average? I'm talking, websites/fan sites, book signings, purchasing your own marketing tools for fans and signings etc.<<

    As much as I can stand, which is not as much as some people. In the four months since my latest book's release, I've done radio and online interviews, online chats, a major update on my website to feature the book, and a few readings/signings in my local area. I've also solicited articles in local papers, and some reviews from well-trafficked websites my publisher didn't cover.

    The one thing I haven't done, because I hate it, is attend conferences. If you can stand it, this can be helpful in terms of getting your name out, as well as meeting readers and networking.

    I've never bought stuff, such as postcards or bookplates or bookmarks, but some authors do.

    >>Secondly, how much marketing can you expect a small publisher to do for you?<<

    It depends on the publisher and whether it markets to the book trade. If it does, it will do such things as sending out galleys in advance of publication to major review venues such as Booklist (these publications, which librarians and booksellers read, will only review in advance), produce a print catalogue, maintain its own sales force to pitch its books to booksellers or work with a distributor that provides this service, and perhaps do at least some trade advertising. It'll also price its books reasonably and accept returns. In other words, it will do all it can to get your books onto bookstore shelves and/or into libraries (there are some small publishers that focus mostly on libraries), so that your personal marketing efforts have something to build on.

    Many Internet or POD-based publishers provide few or none of the above services, and rely on their authors as an unpaid sales force. Some may do nothing more than feature your book on their website. The onus will be on you for everything, including persuading stores to stock your book--which will be very tough, since publishers like this are likely to have business practices that booksellers don't like, such as high cover prices and no acceptance of returns.

    >>And lastly, have you ever purchased copies of your own book to bring to signings?<<

    Never. The bookstore orders and stocks the books. In fact my publishing contract, which allows me to buy books for my own use at 50% off the cover price, specifically prohibits resale. This is typical of commercial publishers, which don't expect their authors to peddle their own books.

    - Victoria

  3. #3
    ncq13
    Guest

    Re: Question for Published Authors about Marketing

    Thank you for your informative answers! The entire submission process is overwhelming! And trying to choose the right publisher when you don't have an agent... EEK!

  4. #4
    James D Macdonald
    Guest

    Re: Question for Published Authors about Marketing

    To choose the best publisher ... gee. Tough one.


    Generally speaking, go for:

    a) Best distribution,
    b) Highest advance.

    Check with other authors published by each place you're considering. How do they feel about it?

  5. #5
    Empirical Storm Trooper MadScientistMatt's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
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    I just checked out a copy of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Published from the local library. They have several excellent chapters on marketing. Note that they don't recommend advertising or any of the unwise marketing tactics from one message board that I won't name in this thread because it has a thread of its own. Instead, they typically recommend marketing by getting on the radio and getting exposure in other media. It's very informative.

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