The writing life is frustrating and rewarding in equal measure. I can find numerous ways to procrastinate and avoid actually writing. But once started, I wonder why I procrastinated. The story seems to appear magically. It’s like slipping into a stream or a river, an effortless flow, originating from a source somewhere beyond me.
Afterward there comes the hard work—editing, rewriting, submitting and even after publishing the most difficult work of all—promoting. Today all but the most famous, the most prolific, writers must promote their own work if they hope to be read.
To quote from an article from Writers’ Relief:
Once upon a time, when a big, traditional house published a book, the author just sat back and relaxed while the publisher did all the marketing and sales promotion.
Those days are over.
Today’s authors, whether self-published or published through a traditional house, must do the bulk of their own marketing and promotion if they want their book to sell. While self-published authors know this all too well, many traditionally published authors are surprised to find that their publishers aren’t going to take care of everything when it comes to marketing their books.
Why Publishers Aren’t Promoting Books
Traditional publishing has changed in recent years. With the rise of self-publishing, there are many more new books competing for the same audience—more than a million new titles are released each year! Most publishing houses are now short on time, money, and staff. Their marketing personnel are often overworked, and they generally put the bulk of their resources into A-list authors. For the rest of their lesser-known authors, traditional publishers basically hope their books will find an audience simply by being available in a store.
Why You Must Market Your Own Book
If you’re a self-published author, marketing your own book is a given. You may be able to purchase some promotional help, but the brunt of the promotional work is your responsibility. If you’re traditionally published, you’ll find most publishing houses will prepare basic promotional materials and include your book in their catalogs, websites, and ads; they may send out review copies, show your book at conventions, and provide rudimentary information about your book to online bookstores and wholesalers. Many use social media and distribute press releases as well. If you’re lucky, they might schedule a book tour. But if your book isn’t an instant success, you may notice the marketing support dropping off fast.
No matter how you publish, the fact remains that no one knows your novel like you do. No one is as passionate about your work as you are, and it’s your reputation and career that are on the line. Ultimately, the success of your book is up to you.
Whether you’re self-published or traditionally published, lay the groundwork with a solid author platform and a plan for your own promotional goals and ideas. Cross-market using your social media to build your email list. Try to get local media coverage: TV, newspaper, and radio. And, of course, don’t overlook the importance of “word-of-mouth” and book reviews.
Writers (like me) feel overburdened by such requirements. Writers want to write, not spend time harassing friends, hunting the Amazon top reviewers and begging for reviews, going to book stores, libraries, and cafes to find an audience for their book. But it just won’t happen today unless you are incredibly lucky or well connected.
Nonetheless, as a writer, I keep writing and submitting. My latest novels have been accepted by a new publisher, Amber Quill Press and I’m looking forward to their launching.
Double Deception will be available as an ebook October 4th, and as a paperback by the end of the month (from Amber Quill Press and Amazon.)
Rima and Chloe will be available by January 2016.
Double Deception is a mystery set in Manhattan and the Poconos with some overlap
of characters from my previous mystery, Crimson
Ice, a Pocono Mountain Mystery, also available from Amazon. (Copies have
also been donated to the Med West library in the basement.)
Reviews are helpful
in promotion, and I’m told they don’t have to be all 5 star reviews to move the
book upward on the Amazon lists.This is the cover
and the “teaser” from the opening page of Double Deception, a mystery involving
twins who have been separated at birth and grow up unaware of one another—until
they meet under the most dire of circumstances.
Fallon checked the mailbox, grabbed the magazines and forwarded bills before she took the elevator. Without even glancing at the envelopes in hand, she inserted the key. It wouldn’t turn. She jiggled it, pushing at the door, which slowly swung open. Somebody’s been here, broken the lock.
She glanced into the apartment. A kitchen stool was overturned. Sofa pillows were strewn on the floor. Better get the hell out of here. But what about Goliath?
“Goliath! Come, boy,” she called, poised for flight. She searched her handbag for her cell. No dog. A faint whine sounded from the inside hallway that led to the bathroom. Backing toward the elevator, she pressed 911.
Before Fallon could stab at the call button, she heard the elevator rising. That was quick. Gretchen must be on her way up. Fallon shut off the phone.
Another sound—the stairway door behind her creaked. She turned, caught a glimpse of someone leaping toward her. Black ski mask. Gloved hands reaching for her. She flailed, but powerful arms grasped, pressed a cloth over her face.
She kicked, struggled, knew she was being dragged into the stairwell. Oh my God. This can’t be happening. The hall door creaked shut just as she heard the elevator door slide open. She tried to draw in air, scream, but sweet fumes flooded her nostrils and she slipped into darkness