aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

Article in Miami Herald on book promo

This article in the Miami Herald has some pretty good info about book publicity. But the article mixes fiction and non-fiction - and they are very different animals. And some advice from a guy who writes about marketing seems meant just to depress people - and almost certainly doesn't apply to novelists.

"In response to an e-mail asking about how he markets his books, [Seth] Godin wrote: 'The unspoken truth is that except for perhaps 250 giant books every year [out of 75,000 published], the publisher is expecting the author to do 100 percent of the sales and promotion. Because authors don't understand that, they end up bitter, angry and perhaps destitute." [My take: every publisher I've had has at least done something. Sometimes it wasn't a lot, but it was never nothing.]

..."'The most successful authors drive from store to store in a sort of perma-tour, selling books out of the back of their car or just working with individual stores to make their titles stand out,'" he wrote. 'Oliver North made hundreds of thousands of dollars selling his remaindered autobiography at speeches to right-wing groups. This approach is antediluvian and time-consuming, but it works.''" [It's also not possible for 99.9% of people. And without there being a built-in audience for your book - he's Ollie North, for God sake, and there are tons of right-wing groups who still think of him as a hero - this way could easily lie insanity.]

"His advice to authors is to get out and really work for their books: 'You need a platform to make a published book work. If you don't have a platform yet, you should self-publish your first book and give away enough copies to get a platform, and then use that platform to engage your readers so that you can sell the second one to a publisher and quit your day job.''" [This won't work for fiction writers. And no matter what you write, it's the rare self-published book that will find a large audience. And rarer still the self-published book that will lead to a publisher. And the idea that once you sell ONE book to a publisher, you quit your day job, is well ... wishful thinking.]

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