Sunday, June 29, 2014

Read, Write, and Promote

It's frustrating when your novel hits the market, records decent initial sales, and then withers to nothing as the months go by.

Unless you're Stephen King, Nora Roberts, J.K. Rowling -- OK, you get the idea -- you need to learn that sometimes it takes time for a book to find it's footing and audience. 

I'm sure many authors know the audience for their books, but the key is making those wonderful readers know that your personal masterpiece is out there for them to relish and enjoy.

Novelist Ernest Gaines said, "The Six Golden Rules of Writing: Read, read, read, and write, write, write."

After all the reading and writing to create that book, I would add: Promote, promote, promote.

No doubt many of you use social media to get the word out -- over and over -- as well as have websites, blogs and such. 

But you can do more to keep your book in the public's eye. 

I have a friend who does very well selling his books via speaking engagements to various groups. Another author does quite well making visits to classrooms during the school year. Another author I know produces semi-regular newsletters about her books. Another friend just recently returned from a West Coast book tour with several other authors, compliments of their publishing house.

You can send out postcards to librarians, letting them know your book is out there and you're available to speak to their groups. You should send out news releases to media, especially local newspapers, TV and radio. Even the superstars send out news releases and advanced reading copies (OK, it's their publishers' promotional staffs who handle that as well as with the authors in setting up various interviews).

Authors can join and participate in various book sites such as Goodreads and Book Town. It's important to interact with others on these sites. Another way to promote is with book trailers, which you can make and distribute in many ways.

And, if you don't have the time or desire to do these things on your own, there are plenty of book promotion agencies that will do it for a fee. 

I agree with Henry Miller's comment:  "Writing is its own reward."

But if you want to have a degree of financial success, you need to write the best book you can and promote it as best you can. And it may take time. 

Until the next time...

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