Uncommon Book Promotion Tips

Whether you self-publish or are lucky enough to get published through the conventional method, the author should always take an active role in advertising (or marketing) their own book(s). This goes without saying. Right?

Thing is, we are writers not advertisers, so what would we know about getting our book “out there”?

Thanks to Benjamin Solah, I found an article over at Absolute Write called Uncommon Book Promotion Tips. It’s a short article and some of the tips are common sense, but it never hurts to be reminded of the simple things. Besides, maybe you hadn’t thought of doing some of these things. 😉

Write, Create & Promote a Best Seller

I’m taking the 2007 Anthology seriously, and have spent some time each week doing some research on marketing. I’ve created a new category in order to share the information I find, and my experiences. It seems quite daunting at the moment, but I know as these unknown procedures fall into place, in my mind, it will get easier to grasp and understand.

At the end of last year I set some goals for 2007, one of them being to buy and read some “how-to” books on writing. Today, I found an ebook written by Lee Masterson called Write, Create & Promote a Best Seller. Looking at the list of contents I feel this book will be helpful in promoting the anthology. It’s written by an author whose name I recognise and that makes me feel comfortable in purchasing my first ebook online. Besides, at the moment, a second book has been thrown in for free, it’s called Write Here, Write Now. I’ve heard of this book too.

Publishing with Lulu

Lulu is a self-publishing company. Anyone can use this service and this is where I have a problem with self-publishing. If anyone can use it, then there are bound to be badly written books out there. Let’s be honest, it’s a fact that there are.

But…if a book is badly written, or if there is no storyline, or if the characters are two dimensional, then readers will quickly avoid anything else written by that author. They would have wasted precious money on buying the book, and most people don’t like that. Even if a real gem, written by that author, is released many years down the track it can easily be swept aside and ignored (even if it is published by a mainstream publisher). Once bitten, twice shy. This is a risk writers face when self-publishing.

On the other hand, good writers have been noticed through self-publishing. Some writers have made a name for themselves and sold thousands of books. They are often approached by a main stream publisher for publication of the second or third print.

And let’s face it, just because a book is published through main stream doesn’t automatically make it a good book. How many books have you bought that you thought were a waste of money? It happens far too often.

For me, as a writer, I dream of being contacted by a publisher who is excited about my writing, and wants to publish the book. That would be the ultimate moment for me, followed closely by the first time I walk into a book store and see my book on the shelf.

*Day dreams for a few minutes.*

As writers we think all that needs to be done is to write the story, but there is so much more to do. So many other decisions to be made. Writing is NOT easy, no matter what the woman next door thinks, or what your parents/partner might say.

I’ve always believed that for me the only way to go is main stream. I still believe this to a large degree, although I do think that things in the publishing industry will change in the future. However, I’ve recently found myself wanting to know more about self-publishing, wanting to experience it. How can I run something down that I’ve never tried?

And it is for this reason that I’m considering a new project for Scribe’s next year. The anthologies of past did not work out the way I had planned. That’s fine, I learned a lot from those projects. It’s just a pity that I couldn’t manage to get the stories published. Next year, the anthology will be different – completely different – but I’ll share that news at the appropriate time.

For now, if you have thought about self-publishing, but know nothing about it. Deborah Woehr is writing posts on her experience with publishing with Lulu. The first post, Self-Publishing through Lulu: The First Step in Creating Your Book gives tips on getting started. This post is followed by many others. I’m positive you’ll find the series interesting to read.

Ebooks, POD and Vanity Printing

To put it simply…for me, to be e-published or to have a book self-published is the same as not being published at all. Why? Because anyone can produce an e-book, anyone can go down the POD or vanity press road. Anyone!

I’m not saying that producing these types of books is a bad thing. Some people have gone down this road and have been successful. That’s great and good luck to them, but please remember that a large portion of self-publishered writers are not successful. Some people have manuscripts that only fit the guidelines of a very small percentage of publishers and they have no other choice open to them. And other people have collections of short stories or poetry that are also hard to get published the conventional way. My words are not aimed at these people, and I wish you all the luck in the world.

My statement is aimed at full length novels. Anyone can pay to have a book published, which means that there are many self published books out there that are sub-standard. It’s because of this that self-publishing has a bad name and the authors of these books are not taken seriously.

Many will argue that there is a lot of trash in tradional books too, and this is true. However, as a writer, we all have to make our own decision on what publication means to us. For me, being published the traditional way is the only way I’m prepared to go. It’s the only way that I’ll think of myself as an author.

Writer’s self-publish, authors publish.