Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Let's Talk Publicity - It's about getting your name out there.

Selling your books is not a passive activity. It is a very pro-active business and honestly, this is why so many writers out there fail. There is this belief that once the book is out there, the books sells. Many authors believe this. Unfortunatly, there are also some publishers that believe this as well (part of the reason why I don't send my writers to those houses).

First of all, I want to stress there is no right or wrong way to get your name out there. What works for one person may not work for someone else. You have to find what works best with you.

I heard a professional (for the likes of me, I can't remember who) said that if your neighbors don't know you write, then you're not being successful. You have to let those people around you know that you write. While the book sales might not huge from this type of publicity, it is a sale and those people will soon get your name out to other people when they talk about your book.

Secondly, there is a belife that you have to spend huge amounts of money to get your name out there. Again, this is not necessary. at least for a while. Websites are cheap. Software on most of your computers can do the work that the printers demand. Keep it simple!

Many of my writers have found website hosting sites and are inexpensive and easy to put together. These writers didn't have to pay a ton of cash to have someone do this for them.

Communications is one of the most effective tools. If a reader sends you a note, answer the person. No form letter, but a real response. They took the time to tell you something about your book so pay attention. Blowing that person off is an sure way of losing future sales.

The same goes for those websites. I am always frustrated with authors that have websites that imply they are eager to hear, but in reality, the author is just out to get more names for a mailing list. Personally, this is UNCOOL! Look, if you are going to have a website, keep it up to date and answer.

Why am I pounding this whole "get your name out there?" Consumers today are not saavy enough to buy books because of the quality of the books. They buy the books because they are told by someone that they should buy it. Contests work the same way. Judges will look at the title of a book and before even reading it will make judgements based on what they see. This is one of my biggest complaints about professional contests. Often it is not based on the quality of the book but the name recognition.

So, professional writers. Get your name out there.



  1. so true, but certainly you've heard of us...

  2. I thought all of the contest entries were given to the judges without author names on them.

  3. Anon,

    You have to remember that contests with published authors submitting their current work already have the covers on the books. Sorry for the confusion.


  4. Yup, one of the things I hear sometimes is "Wow, what a cool hobby you have..." oh dear...hobby...no no - I work; I truly truly do work, and hard. Granted, yes, it's doing what I love and adore, and I feel very very lucky - but, I don't just spit out a book, it is published, and then I sit around twiddling my thumbs *smiling*

    While I'm writing "the next book" or story, I am also "getting my name out there."

    As well, it's always a good idea to "get your name out there" before you find a agent/publisher.

    I'm here from Glynis's site.