Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Who Knows You Are A Writer

I once heard an editor or agent (it was a while ago) make the comment that if you next door neighbor doesn't know you are a writer, you aren't doing a good job of marketing. I always felt this line was interesting but so true. Marketing, in simple terms, is about getting your name out there to as many people as possible.

In today's publishing market, this idea couldn't be more true. When we consider the number of authors out there "publishing" their novels through self-published digital lines, getting your name seen can be difficult. There is just so much stuff out there, readers are finding it really difficult to find books anymore. According to Brian Klems in a 2013 article for Writer's Digest, "And Bowker Market Research data shows that the number of self-published books released each year has grown exponentially, totaling some 235,000 print and e-books in 2012 (a conservative statistic, as the absence of ISBNs on many e-books makes them hard to track)." Adding to this is the huge decrease in those lovely brick and mortar stores where readers would often stumble across a new author whose book was sitting next to someone the reader was really looking for. Think about it, how many authors did you just "stumble across." I know for myself, I have found a lot of great authors when I attend the Romance Writers of America conference and wander through the Literacy Signings and the publisher hosted author meet and greets. For many of these authors, I simply would not have found them unless I had that chance.

In simple terms, you have to get your name out there.

I know, in the past, there were a lot of people doing book signings, and yes, we know the statistic that book signings often didn't make a lot of sales. But that was far from the point of the book signing. The idea is that your name is out there. Think about it. As you post on your blog that you are doing a book signing, your name is seen, even if it is by someone not buying your book. Your Facebook posts and your twitter posts announcing a book signing get your name around to people.

I was working with one of my authors yesterday discussing marketing strategies and we noted several great examples. We were specifically looking at what some of the editors from Harlequin did with their Facebook accounts. Some of the editors were VERY active with getting the word out about their authors and lines. One in particular was the Love Inspired Line. Each month, when there is the new round of releases from that line, the editors flood their Facebook page with the large book covers of their authors. Between Aug. 1, and Aug. 8, they released covers of 7 of their books. I can always expect to see a book cover showing up on my Newsfeed.

This is just one example, but clearly you see the point. Now I do understand that you have to "follow" that editor to get the feeds, but they are likely getting people to see their covers through the readers who "SHARE" the link. The other thing to note is that the editors are certainly hoping people will buy that book right now, but, in reality, I do believe they are playing for the long-term. The more we see their name, the more we remember them. How often have you seen a book cover and said, "Oh, [author x] has a new book.

Making sales is about flooding the market with your name. Not just when the book comes out, but any time you have a chance to talk about your writing. You will be surprised how your sales will increase through simply getting your name out there.


  1. How important would you say a platform is to unpublished author trying to get his oi her name out there? It can be a challenge when your first book hasn't hit shelves, digital or otherwise, yet.

  2. Theresa- I just saw a great article at about how agents Google you before they think of offering representation. I think publishers might do the same if they're on the fence about your work. Just my two cents but a positive platform doesn't have to include having a book out there.