Saturday, August 09, 2008

Up-To-Date Publicity Book for Authors

The world of book publicity for authors is ever changing. Several years ago, the words "social networking" weren't used and no one knew the power of the many tools in this area.

I've read a number of books to help authors publicize and promote the book. When I teach at writers' conferences and other places, I regularly mention Jacqueline Deval's Publicize Your Book! Why?

Unlike some of the authors of books in this niche subject area, Deval has been in the trenches of publicity as the director of publicity for several publishing houses and is currently the publisher of Hearst Books. The tone and the information in this book are different because of her inside information about the publisher world as it relates to publicity. My copy of her 2003 book is worn, tagged with posts and highlighted throughout the pages.

In this week's mail, I received the updated edition of Publicize Your Book! The contact information, websites and even the tools like social networking have been reworked so it is a substantial improvement--and current.

When I teach at writers' conferences, I will often read the first few paragraphs from the introduction of this book because it is information which you don't often hear from your publisher (and especially for first-time authors who have grand and unrealistic expectations). Deval has this material on her book website: "The reality of book publishing is that there are too few resources to support every book. This means that some books will get publicity campaigns and budgets while others will go without. Additionally, most publishing houses are not staffed with enough publicists to mount a full-fledged campaign for every book. Because of this, editors must compete with one another to lobby the publisher, and the marketing and publicity departments, for the funds and staff attention to promote their books."

"Some aspects of publishing boggle the minds of first-time writers. (That’s OK. It boggles the minds of many veterans in publishing, too.) For example, you might wonder why the big-name authors get tons of money spent on their campaigns when their bestseller status would seem to be a foregone conclusion. Meanwhile, a new author could use some of those marketing funds to begin to build a reputation. The bald fact is that publishers need to protect their interest in the big authors and spending marketing dollars is one way to keep the author and agent happy. The harsher reality is that this dynamic is unlikely to change anytime soon."

"The good news is that authors who know how to properly represent themselves to their publishers can find discretionary dollars for book promotion. Do not count on your agent to make this happen. Your agent may be terrific, but is truly unable to fight every battle on your behalf. You will need to become your own advocate with the right efforts at the right time. Too many authors simply wake up too late to the problem of under promotion. An author who can get involved creatively and make allies of the publishing staff can have the most impact on the marketing and publicity program and the best possible chance of reaching a readership."

Whether you purchase the book or not (and I recommend you do), I'd encourage you to check out Deval's excerpt, 20 Rules for Writing An Effective Press Release. Plus explore the valuable links section.

If you are connected to a publishing house, here's another idea for you to consider. With the first version of this book, I was working full-time for a publishers. I talked with the Director of Publicity and she used a small amount of her budget to purchase a case of these books. Each first-time author received a copy of the book from the publisher with the encouragement for them to read and practically apply the information to their own promotion plans.

We figured if even 10% of the authors put the words into practice then it would increase the sales and publicity for these new books. Many authors believe they have accomplished a monumental task to get their book published with a traditional publishing house. They should feel good about that accomplishment but their real work is only starting--to actually sell that book into the hands of readers.

I'm delighted to tell you about this updated edition of Publicize Your Book! Whether you are a brand new author or a much published author, add this book to your arsenal of ideas and plans. If you have never been published and want to be published, you still need this book because you can learn things which will help you shape your own book marketing plans in your pitches to literary agents and publishers. Savvy authors stand out and here's a great resource to gain positive attention for your ideas.

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1 Comment:

At 7:18 AM, Blogger LaShaunda Left a note...

This is an excellent book for every writer to have. Good to see she updated it.


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