Monday, October 27, 2008

Deliver A One, Two Punch

This morning I was reading Shelf Awareness. If you don't get this free enewsletter about the book trade, I'd encourage you to subscribe. You don't have to read every word (I don't) but I do take a serious look at each issue.

In today's issue, I read the review of this new book, The Customer Is Always Wrong. While I have not read this book since I just learned about it today. The provocative title drew me to read the review. Then I tracked down a sample of the writing at the publisher's website.

What I wanted to point out was the one, two punch that was orchestrated here. The first punch came from creating an excellent title. Too many would-be authors do not put enough energy into that title. It's the first element that a literary agent or editor sees when they begin to read your material.

I understand that some authors can't write the proposal without a title. In order not to get stuck, they throw some words on the page for that title and continue to write the rest of the proposal and sample chapter. If you follow this procedure, just make sure you circle back to your title and put some thought and attention into it before you send it out for consideration. It will pay off in the long run. Don't assume the publisher is going to title your book. Over and over I have seen a good title carry through the entire title process inside a publishing house. The author is the best person to title the book because they are closest person to the contents.

And the second punch that was delivered this morning? It was the review in Shelf Awareness. As I looked at the page for this book on Amazon, I see that it was also reviewed in Publishers Weekly (scroll down because it is there). A PW review isn't automatic. In fact, many books are sent to PW which are not reviewed in this trade journal within the publishing community. Yet, if the book is reviewed in Publishers Weekly, Amazon recognizes the importance of that review--and they keep those PW reviews on the top of the book page--forever. Book reviews are a great way to get the word out about your book. Reviews take effort to get out there--and obviously this author and publisher are investing the effort in this book.

Now let's think about your book and your writing. What are you doing today to deliver a one two punch or even a knockout. Are you actively working to tell people about your book? You'd be shocked at the relaxed role authors take with their book after it is released. If your book is still in print (even if it is not brand new), then you need to consciously be telling people about it. For example, my Book Proposals That Sell has been in print for several years. It continues to receive new customer reviews on Amazon and I continue to send out review copies to people who will recommend and talk about the book.

There are many books in the marketplace. Getting attention for any book is a challenge--and does not happen randomly or without planning. Take a few minutes to make a plan then execute your plan in the days ahead. It will pay off.

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3 Comment:

At 1:32 PM, Blogger Kristi Holl Left a note...

I love the title of that book! Definitely a grabber.

I'm working on a marketing plan in my notebook this week, trying to figure out what I do best/worst, like most/least, and how to work it into my schedule on a really REGULAR basis. Judging from my website and blog stats, I need to be doing something pretty much every day. Take a week off to travel, and you really see a difference! I was surprised how much. I almost need a separate marketing schedule, or I'll never get it all worked in.
Kristi Holl
Writer's First Aid blog

At 2:44 PM, Blogger Avily Jerome Left a note...

Creating a good title is SO much easier said than done!

How do you condense an entire plot into just a few words that captivate someone enough to make them take a second look?

Kristi- I can't imagine how much work it must be to create an entire marketing schedule! I'm just starting to get the hang of blogging... :) Keep up the good work, and good luck with getting it all in!

At 4:48 PM, Blogger Krista Phillips Left a note...

Ohhh, so all about the title!

I did the whole working title thing when I started. It really did help.

My working title was "Out of the Blue". No reason for it, just because I was hoping my title would come to me out of the blue. Ha!

It was that for about half the book. Then I changed it to "Beauty and the Bachelor" Again, I knew this wasn't the final title, but at least it had something to do with my book!

Currently, my title is now LOL and that is what I'm pitching it as. I have mixed emotions about the title, on one hand I love it but I had an agent say it was awful, so I'm now putting on my thinking cap for other ideas.

On the bright note, my title is plastered all over the Internet so that can't be a bad thing! LOL (see, there it is again!)

And I LOVE the title of that book... I saw it at first and the customer service freak in me about hyperventilated. I now have to read the book to see what he means!


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