As authors, we tend to want things our way. We want to write what we want to write and present it to our public in a fashion that suits us. Do you know any other business where you can do that and survive?
I heard it again yesterday—“I know someone who is an amazing writer. She came out with a book, but she doesn’t want to bother with promoting it. She just wants to do what she does best—write. So how does my friend get her book out there?”
It’s almost an oxymoron—you write to be read, but you don’t want to tell anyone about your book. You want your readership to know you, but you don’t want to know them. You don’t want to reach out to them. You have this fantasy that they will find your book among the millions of others without your help. Something is very wrong with this picture.
Personality sells books, I tell you. Readers, today, want a relationship with the author. In fact, they rarely know a book exists until the author or a friend tells them about it. How does the author get word out? Through public appearances, meeting people at book festivals, submitting articles/stories to appropriate publications, having an Internet presence—in other words, showing up where his audience congregates, where he hangs out on the Internet and in what he reads.
And when should this author introduction begin? As soon as you know you are going to write a book. In fact, you can start the process by blogging. Use Twitter to invite people who are interested in your topic/genre to your blog. Also write articles/stories for the publications your audience reads. Build a website featuring your book sometime before your book is a book. Continue to build an amazing email list and use it to create an interested audience for your enewsletters, for example. Connect in some way with established websites related to your subject/genre. Participate in popular forums and discussion groups within that realm.
What you want, dear author, doesn’t matter. Authorship is sort of like parenthood. You may want a baby for you. But once the child is here, it is all about him/her. Likewise, you may want to enjoy the process of writing a book and dream of selling millions to interested readers everywhere. But once the book is born, it becomes all about your audience. That’s where you must focus your energies and creativity.
Prepare mentally for this reality. Start the process of becoming known in your field/genre. Begin, now, developing a readership.
For serious assistance with the process of becoming a successful author in a horrendously competitive and difficult publishing industry, read my latest book: Publish Your Book, Proven Strategies and Resources for the Enterprising Author.
http://www.matilijapress.com Also available at amazon.com and most other online and downtown bookstores.