Book Promotion is NOT an Afterthought of Publishing

I’ve met hundreds of authors over the years—some of them come to me for advice. And often the author has grandiose ideas about world-wide exposure for their children’s book, novel, memoir, or informational book through national TV, the NYT bestseller list, and so forth.

There’s nothing wrong with this. In fact, authors should set lofty goals for the projects they’ve worked so hard on. But it is an extremely rare author who experiences this sort of success. Those who do have seven things in common. Does this describe you?

  • You’re a celebrity in your own right.
  • Your book features a major celebrity or an event that has garnered world-wide attention.
  • You’ve taken the time to understand the publishing industry and what it takes to promote a book in this highly competitive field.
  • You’ve devised an extensive and workable marketing plan.
  • You have the time and some funding with which to implement your plan.
  • You have important connections in the marketing field (you’re friends with Ellen Degeneres, Oprah, or the president) or in the topic of their book.
  • You have the personality and make-up to create and execute the promotions that will reach and attract your particular audience.

Most new authors can relate to only a few of these points. To you, I advise taking one step at a time in order to reach your goal. Here’s a checklist to get you started:

  • Study the publishing industry—in particular what it takes to promote a book.
  • Once you have a better understanding of the marketing aspects of publishing, devise a realistic plan.
  • For most new authors, I suggest starting locally to learn what works and what doesn’t.
  • Use the Internet to locate organizations and individuals who can help you reach your primary audience.
  • Open your imagination to the max in order to discover and create marketing opportunities both online and in person.
  • Never stop studying about book promotion–subscribe to newsletters, follow blogs, read books…

Perhaps you can see now that book promotion is not an afterthought of publishing. It’s easy to get published. Opportunities are everywhere. But it takes a specific awareness, comprehension, knowledge, and a great deal of energy to successfully promote a book. And it starts with knowing who your audience is—not who you think should read your book, but who will benefit from reading it—who wants to read it—who will be excited and pleased to find your book. Keep this in mind while writing your book and while marketing it.

For a greater understanding of book promotion and for tons of ideas, case histories, etc., read, Promote Your Book, Over 250 Proven, Low-cost Tips and Techniques for the Enterprising Author.

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