When, and if, a publisher does actually market an author`s book they will often promote it to whom THEY feel is the market for the book, rather than the target audience of the specific author (who usually has a good idea of who will buy the offering). The traditional resources for marketing just any book may not work for a very specific topic.
As part of the contractual agreement with the publisher of my first book, I was to provide them with the names of 50 editors and reviewers to whom they send copies - and then they didn`t send out the review copies. I couldn`t understand why my local (and statewide) newspaper hadn`t mentioned the book or contacted me about it - especially after I had contacted them to introduce myself and let the book editor know a copy would be coming his way. They had never received the requested copy. The publisher`s marketing department said they had sent books to all on my list. A quick email to all on my editor/reviewer list revealed that about 90% of them had never been sent a book.
Other authors working with the same publisher had warned me about having to do a lot of marketing myself - but what occurred was ridiculous. After I "tattled" on the head of the marketing department things started happening fast - but a little too late for many publications no longer considering the book a "new release."
One major advantage of working with a traditional publishing house is the availability of a possible advertising budget. My publisher did feature my book in large print ads in publications specific to my industry. When the ads hit the newstands, book sales did increase.
The publisher was very pro-active in getting the book placed in all major bookstores, on all Internet bookseller sites and through independent bookstore networks. My current book
, which is being published by the same publisher, (my original contract gave them first right of refusal on a second book) will not be released until October and Amazon (and other sites) have been offering pre-sales for about eight months now. It`s certainly a good way for a publisher to determine interest in a book prior to actual printing.
My initial book did result in the publisher coordinating a couple speaking engagements. For the most part it was my responsible, as the author, to plan and schedule the speaking engagements I made at conferences, business networking events, universities, high schools, advertising federation meetings and elsewhere. The majority of such activities were paid appearances. One book signing event was scheduled by the publisher at a major international conference for my industry. I`m already lining up speaking engagements and appearances throughout 2008 at this point.
I also coordinated any excepts from the book in national magazines and on various websites. Interviews resulting from the release of the book were due to my initiating contact with the publication or website.
In addition, with the release of my first book, I had purchased the URL (savvydesigner.com) most likely to be used in association with the title - and it directed people to the website of my business. Many authors I know have actually created websites for their own books - I may do so with my new book. The fact that, 2.5+ years after publication, a Google search for "savvy designer" creates good search results is in large part due to my own efforts, rather than those of my publisher.
My own blog, bLog-oMotives
, the use of Amazon`s AmazonConnect
, Amazon`s ListMania
feature, sites such as Bookcatcher
, links to books in my online signatures, participation in online forums/communities and other resources are all things I`ve made use of in the past and will use again with the release of my new book. (Here`s a link
to a previous SuN thread on a related topic.)
While the experience of my first book was at times frustrating, it was a great learning experience. I also learned what to ask for (or demand) in contract negotiations with publishers. My second book experience has been much more enjoyable. I have four other publishers now wanting to work on future book projects and I am much better prepared for the opportunities.
Jeff Fisher | Jeff Fisher LogoMotives
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