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Author Promotions and what works

Got a question/comment about the business of writing or about the publishing industry? Here's your place to post it!
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Misfit
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Author Promotions and what works

Post by Misfit » Wed December 8th, 2010, 7:22 pm

Interesting post and comments over at Dear Author today.
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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Wed December 8th, 2010, 7:49 pm

Interesting. And exhausting. Here I am slaving away to craft a story that will hold a reader in the face of all the other temptations and competition for her time, and now I have to become expert at all this too?

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Wed December 8th, 2010, 7:57 pm

[quote=""MLE""]Interesting. And exhausting. Here I am slaving away to craft a story that will hold a reader in the face of all the other temptations and competition for her time, and now I have to become expert at all this too?[/quote]

Yes. You. Do. ;)

IMHO I would say you're better off learning what not to do, if that makes any sense.
At home with a good book and the cat...
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fljustice
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Post by fljustice » Wed December 8th, 2010, 9:03 pm

[quote=""MLE""]Interesting. And exhausting.[/quote]

Makes me tired, just reading about it!
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Michy
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Post by Michy » Wed December 8th, 2010, 9:45 pm

Outside of self-pubs, why would an author have to self-promote their own books? Isn't that one of the things that publishers and booksellers get paid to do?

Or, are the authors this is talking about self-published, and I just missed that part? :p

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Divia
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Post by Divia » Wed December 8th, 2010, 10:20 pm

I thought the authors on here promote their books as well. I mean they do blog tours n stuff. Isn't that taking their own time to promote?

Maybe I'm wrong.
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boswellbaxter
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Post by boswellbaxter » Wed December 8th, 2010, 10:23 pm

[quote=""Michy""]Outside of self-pubs, why would an author have to self-promote their own books? Isn't that one of the things that publishers and booksellers get paid to do?

Or, are the authors this is talking about self-published, and I just missed that part? :p [/quote]

I think most of the Amazon spammers are self-published, but traditionally published authors are expected to take more of a role in promoting their books than they were in the past, so you'll see them joining in the Amazon antics from time to time (as well as engaging in reputable promotional tactics such as blogging, etc.).

There's one big-publishing-house author on Goodreads who comments every time someone marks one of his books as "to be read." He must devote at least two or three hours per week to doing this. Gives me a "I'm watching you" feeling myself, enough to dissuade me from reading his books.
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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Wed December 8th, 2010, 10:51 pm

[quote=""Michy""]Outside of self-pubs, why would an author have to self-promote their own books? Isn't that one of the things that publishers and booksellers get paid to do?

Or, are the authors this is talking about self-published, and I just missed that part? :p [/quote]

From all I've heard, only the big hitters get promotional budgets. The rest usually plow their own advances into producing trailers, hiring publicists, and whatever else it takes to attract attention. And if they manage a tour that involves travel, they pay their own way.

That's why writing isn't a business very many authors actually eat on. One source says fewer than 10% of traditionally multi-published writers can support themselves that way--they need a working spouse or a day job. Right up there with musicians, not quite so bad as sculptors.

If it was about an hourly wage, you'd make more as a greeter at Wal-Mart.

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SarahWoodbury
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Post by SarahWoodbury » Wed December 8th, 2010, 11:58 pm

The big publishing houses do less and less for an author unless they are a big name. All those front and center spots at the big bookstores are paid for by the publisher, and if you, as an author, don't get them to do that, your book is spine out in the racks. The same for promotion in catalogs for libraries. I know many authors who pay out of pocket for their own publicist because they have no choice if their book is going to sell. Why a publisher would pay (and sometimes pay a ton of money) for a book they're not going to promote is beyond me, but they do it all the time.

Many authors, if their advance was enough so they could afford to quit their day job, spend the morning writing and the afternoon on marketing, just to survive.

That's why authors like JA Konrath are going entirely self-published and making far more money than when they were with a publishing house. They were doing all the work anyway . . . now, with that route you lose editing (though publishers are doing less and less of that too) and you don't get in bookstores if you're self-published because traditional publishers still have a monopoly on that (in the US anyway).

The world's a'changing. Not sure where this is all going to end . . .

I'd be interested to know what the experience of some of the authors on this thread is . . .

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Thu December 9th, 2010, 12:04 am

The same for promotion in catalogs for libraries.
This might be the topic for a new thread, but I've always wondered how the libraries make decisions on which books to purchase. Nine out of ten purchase requests I make they do buy, but occasionally I've been turned down with the "not professionally reviewed" excuse. Just who are those professional reviewers anyway?
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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