From the pen of Gail Sattler
For this month my topic is promotion. Just how much promo is an author expected, and needing to do? I can say that the answer varies depending on your history and genre, but despite that, the answer is that an author needs to do more promo than in years gone by. When I first started writing, pretty much all I had to do was write the book.
But things are different today. Especially with bookstores closing down all over the continent, and with the explosion of e-book readers at a reasonable price, the author must be ready to catch a morphing readership.
A decade ago, very few people had e-book readers. For those who did, they were very expensive, and the quality of the books for e-readers was questionable. I'm not saying there weren't good e-books out there, but it wasn't like it is today. Today most famous and popular authors are selling e-books, either through their traditional publisher, or many have decided to try self-publishing.
And, with so many authors self-publishing in addition to the many authors with DTB's (dead tree books) and e-books, the market is overwhelming.
How does one get their book noticed, and purchased by people who aren't on their Friends list?
That, unfortunately, is a question that is impossible to answer. Different promotional efforts work for different people at different times. Unfortunately, most authors are doing the same things, and even though they are good things - getting their name and book titles in the eye of the public both in print and e-media, there are just so many that most get buried.
The only way to be successful is to be where your target market audience will find you.
That means, first you need to find out who exactly is your target market audience.
If you are writing for young adult, your marketing attempts will not work at senior citizen events. Although hopefully some seniors would buy your book for their grandchildren.
Before you spend your time, and more importantly, your money, on advertising efforts and venues, ask yourself, who exactly are you writing for, and where will they be looking so you can tell them about your book?
If you're not sure where to start, put the situation in reverse. When you are looking for a book, knowing the genre you read, where do you start looking? If you read the same genre you write, then that's the first place you should do your own promotion. The place you look when you're wanting to find a new and exciting author is the place you should start your own efforts.
Gail Sattler is a well known author with 30 books published with Barbour, Harlequin, Abingdon Press, and B&H.
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