Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Writing Versus Marketing and Promoting for Authors


By Susan Reichert, Editor-in-Chief for Southern Writers Magazine


There are many reasons to self-publish, not the least of which is finding a traditional publisher. However, because of self-publishing large increases of books are being put into the market. 

According to Bowker, “Those who intend to self-publish most often plan to bring fiction to market, followed by inspirational or spiritual works, books for children and biographies. The majority cite finding a traditional publisher as an obstacle. They also feel challenged by marketing – a hurdle that becomes bigger with increasing numbers of books in the market.”

Bowker also said, “A new analysis of U.S. ISBN data by ProQuest affiliate Bowker reveals that the number of self-published titles in 2012 jumped to more than 391,000, up 59 percent over 2011. Obviously, 2013’s count will be higher what with Smashwords and CreateSpace.

“Ebooks continue to gain on print, comprising 40 percent of the ISBNs that were self-published in 2012, up from just 11 percent in 2007”, per Bowker. When the totals are tallied for 2013 that percent will be much higher.

What we’ve known all along…the more books published the bigger the need for marketing grows to promote these books. It has become center stage. Although the majority of authors recognize the need for promoting and marketing their books, the problem becomes how.

Authors find themselves in a business…marketing and promoting business. If you love to write and are busy creating novels do you really want to worry about how to market and promote the books? No. I can truthfully say, the majority of authors would much rather not have to fool with the business side.

But market and promote they must if their books are going to get noticed and bought by readers–it is necessary simply because of the sheer multitude of books available.

Authors now have to find ways to market and promote. They know they need Social Media and before long, they find they’re spending most of their marketing and promoting time on these venues. While an author must be on Social Media, it isn’t necessary to spend hours and hours and cut into time that is needed in other areas of marketing. Don’t be lulled into using Social Media for anything more than a tool to keep your name out and to talk about your book. There are interesting topics that can come from an author’s book. Yes, authors have to create relationships, and in order to do that they have to show some personal side of themselves but it should not become their  new socializing network…it is the author’s business network. The secret is finding a balance.

Many authors are now recognizing the importance of making comments on the blogs of others. Why? Because their name and book title get noticed and exposed to new readers. When authors comment on someone’s blog, it should always end it with their name, author of book title and or titles –at least two or three titles. Always.

Not all authors have a big budget for advertising. Nevertheless, most authors can afford to spend something on advertising. Become affiliated with…join…participate…let others help promote your books. That is what networking is. Authors don’t have to do this by themselves.

The most important thing for any author is to keep their name out there…they are the product. 
Authors are selling themselves. Book titles change with every book but the author’s name is always the same.



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