The business, work, job, if you will, of writing is writing, but that is not the same as the business of selling, promoting, getting your book in the reader’s hands.
I love to write, but I hate promoting, selling or even talking about my books, but it is something I have to do.
Some years ago I saw an ad that said, “The business side of running your church.” They charged plenty for a two-day seminar and there are publicists who for $100 to $1000 an hour will publicize your book and probably generate sales. But if you don’t have that kind of money then you have to understand that there is a business side to any profession including any art profession. That is why singers, actors, bands etc. have business managers. In addition to writing novels you have to be a business manager.
This promoting side of writing is a new experience for me and I will probably make a lot of mistakes, but I will share those mistakes, and any successes, with you so you can avoid the things that didn’t work and concentrate only on what appears to be working.
In the last post I talked about how you have to see your writing as a job. You are an employee with certain responsibilities. Now that you have a couple of books written, and found a publisher who thinks enough of your writing to bring your book to life, then it is up to you to keep the book that was birthed alive; nourish it with sales and help it grow into a good (dare I say, “best”) seller.
In order to do that the boss part of me, and the employee part of me, have come to an agreement. For the next few months I will spend only 2 hours writing every day and five hours studying how to let the throngs of eager masses yearning to read a good book hear about, and then buy, one of my books. The employee part of me was not particularly happy with that, but the boss me pointed out it had to be done.
The first things the publisher tells you about promoting your book is: 1 – get on Facebook (did that), 2 – get a blog site (did that-you’re reading it), 3 – get a website (I shall have that up shortly), get business cards (got them). Then there is the advice about getting reviewers, running contest, sample chapters etc. etc. etc. I will do all those things, and let you know how they turn out, but those are things to do after the book is available and my first book won’t be available in print and electronically until the middle of September.
So I’ve come up with a long-term advertising campaign. Now some of you know I do pottery. My mugs and bowls sell fairly well, and more than that it is relaxing and it is great to create something and see it completed in a relatively short length of time compared to writing a book.
I was having a great day at studio trimming a bunch of coffee mugs and putting the handles on them and was about to sign them and it dawned on me that all my bowls, platters, mugs, vases etc. could be part of an advertising campaign. Now instead of signing my name on the bottom of a piece, I put the website address. It’s not much of a site now, but that’s OK, it’s still being put together.
Now that may not be as effective a billboard on the highway or a poster on the bus, but it costs a lot less and look at is this way. Every time someone washes a bowl of mine and puts it in the drain they will see my site address. When someone drains their cup of coffee the person across the table will see www.paulsbooks.net Furthermore it didn’t cost me anything. In fact they paid me to remind them to go see what is new on my site.
Look around you. Do you have a hobby you can utilize to promote your book?
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