Archive for September, 2009

Publication Day – The Most Disappointing Day Of Your Life?

September 26, 2009

I was chatting to a senior commissioning editor at a publishing house this week.

“What we really should be telling authors is that the day their book comes out will probably be one of the most disappointing days of their life,” he said.

Why – when publication  considered is the ‘pinnacle’ of success for so many writers?

Sadly, for many authors, publication is a huge anti-climax.

Amidst all the hype about getting a book published, this is something that’s rarely talked about openly.

This is because many authors, when they hand over their manuscript, also hand over responsibility for marketing and PR of their book.

They may be hoping for lots of reviews in mainstream media or a flurry of readings. But these don’t always materialize.

Too often these days, I hear from disillusioned authors who feel that their editor or agent has done “next-to-nothing” to publicize their book.

Or they don’t like the marketing angle or the ‘genre’ chosen by the marketing team.

The solution? Take matters into your own hands at least three months before publication date.

Compile a list of people to send review copies to. Write your own press release and get interviews on national and local media.

Leave posts about your book on relevant forums. If you haven’t done it already, contact celebrities to get endorsements for your book.

Learn as much about marketing and PR as you can – and apply it. Write a blog. Set up your own newsletter. Organise a virtual book tour.

Give away sample chapters or free reports to mailing lists that are likely to be interested in your subject matter.

In short, create hype and excitement in the run-up to your launch.

Your book is your baby. No-one else is going to love it, nurture it, or cherish it as much as you are.

Never leave the responsibility for promoting your book in someone else’s hands, even if they are a mainstream publishing house.

Make sure your publication date is a day of excitement and celebration – the big event it deserves to be.

Writing a book does not end with its publication – this is exactly when the hard work begins!

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Writers – Don’t Do It!!!

September 2, 2009

I just HAD to write this blog as it concerns a publishing ruse all writers should be aware of.

I certainly wasn’t aware of this before now… so I’m sure it will catch some of you by surprise too.

I have to say that I nearly fell off my chair when I heard about it.

A first-time novelist has just sent their book to what they thought was a publishing house.  The publisher told them their book wasn’t of a high enough standard for their list. However,  it was suitable for self-publishing with their sister company… At a cost of… drum roll… £10K for just over 100 books.

£10K folks! Are they mad? Do they really think writers will fall for this ruse. Obviously not all that mad, because the writer who told me about this was considering paying this sum.

Please, please, please do your research before considering anything so drastic.  Most publishing houses are charging in the region of £2.5K per 1000 books. That’s around £2.50 per book. If you want a smaller print run, then you’ll be paying even less.

It’s easy to feel disheartened and crushed when you’ve had one too many rejections. Yes, you can feel like you’re never going to reach your goal. But there really is no need to go reaching for your credit card when you’re offered a ‘solution’ that costs £10K. This just reeks to me of manipulation.

If you’re having no luck getting your book published, then learn about marketing, get a mentor, rewrite your book, have someone check over your pitch.  Look at independent publishing houses or take a SERIOUS look at self-publishing.

Self-publishing is NOT – most definitely not a ‘second best’ these days. For someone of an entrepreneurial mindset, it can actually be a better option than a mainstream publisher.

But NOT when you are paying £10K for a handful of books. That is vanity publishing not self-publishing. You and your book deserve far better than this.