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!