Writing, whether full-time or part-time, is a business. One part of the business of writing is promotion of novels and non-fiction books, because without sales, there are no sales, no income.
Authors need to promote their books. Even with the backing of a major publisher, books will not put themselves on bookstore shelves or in the hands of readers. Publicists can help, but unless an author is already well known, he is usually on the bottom of the priority list. Self-published books and books-printed-on-demand sales depend entirely on the efforts of the author to be recognized and sold. However, authors can do several things so that their books will be noticed.
The first thing before publicizing and promoting a book is to write a book of high quality and relevance, one that will grab a reader’s attention and keep it from the beginning to the last page. Then work to get the word out about the book.
Two things that need to happen come before the book is printed: Do not have a comb-bound or saddle-stitched book and be sure to have an International Standard Book Number (ISBN), preferably with a bar code on the back cover. Bookstores will be more interested in stocking, at least on consignment, books meeting those two requirements.
Be sure you book is listed on Books In Print, which can be done by filling out the Advance Book Information form (ABI) if the publisher doesn’t take care of that important step.
Go to independent book stores and offer a few copies on your book or books on consignment. Visit with the managers/owners, ask if you can have a book signing, offer to host a promotion that would include your book.
Spread the word. Send copies to book reviewers for newspapers in your geographical area. Contact local television and radio stations. Do something that will gain publicity for yourself and use that as a springboard to gain publicity for your book.
Take part in local activities for authors. The Historical Society of my town has a reception and signing for local authors. I will take part this year.
Enter your book in contests. The two books that I helped edit and write in 2005 were entered in the state book awards. Whether they place or not, publicity is generated for me and my co-authors.
According to Carolyn See, a reviewer for The Washington Post, making contact with editors and print editors at conferences, book festivals, and publishing parties creates a process that helps you and your books become well-known. (Bharti Kirchner, The Writer October 2005)
The one person most interested in the success of a book is the author. Therefore, you are the one who should be working hardest to tell others about the book and to drum up sales.
1. The Writer, September 2005 and October 2005
2. Writer’s Digest, December 2005
3. ByLine, January 2006
Vivian Gilbert Zabel taught English, composition, and creative writing for years after a career in the business world. This article has been submitted in affiliation with http://www.Facimile.Com/ which is a site for Fax Machines . Her portfolio is found at http://www.Writing.Com/authors/vzabel She has books on Amazon.com or at Barnes and Noble: Hidden Lies and Other Stories and Walking the Earth.