You: The Marketing Machine

First off, if you don’t read anything else this weekend, read this article from the Washington Post. It doesn’t say much that we haven’t already discussed on this and other publishing blogs. But I think (for many of you) it will confirm what you’ve already heard: Yes, it’s a whole new world for authors, and yes, you are your own best marketing team. (Thanks to client Gina R. Dalfonzo for the link.)

That leads me to my questions for today. I want to talk about this new publishing landscape, the one that requires you to be a marketing machine.

Does the requirement to be a marketer have any effect on your desire to be a published author?

If so, what’s the effect? If not, why not?

I look forward to reading your answers. These kinds of questions really help me understand my authors, so thanks for chiming in!

That’s it for today… have a good weekend.

Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Gardner Literary. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!


  1. NitaCabrera on December 29, 2011 at 7:32 PM

    Houses are quite expensive and not every person is able to buy it. But, loans was invented to support people in such kind of situations.

  2. Custom T-shirts on October 19, 2009 at 1:28 AM

    >What a nice blog you have..thanks for all this information

  3. Patricia Erikson on September 28, 2009 at 3:59 PM

    >Years ago, I would have focused only upon writing my novel. Now? I spend time blogging, building cross links, and thinking about web real estate so that (hopefully) when the book is published, I have a launch pad. It's definitely different now.

  4. Sulci Collective on September 28, 2009 at 1:53 AM

    >I can't say I'm thrilled about the development either, but we have to accept the reality. The odds of being accepted through simply submitting unsolicited manuscripts to either agents or publishers are probably the same as trying to get your self-published work to catch fire enough to attract professional attention to you as a writer. ie slim. I tried the submissions route, now I'm taking responsibility for it myself.

    Quite honestly, it is self-indulgent to protest that we are writers only and therefore can't dirty our hands with the marketing side of our trade.

  5. Anonymous on September 27, 2009 at 11:53 PM

    >If I wanted to sell, I'd have gone into sales or marketing.

    I'm into writing and that's what I do best. I have ideas about how to market, but I am not experienced in it. And I fear I will blow it if I'm the only one doing it.

    So I'm not at all happy with this new development.

  6. Sulci Collective on September 27, 2009 at 6:57 PM

    >All of these anxieties about whether we writers are up to a whole new skill set of marketing are entirely understandable.

    BUT firstly if we can't push our own work, then why should we expect others, particularly cash strapped corporations to do it for us? And also, most of the online stuff is just about communicating, which as writers of words seeking to communicate with complete strangers, ie the readers, we should believe we are more than capable of doing.

    I totally understand the point about where is the time to do all this support stuff. But you have to make an investment of self and your time if you're really committed to trying to break into professional writing. An investment of time and energy now, may yield you a book deal and a marketing department placed behind you in the future.

    It is in your hands and no one else's.

  7. Terresa on September 27, 2009 at 6:16 PM

    >For me, it feels a little bit uncomfortable. Like the requirement to be a superhuman author, bestseller plus master marketer. Not only to write *the* book but get to know Oprah personally so she can plug your book. And also blog like crazy to promote your next book (ummm, remind me, in what spare time?).

    But then again, I'm a mom of 4 young kids, trying to write, trying to mother and 1,001 other things, juggling plenty. Maybe it's kind of like that. So maybe I could do it.

  8. Cassandra Frear on September 27, 2009 at 10:03 AM


    I have been thinking a lot about your post and the article. I understand that the business aspect of publishing means that we must be practical and we must promote our work. But this issue remains a very challenging one for me personally. The ongoing responsibility of marketing and promoting books while writing and editing them is nearly overwhelming. I have considered walking away from writing, more than once, because of it.

    That was, until I found my way through it. I realized that if I tap into my passion for communicating with and helping others, then I can enjoy each aspect of the process as something that has its own significant value. This helps me greatly.

    For example, if I write a blog that serves and helps others, if I lead seminars that genuinely minister truth and grace, if every place I inhabit is a place where God's life light pours through me, however simply, then THAT is something I can embrace.

    The idea of selling myself as an author is not appealing at all. But communicating, serving, helping, encouraging, attending to the mission of being an ambassador for Christ? Now that's worthwhile.

    What I have realized is that these goals can overlap. In this way, as authors, we can promote our writing, "not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord" (Ephesians 6)

    This is a life worth living. For me, it makes all the difference.

    With your kind permission, I would like to link to your post on my blog, The Moon Boat Cafe, and invite my readers to respond.

  9. Lynnette Bonner on September 27, 2009 at 12:46 AM

    >I have to say that I agree with Jill a couple comments up. I just had a book come out at the end of July and I've been trying to do alot of marketing and it is exhausting! Trying to fit marketing in among all the other responsibilities of life and work and church and family is no picnic.

    Still, would I do it all again? Yes. And I will continue to try my best to market this book and again in 2010 with the release of book two.

    But I'd rather just write.

  10. Anonymous on September 27, 2009 at 12:30 AM

    >If you do all the work like the lady in the Washington Post; you'd maybe be better off self publishing. All the books she has sold would make her far, far richer self publishing rather than letting a publisher make most of the money from all HER work.

  11. Stephanie Shott on September 26, 2009 at 9:36 PM

    >Since my first book is coming out next year and I am completely new to the world of writing and publishing, I had no preconceived ideas about what to expect from a publisher. That means the new norm is already norm to me.
    I'm thankful that many years ago I worked in the advertising industry. I developed marketing campaigns and sold print advertising, so I often think in terms of marketing. The only problem is, the market has changed dramatically in the last 20 years. Marketing concepts basically remain unchanged, however, the methods of achieving a successful marketing plan is completely different. I have a lot to learn about how to strategically plan a marketing campaign and then execute that plan in todays new world of high tech, social networking, internet marketing.
    I'm thankful for those who so willingly offer their advice and expertise about writing, publishing and marketing. Thanks, Rachelle, for your online lessons in the world of writing and publishing.

  12. tiffany marie on September 26, 2009 at 10:58 AM

    >I like the idea! So no, it has no effect on my desire to be a published author because I love blogging and vlogging, and I think networking on your own terms makes it more personal not to mention it forces you to develop relationships with people you may not have otherwise- this could prove to be super beneficial! And on top of all that the end results have the potential of being much sweeter knowing I worked so hard to get it to the place it's at…rather than relying on someone else.
    I like! I like!

  13. Anonymous on September 26, 2009 at 10:50 AM

    >If its up to the writer to promote and market their own book, THEN, WHAT DOES THE PUBLISHER DO? Just have the book printed? This sounds stupid to me.

  14. Rick Barry on September 26, 2009 at 10:36 AM

    >Does the requirement to be a marketer affect my desire to be a published author?

    As I transition from short stories and YA novels to novels for adults, the new emphasis on marketing certainly affects me. It does NOT diminish my God-given zeal for the art of wordsmithing and crafting creative tales. But the reality is that most writers are not full-timers. They do something else to earn a living, and they scrape together minutes for writing in the morning, or during lunch, or before bed. Finding writing time can be challenging, and when we receive the added responsibility of being our own chief marketer, then time spent learning and employing modern marketing techniques must gouge deeply into the available minutes of a day. Something will suffer–either the amount of wordage an author can produce per week, or else the intrinsic quality of the writing. And while the analogy isn't perfect, I can't help recalling the Jews in Exodus who were ordered to find their own straw and stubble with which to make bricks, while maintaining the previous high production quotas. 😉

    Of course, the Internet does offer unprecedented opportunities to reach potential fans, which is exciting. But the flip side is that no one can predict for sure which efforts will touch people just right to attract mass attention. For example, the success of Disney's High School Musical shot far higher than Disney originally dreamed. But other highly promoted movies (and books) can still languish with few fans. You just never know…

  15. Jill Williamson on September 26, 2009 at 10:24 AM

    >I knew this coming in and I tried (and continue to try) to do all this and more. It's exhausting. I don't have enough hours in the day to do all I know I should be doing and write the sequel and be a mom and wife/youth pastor's wife. So, I am a bit frustrated. I plug along and trust that God has a plan and that someday I'll reap in songs of joy, but for now, I'm tired! What really keeps me going is my love for teens and the occasional emails from them that say, "I loved your book, when is book two coming out?"

    Wish I had her numbers, though. Nice.

  16. Anonymous on September 26, 2009 at 10:22 AM

    >The article uses a memoir as an example. Self-marketing is more applicable when it comes to non-fiction, not fiction novels.

    Jeff Gerke says it best regarding marketing, "what you can do as an individual is kind of pathetic compared to what the publisher could do."

    Writers should write; Publishers should market! Some of these so-called trends are a bit ridiculous and the discussions surrounding them make them self-fulfilling.

    Again, this makes more sense for non-fiction, not fiction.

  17. Marie on September 26, 2009 at 10:17 AM

    >I'm fortunate enough to work for an ad agency, so actually the thought of marketing my own book makes me want to do it *more*! 🙂

  18. Sharon Ball on September 26, 2009 at 9:01 AM

    >Rachelle, thank you for sharing the article. As someone who's spent years in sales, I'm thankfull that these publishing trends are right up my alley. The key, of course, is still in writing a good book, but once that objective is accomplished, the sales and marketing phase is not at all frightening to me.

  19. Dr. David and Lisa Frisbie on September 26, 2009 at 7:00 AM

    >We're teaching this weekend at our San Diego Christian Writers Guild Fall Conference. At last night's roundtable discussion, more than half the questions were on exactly this topic: MARKETING.

    Are you willing to help your books succeed? Since readers aren't exactly looking for you — are you willing to get busy, get out there, and look for readers?

    Writing a book is the BEGINNING of the process, not the end.

  20. sarah on September 25, 2009 at 8:02 PM

    >if God has called me to write and He promises to guide me – then I will trust Him in opening the right doors. That outlook prevents me from becoming bogged down. I ran my own business and it's success was because I prayed, trusted, did the footwork to the best of my ability and He made the connections.

  21. K.A. Dawn on September 25, 2009 at 7:33 PM

    >Having to market doesn't discourage me – I'm actually looking forward to it. It will be a new challenge for me – one that I am ready to meet head on.

    I'm already starting, as well. I'm reading books about marketing, got a blog, and Twitter. So far I have 50 followers on Twitter and eight followers on my blog. It's not a lot, but I'm happy with my progress so far. I'm confident that when my book is published that I'll be able to get a pretty good marketing campaign going with the help of my friends all across the county.

    ~ Katherine Anne

  22. Donna Frank on September 25, 2009 at 5:16 PM

    >I tell people that if they are able to NOT write, they should put down their pencils and go enjoy life. I think for some of us, regardless of the market, the odds or the almost certainty of failure, we will continue to write because that what we were made to do.

    I hope to sell many books, over many years for much profit, but whether or not that will happen remains to be seen. I do know that I will continue to write books because I can't NOT write…I try to remember that's a blessing and not a curse 🙂

    The article was a great read; thanks for directing us there. Love your blog!

  23. Kimberlee Conway Ireton on September 25, 2009 at 4:35 PM

    >Hi Rachelle,

    I think that Washington Post article is misleading. The book trailer/book tour/YouTube reading worked for Kelly Corrigan, but for every success story like that, there are probably hundreds of failures—something that Richard Pine (the literary agent from InkWell) points out in the last paragraph of the article.

    My book came out a year ago next month. The advance praise from people like Phyllis Tickle, Keri Wyatt Kent, Jan Johnson, and Gerald Sittser was glowing; the book itself is beautiful to look at, both of which bode well for book sales, right?

    Over the past year, I have set up a website; started blogging; joined Facebook; begun finding blogs like yours that I like and challenged myself to join the conversations taking place there; drummed up a dozen speaking gigs in churches and at MOPS groups; participated in book signings; written articles for my hometown newspaper and nationally-circulated magazines and journals; and swallowed my fear to give half a dozen radio interviews across the country.

    With a designer friend, I created a postcard with a few snippets of advance praise, a short book summary, and a color photo of my book’s cover, which I sent to church libraries, Christian camp bookstores, and denominational and parachurch organizations. I gave over 50 books to friends around the US in exchange for their writing one review of my book on Amazon or another large online retailer and another for their church or MOPS newsletter.

    My advance for this book was $3000, paid over the course of two years. At the time of my contract, my son was three, my daughter, three months. That $3000 paid for childcare so I could write the book. These promotional efforts have been out of my husband’s hard-earned salary.

    And yet—my book sales have been “sluggish” (to use my editor’s kind euphemism), and I have not earned back my advance. There is more I could do, of course—there is always more. But I hesitate to spend more money and more time when my efforts so far have had such lackluster results. Writing another book seems a much better use of my time and energy. Your front list sells your backlist, after all.

    The trouble is—this book’s sluggish sales mean my publisher is (understandably) thinking twice about working with me again. Any other publisher will have similar reservations.

    So just because an author goes gangbusters on the marketing doesn’t mean it will pay. It might, but it might not. Luck, as Mr. Pine points out in the Post article, has a lot to do with it, too.

  24. Sulci Collective on September 25, 2009 at 3:55 PM

    >My MC is a woman, with a voice tinctured by fags and alcohol, all 3 of which I score badly on being a teetotal non-smoking male. I'm getting an actress friend to do the voiceover on my vids.

    They are readings, not film versions that have to be faithful to the script. The words must remain the prime draw. Having said that, if you're proposing to have it on YouTube, you have to ask what visuals are you going to do to keep the viewer interested long enough to hear the words? I look on these videos as akin to pop videos – the visuals give a story that is linked to the song, but has its own inner logic. yet the important thing remains the 3 minutes of music. same thing with the reading.

    As to looks, my experimental first stabs at the form, have me covering up my face behind balaclava/bandages/hoody & stocking so I eliminated that particular issue. No one wants to view a paunchy middle aged man reading from an MS, no matter how good the writing…

  25. Rose McCauley on September 25, 2009 at 3:51 PM

    >Great article! As an unpubbed writer, I have participated in my friends' booksingings and had a blast! Even tho my friend writes romance, when I saw a burly guy come in the door I approached him about buying a copy for his wife/sweetheart! I do think it is easier to brag on someone else than myself so I think I would take my hubby and a friend or two along if possible, altho, as someone else said we are the best ones to answer any questions about the story since we wrote it!

    I have several things going for me in setting up booksigning all over. 1) all the friends I have made in ACFW–I could contact some of them for multiple author signings in various cities, 2) I am retired and my hubby is semi-retired with no kids at home, so we could travel to do this and 3) we can stay in other Christian's homes for a nominal fee as members of a bed and breakfast club we are in (

    I do have a website and blogsite. I have been involved with MOPS for over 11 years as a speaker, mentor and Moppet worker, so am developing a platform with that group that would fit in well with the gentle small town stories I write.

    So, this info excites me rather than upsets me. Bring it on!

  26. MisterChris on September 25, 2009 at 3:36 PM

    >I have to respond to Cassandra here – the MC in my series starts OUT with a speech impediment. So, if I do a reading (Which I certainly will do) I'm going to have to st-st-stutter my way through a s-sample chapter anyway.

    As far as a reading, wonder if an audio sample read by a good friend wouldn't help, if you have an impediment.

    As far as looks go, I don't know where to go with that one. The trailer I just watched had very little footage of the author herself… Just some idea of what her book was about, and an introduction to her family.

    But you make an interesting point. Authors aren't always photogenic, but they may write an incredible story.

    I'm reminded of the stereotypical agoraphobic writer in Nim's Island… Living vicariously through her MC.

  27. Sulci Collective on September 25, 2009 at 3:21 PM

    >ChrisB – I don't like marketing, anymore than anonymous does. But the nature of the publishing market beast means we are more likely to have to do it ourselves.

    Yes I'm not a marketing person by temperament or training, but I'm creative and I know my book and where I'm targeting it. two basic building blocks. Yes ultimately my book may fail due to my inability to market it properly, but how am I going to distinguish that from it failing because there wasn't a readership for it anyway?

  28. S. Melville on September 25, 2009 at 3:20 PM

    >The prospect of marketing my own book is empowering and thrilling. I'm looking forward to it very much. And it takes a lot of worry out of it — someone who doesn't know my book as well as I do won't be running around miss-marketing it.

  29. Anonymous on September 25, 2009 at 3:08 PM

    >I'll never be a published author. Why? Because I don't think I'll ever be a published author. I fail before I even try. I also really don't like people and social stuff. If I could market my book without ever having to meet a person face to face – then yes, I could do that. But somehow I don't think that's how it works. Publishing is so old fashioned, you have to go to conferences and signings and cr*p. Not my thing.

    So, the whole marketing thing is just another slap in the face with a cold pike for me. I agree with whoever asked if being a poor marketer automatically makes you a poor writer? It just feels more impossible from my point of view. I think I'll stick to feeding my writing desk drawers with pages.

  30. ChrisB on September 25, 2009 at 3:07 PM

    >"Does the requirement to be a marketer have any effect on your desire to be a published author?"

    Yes, negatively. If I wanted to do, or thought I was any good at, marketing, I'd be in marketing.

    Next thing you know, the publishers will want the writers to do a shift in the print shop.

  31. Sulci Collective on September 25, 2009 at 3:00 PM

    >With the shrinking lists and conservative choices of publishers in the current economic climate, how can an unknown expect for these corporations to invest effort and money in an unknown?

    So if we're not prepared to put the effort in to market ourselves, how can we expect anyone else to do so. Whether establishing a fanbase has any sway over agents and publishers I couldn't tell you – and currently Independent Authors is involved in a heated discussion on her blog on this very topic – but it can't do any harm.

    So video readings, blogs, website, free samples on bookbuzzr, maybe podcast readings, has to be the way to go. The majority of it is free as well, which is handy if you're paying to be self-published.

  32. lynnrush on September 25, 2009 at 2:33 PM

    >Whoa. That article was good. She was a marketing machine, indeed.

    I could only hope to be that inspired. If I get the chance to be published one day, I would love the marketing part because what author doesn't like to talk about writing and of course, their book. Right?

    I'm not deluded enough to think it'll be easy…I'm envisioning more of what the article said about crashing on friends' couches as I travel.

    As long as God's driving the car while I'm out and about, then I can't go wrong. 🙂

    Great post! Have a nice weekend.

  33. Lily on September 25, 2009 at 2:27 PM

    >I'm a newbie, and haven't arrived at that point yet; but, to me, I am thrilled to think about it. I want the whole shebang! Yes, just sitting here, typing away, letting my imagine flow into my WIP is my love. I still would love to be involved in every aspect of publishing and selling my book.

  34. Erika Robuck on September 25, 2009 at 2:19 PM

    >To me, it seems like a natural extension of writing. If I'm not excited to share my book with others, how can a publisher be expected to sell my book? I wouldn't send my child off to school, wave goodbye, and let the school handle the rest.

  35. Sarah on September 25, 2009 at 2:19 PM

    >It doesn't have an effect on whether or not I *want* to be a published author, but I am actually excited by the prospect of marketing and self-promoting… but then I'm a bit of an oddity. I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering and chose to make the 1/2 salary switch to copywriting because I enjoy it so much more!

    I love going out and talking to people I don't know about something I believe in.

    Hm, an oddity indeed. A social engineer and writer. I'm busting all kinds of stereotypes.

  36. Crystal Posey on September 25, 2009 at 2:15 PM

    >Absolutely, yes! When people ask me if I have or want to be published I feel like running in the other direction for reasons just like this. While I am fascinated with the concept of agents, writers, editors, publishers, and all thats involved in publishing, I'm not sure I'm cut out for it.

    For me, sharing my writing is like standing in the middle of time square naked. Marketing that writing? You've just asked me to stop standing there with my bare arse showing and walk the streets willingly asking people, to not only stare at me in all my glory, but to share me with everyone they know.

    It. Is. Terrifying.

    I love writing. I love reading and learning about everything to do with the literary world, but being an author is a job. It is a big decision and something that if you want to go for it, it really is all or nothing.

    Thankfully we have people like you to teach us that.

  37. Liz Rios on September 25, 2009 at 2:08 PM

    >I don't think it has any effect on me. Of course, ideally we would want someone else to be the big "pusher" but I feel I have had to have this role in almost everything I've been involved with i.e. pastoring (letting people know about my church), ministry (letting people know about my ministry to women and personally (letting people know about my hubby and I's micro-franchise business ( so I HAVE to be a marketing machine. When I EVER GET THIS BOOK written its for my love of the people writing it and my love of writing my heart so I assume it won't be too hard to market it, although of course there is no guarantee masses will want to read it.

  38. Sam on September 25, 2009 at 1:54 PM

    >Steve discussed the way I see this, which is a parallel shift as to what happened within the music industry. Music moved a little faster because it's a more easily digestible medium, but, well, that's how that goes.

    I think it's really exciting, actually. It keeps the voice of the advertising more natural and organic, because it remains the author's voice as printed in the novel.

    A novel I've written is my baby. I can discuss the themes, the characters, the locations, as if the whole thing were written on the back of my hand. With the proliferation of the Internet and personal computers, it makes sense that authors will have to sell the work more to get noticed.

    One thing I'm interested in is a serial approach. I don't know of many authors / publishers attempting this, but I think it could make sense to sell portions of books online (in a locked PDF or something) for small bucks. Like 50 pages for a dollar or two. Thus, the initial investment is cheap (you're not shelling out $30 for a hardcover you've only heard is good), and coming back for more remains cheap. You'd have to make new content regular, of course, like a television show. Maybe that doesn't appeal to authors, who prefer hours of crafting.

    Anyone have any thoughts about that system?

  39. Gray Rinehart on September 25, 2009 at 1:43 PM

    >My 1st book did "okay" in a niche market with a tiny marketing effort. I learned enough from that experience that if I get someone to take any of my current books — NF or novel — I'll do all I can to get them in front of people.

    I look at it this way: the book is a new business, and new businesses require more effort on the owner's part than on anyone else's.

  40. pj schnyder on September 25, 2009 at 1:31 PM

    >In my case, it doesn't have an effect on my desire to be a published author so much as it has several effects on the way I do research or prepare for the hoped for milestone.

    The requirement to be a marketer means additional research on my part, as well as more complex time management. I don't mind at all, but will have to plan out how I use my time carefully to ensure that I can do it all efficiently to good effect and still manage to keep my day job. 😉

    Heck, it's in the plan to combine day job business trips with marketing endeavors if/when I do get published.

  41. J.L. Martin on September 25, 2009 at 1:25 PM

    >To be honest, the thought of marketing myself and a book makes me want to stick knives in my eyes. But I'm coming to terms with it.

    They key I think for me, has been to start slowly while I'm writing. Setting up a blog and a twitter account has been a good way to gradually immerse myself in the world of self promotion.

    I've also find Hope Clark's book The Shy Writer to be very helpful. It seems it is possible to be yourself and promote a book at the same time.

    Alright, back to quiet and the darkness of the writing hut for me.

  42. Cassandra on September 25, 2009 at 12:29 PM

    >Can we look at a different angle? Leaving aside whether you like or loathe the idea of advertising yourself, what if you're just no good at it?

    We all know that being young and telegenic can get you a lot of attention, even if there's not much behind the facade. But what if you're not young (especially if you're female), not great-looking, can't afford orthodontia, have a speech impediment, lack charisma in front of a crowd, or otherwise just don't have much media potential, even if your book's fantastic?

    Does this mean, if authors are now to be expected to gather the straw as well as make the bricks, that only those with personal star quality will be considered seriously by agents and publishers?

    I do hope not …

  43. Joanne Sher on September 25, 2009 at 12:14 PM

    >I really do like the IDEA of marketing my book, and it certainly doesn't decrease my desire to get published. My main concern being able to do it. With a sick husband and two elementary-aged children, time is so very precious. I'm sure when the time comes, though, I'll "make the time," just as I have to write.

  44. L.H. Parker on September 25, 2009 at 12:11 PM

    >I'd have to say no. If anything, I think that having control over how I'd like to market myself would be exciting (i.e. Costume release parties, anyone?). Not only that, I'm already use to promoting my own library programs and it'd be nice to put some of the PR skills I learned in college to use.

  45. Rachel Menard on September 25, 2009 at 11:54 AM

    >My primary occupation is in marketing, so I am almost as excited to promote my book as I am to publish it. It will be much more satisfying to use my talents to promote my own product rather than someone else's.

  46. JaxPop on September 25, 2009 at 11:26 AM

    >First time commenting here – had to weigh in –

    The 'requirement' had no impact on my desire but a lot to do with my decision on pub method. Knowing I would have to do promo regardless, decided to handle the whole enchilada. Downside is distribution, but that's off-topic.

    Laura had a great point – the 2nd book helps the 1st. I enjoy book signings (I write clean fiction for kids & have a wacky set up of props) but I've spent only $300 on promo to date. I wanted to see how the 1st sold before kicking it up ($) a notch. Now that the 2nd is almost ready, I'll move forward with a website to go along with my blog (plus some other 'stuff')

    Online promo is fine – constantly selling, not so much. Same w/ blogs. Better to try for reader & writer entertainment rather than running an infomercial (IMHO).

    Promotion, book signings, library readings, classroom stuff – all a blast – once that first wave of nausea fades. Have fun with it, just understand up front that sales will mirror the promotion effort.

  47. Reesha on September 25, 2009 at 11:10 AM

    >To be honest I'm really excited to promote my own book. I appreciate having more control over how the book is presented to people.
    I never really wanted to get into sales, but this is different. I'm selling a product I know from the heart and believe in. (And I better believe in it, otherwise why did I write it?)
    I'm very happy to be writing in these times as opposed to in the past.
    This whole lean, mean, marketing internet machine totally fits me.

    I know it will be hard and there will be obstacles. But not any more so than any other path I would take.

  48. Liesl on September 25, 2009 at 10:46 AM

    >I've known this for a while and to be honest it really intimidates me. When it comes to putting myself out there I'm not very proactive and I would be lying if I said it has not affected my thoughts on wanting to be a published writer.

    But at the core of all this there is the writing and I love it. I'm still determined and I am coming to terms with the fact that I will have to overcome my fears and market my own work. Every job, no matter how much you love it, has its difficulties and undesirable tasks. With the help of my business savvy husband I'm already brainstorming ideas.

  49. Melanie Dickerson on September 25, 2009 at 10:16 AM

    >I've accepted the whole marketing yourself thing. I enjoy telling people about other authors' books I've loved, so why not tell people about mine? It actually seems kind of fun to me.

    I can see how it would be frustrating to have to keep marketing books when what you really want to do is write, but I'm just looking forward to the day I'll have that dilemma.

  50. Nicole O'Dell on September 25, 2009 at 10:05 AM

    >Funny, I posted about this article today too.

    To be honest, I didn't know this part before I signed up to be an author. I might have balked at it had I truly known what would be expected of me if I continued on.

    But, that being said, as I've gotten deeper and deeper into the marketing and publicity angles of publishing, I've found that I really love it. It intrigues me. I love trying a new tactic like a facebook ad or a direct email blast and then watching to see what happens to my website traffic and amazon rankings. If I were a mathematician–which I most certainly am not–I'd come up with some algorithim or something to explain it.

    Another thing is that I find it interesting to have something in the pipeline at every stage. I have books released that I'm promoting, books getting ready to release that I'm promoting and editing, books under contract that are being written, and books that are proposed for the future that I'm still fleshing out in my mind. It sure keeps things interesting and it helps with the promotion of one project if you know where you're going with the next one. IMO.

  51. Christina Adams on September 25, 2009 at 10:00 AM

    >I have come to accept that a writer needs to market their book, but deciding how to market is difficult.

  52. Cliff Graham on September 25, 2009 at 9:54 AM

    >This is such an important point for authors to remember, because the more marketing we do, and the savvier we are with how and where we sell our book determines whether we can put milk in the refrigerator with writing alone.

    Never underestimate the power of marketing your book. It can even get into the hands of Hollywood players, bypassing the fortresses of entertainment agents and gazillions of screenplays, which is what happened with me. I was generous with my author copies and one found its way into the hands of an influential director, who then offered me a significant contract for the rights and has begun development.

    So I am a huge cheerleader for the hard-working writing and marketing author. Thank you, Rachel, for calling it like it is.

  53. Roxane B. Salonen on September 25, 2009 at 9:45 AM

    >It definitely throws in another element to consider. However, I think that most of us who are brave enough to finish a manuscript are also brave enough to dip our toe into this new frontier and at least give it our best shot. It definitely doesn't deter me from writing and believing my work is meant to be shared.

  54. TereLiz on September 25, 2009 at 9:38 AM

    >Isn't this the reason we writers blog and Tweet and network in the first place? I understand that writing the book isn't the end of my job– I'm still trying to get a literary agent, and I know the hard work won't end there. Why would I want to stop working hard to sell myself once I finally get the opportunity to reach a huge market?

    Reading articles about authors like Corrigan actually inspires me to do a better job marketing myself. And I want to get myself out there before my book is released. Book trailers and websites are one thing, but Corrigan got herself out there and physically sold over 2000 copies individually. It seems like a good strategy to spend a huge chunk of your advance (what the irs won't take) on promotion. It paid off in the end for her.

  55. Rachel Starr Thomson on September 25, 2009 at 9:34 AM

    >A big part of me would like to live in a cabin in the mountains and just write; send in manuscripts and collect cheques and have that be that.

    But I'm a lot more okay with marketing than the above attitude would suggest. It has taken a mental adjustment, though: I need to view marketing not as selling myself or my books, but as offering people something of worth. I write in the first place because I have a message or a vision of life that I think is worthwhile; I believe it can spread some truth, give courage and strength, or just make the world a little more beautiful. I write to glorify God. Marketing, then, becomes part of that: it's simply a way to reach out and share the passion that's driving me.

    And that's not so bad :).

  56. Rachel Hauck on September 25, 2009 at 9:19 AM

    >To answer your question, yes. It does concern me I have to be a brilliant author and a savvy marketer. It's not like those things are congruent, and I can easily pen a great novel while devising how to sell said great novel.

    Some writers are marketers by trade — Dekker, up and coming author Jim Rubart.

    Others of us learn along the way. From the beginning, I've been on the popular social media site. I've blogged since 2002. I was one of the first authors on Facebook.

    I've had a YouTube account with "readings" and pitches, even my book trailer for a few years.

    I Twitter and participate in online chatter and conversations. So, according to the Post article, I should have 260,000 copies sold.

    Hmmmm… 😉

    I'm not convinced it's as simple as write a great book, have a marketing venue and you'll sell a ton of books.

    There are authors who sell based on genre alone. Amish anyone? Some don't blog or tweet.

    Some spend years blogging, tweeting, marketing and finally hit with one of their stories.

    I can blog and market all day long but if my book isn't available at stores, or easily accessed, then I won't make a sale.

    For CBA authors, being relegated to the "Religious" fiction shelves gives us an additional hurdle.

    Authors can meet all kinds of people in cyberspace who may want to buy our books, but won't browse over to the B&N religious section. Many CBA retailers have such limited shelf space they can't possible carry all of the published books. So they carry the most popular genres and authors.

    For a sales person, if an author's book only sells 10K, then when the next book releases, the book buyer only wants 10K. If the book is not available, no amount of marketing will help.

    Good problems to have — maybe this is where e-readers will help authors sell more. Easy access to downloadable books where shelf space isn't needed.


  57. Katrina Stonoff on September 25, 2009 at 9:18 AM

    >It makes me more determined. Kind of like a double-dog dare.

    Plus, I really like the idea that I have some control over my own success. In the past, authors were somewhat at the mercy of experts (publishers, marketing people, publicists).

  58. Sarah Forgrave on September 25, 2009 at 9:04 AM

    >The introverted side of me is scared of the idea of "selling myself", but the entrepreneurial side of me is excited at the prospect of a challenge. I love how the internet has opened up avenues, not only for marketing books, but for making friends I never would have met otherwise.

  59. Anne L.B. on September 25, 2009 at 9:03 AM

    >Does this information affect me? Absolutely. I think I must be nuts to do this, because my time is already at a premium.

    "There's so much you can do for free in Web promotion that it's just crazy," says Christopher Jackson, executive editor at Spiegel and Grau.

    My time is not free!


    Like everything else on this publishing pursuit, I cannot be anxious for tomorrow. "Sufficient the cares of today." I'm taking everything one step at a time, trusting the Lord to provide and enable for each step, according to His will for any publication and success.

  60. JEM on September 25, 2009 at 8:59 AM

    >I love the idea that more of the power is in the author's hands, but there definitely needs to be a shift in compensation on the publisher side. If the author is responsible for so many of the sales through their marketing efforts, and they're not getting a higher royalty rate because of it, that's really imbalanced. That royalty rate stands as it does because of internal publisher costs and the cost of middlemen, but if an author is directly responsible, they should see that in an increase in their percentage.
    To be a successful author, you need to view it like a business. If you owned a restaurant and never did anything but sit in your building and hope people come in of their own volition, you'd be lucky to make it past the first week. If you want writing to be your profession, you need to act like a professional!

  61. jimnduncan on September 25, 2009 at 8:57 AM

    >I've recently achieved the dream of getting a book deal for my urban fantasy/suspense novel, while I'm nowhere near publication date (a year a way at least) I've already begun thinking about what I'm going to have to do. The hard thing I see, especially when you read these stories like the one in the Post, is that these success stories are often funded. Corrigan spent 3700 of her own money. It's a little different story if you have some backing to do your own marketing. I don't. I would I suppose if I spend all of my advance, but I can't afford that. I've got bills and family that come first. So, I'll be doing what I can on a few hundred bucks, not a few thousand. What am I looking at? Ways to stand out from the crowd basically. How can I develop a presence, name, and buzz for myself on little money that gets me noticed above the hundreds of other authors who will have books coming out? Not an easy task at all. It's interesting to say the least and daunting as well. I like to think I'm a creative person, and will come up with something, build up a social network, connect with the right folks, etc. to generate some buzz going into the pub date. I look forward to it on the one hand, but certainly do not like the fact that I know it's going to take a lot of time away from writing. While that addage about the best thing a writer can do is to sit their butt in the chair and write another good book is definitely true, balancing that with the needs of generating notice is a challenge, and requires a whole other level of commitment that writers of previous generations didn't face. It certainly doesn't keep me from wanting to be published though. There's almost nothing like it in the world as far as sheer awesomeness.

  62. Marla Taviano on September 25, 2009 at 8:45 AM

    >I've done a 180 since my first book came out. I used to have a marketing phobia. I'm over it.

    Kelly's article would've intimidated me a few years ago. Now, I find it inspiring.

    And, like Katy, I'm married to a web designer. Praise you, Jesus!!

    Thanks, Rachelle!

  63. Anonymous on September 25, 2009 at 8:40 AM

    >I actually love marketing, but as a writer, I'd need to have an encouraging agent and editor to keep reminding me that my work is worth promoting, or I'll end up under a desk, sobbing, feeling exposed and fake. Otherwise, yes, bring it. I can play rock star and summon some confidence from somewhere (depths of my time on stage) and market, market, market. Not a problem. Until the light fades and you're just left with your work and it's mediocrity and you're guilty for perpetrating this fraud.

  64. yarnbuck on September 25, 2009 at 8:34 AM

    >My first effort predated spell check. So marketing can fill that Webster Wrestle time. I was also part of a ministry that went national 20 years ago. We had to come to grips with the need to be as effective at fundraising as we were at the essence of the mission. And initially, we couldn't afford to outsource.

    My second novel was royalty pubbed in '07. The plan included a catalog, lean promo budget and little author hawking. Fidin Dit.

    Now – holding 2 finished ms, and a third in its second trimester, my hope is to spend the better part of 2010 building a platform. If I'm going to get off this Island of the Unknown, gotta build a raft. Praying for God to supply materials, time and a favorable tide.

  65. Timothy Fish on September 25, 2009 at 8:34 AM

    >You betcha. Of course the requirement to market my own stuff as an affect. I’m good at my day job, I enjoy what I do (most of the time) and I’m well compensated for my efforts. I’m also actively involved with my church and our association. I support them with both my time and my money. But I find time to write and have enjoyed doing so. Now you tell me that if I want people to actually read what I write then I have to find time do marketing as well. Where do I find that time? I can’t take it away from writing, or I wouldn’t have anything to market. Can I take it away from the church and the association? That may be fine for some, but not for me. Can I take it away from my day job? Sure, I could, but to do so would be to trade a well paying job for one that pays next to nothing, then add to that the fact that most of that nothing will have to go into the cost of marketing.

    “But it’s a tradeoff,” some might say. Is it? The publishing industry holds out its highly successful authors like a carrot to show us what we can accomplish if market well. But what was the term you used the other day? I think you called it magic fairy dust. We don’t all have a pocket full of magic fairy dust. We aren’t all going to win the publishing lottery. As the old saying goes, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. I don’t have a great desire to take more time and money away from important things to pursue something that has a marginal chance of being more successful than what I am currently doing.

    I don’t mind doing a little marketing, if it isn’t going to take away from more important stuff, but it seems to me that unknown authors are expected to spend a tremendous amount of time doing something that only sometimes produces results. For me, I’ve got to keep first things first.

  66. Matilda McCloud on September 25, 2009 at 8:18 AM

    >I worked in children's book marketing for several years, so the marketing part of publishing a book is something I think about a lot. For my children's nonfiction titles, I did whatever I could think of to promote the titles–websites, sending review copies to teachers, postcards, blog etc etc. I think the idea of video trailers is interesting. The only part that's intimidating to me is the people part (schmoozing, readings, etc), so I would do what one commenter said above and focus on my strengths to promote my book.

  67. Jason on September 25, 2009 at 8:17 AM

    >You mean, am I drawn to the idea of spending my days trying to get a massive number of people thinking more about me and my writing?

    Why yes. I am. 🙂

  68. Laura on September 25, 2009 at 8:11 AM

    >I don't think a trailer or a reading will work for everyone. She had a moving message of hope, survival. And she connected with her audience through her words. Seeing the pictures makes it real. And we all know it could happen to anyone.

    I agree with blogging and personal marketing, it can't be ignored. But I still think its more about what you actually write and word of mouth. I still believe that the best way to sell your first novel is to write the best second novel you can. What the balance is between the two, I don't know b/c I haven't reached that stage yet. I'll let you know when I get there.

  69. Donna Gambale on September 25, 2009 at 7:51 AM

    >It's semi-intimidating to know that so much of your book's success rests in your hands. That doesn't diminish my desire to write and be published, though. Personally, I'm a very driven, competitive person — and I'm a people-person — so I can see myself getting really into promotional aspects.

    One of the reasons I began blogging was to get to know the Internet side of book promotion, especially since YA book bloggers are so generous and do so much to promote authors. That kind of buzz can't be bought!

    But I'm going into the querying phase of this process knowing that, if/when I get published, I'm going all out — blog tours, school visits, book trailers, book playlists, website, blog, bookstore signings & readings, EVERYTHING to prevent my book from dying an early death.

    The article link was great!

  70. Carol Benedict on September 25, 2009 at 7:47 AM

    >I'm not at the point of doing marketing yet, but I'm lookig forward to it as part of the process of writing a book.

    Months ago I saw part of a local tv interview with an author that was so interesting that I signed up to his website and mailing list. I also added his books to my "to read" list, even though I'm usually not interested in the genre he writes in. When the time comes, I hope I can share my enthusiasm for my book in the same way that author did.

  71. Susan Helene Gottfried on September 25, 2009 at 7:42 AM

    >It's definitely affected the way I work and envision my career, yes. I do a LOT less writing than I did during the Grad School days, when it was almost all I did. What's replaced it is networking and platform building.

    I find it frustrating, to be honest. And yet, today I'm a guest at a book blogger's site and get to savor the fruits of my labor: I get to hang with my readers. I get to reiterate why they are so important to me, and I get to remember that the ideal I had in grad school, of staying home and writing, has changed. It's put a face on who I'm writing for.

    That actually helps when I DO sit down to write.

  72. Jim Marr on September 25, 2009 at 7:39 AM

    >I've learned enough in the last couple years of my brief writing journey to know that the marketing depends on the author (mostly from this blog of course). In my case, I've included a fairly significant amount of that help in my custom publishing approach for my memoir. We'll see how it works out with God's guidance. No matter what, I'm sure it will be an adventure. I realize my motivations are much different than most of you because I'm not seeking anything beyond this one story. I won't limit what God might do, but I'm keeping it real. I look forward to the short(?) adventure in marketing the book next year and touching and blessings some readers along the way.

  73. Scott on September 25, 2009 at 7:24 AM

    >Does the requirement to be a marketer have any effect on your desire to be a published author?

    No. I love writing, I want to write, and . . . whatever it takes. If I have to come up with a marketing plan, create blogs, websites, and whatnot, create t-shirts to hand out on street corners, and maybe hire one of those fancy sign twirlers as well.

    If so, what's the effect?

    Does multiple personality disorder count as an effect? No? Then . . . I think the major effect is time away from doing what I want to do most: write. Marketing takes time and effort. Brainstorming ideas to market my book takes away from the time I might be brainstorming on my next brilliant idea. Still, in the end, the book is my baby, and shouldn't I, the author/parent, do everything possible to see that my baby succeeds? Why, yes, I should.

    Great post, and excellent questions. Now I'm off to read the article.

  74. Vonnie on September 25, 2009 at 7:09 AM

    >When I started my book, I didn't even think past the writing part. It scares me so much to have to promote myself, but I've learned so much (thanks to people like you) that I'm feeling more confident that I can do it. I may need to pay for someone to help me do it right. I've come this far, I'm not going to give up. I'm not going turn back now.

  75. Karen Amanda Hooper on September 25, 2009 at 7:07 AM

    >I'd love to market my story. I have passion for it. So the marketing wouldn't feel like work. Plus I can imagine all the amazing people and adventures I'd have along the way.

  76. Katy McKenna on September 25, 2009 at 7:03 AM

    >I gotta admit, I wouldn't be thrilled with this "Internet-Internet-Internet" (as the article says) turn of marketing events if it weren't for the fact that my husband and I own a web-design firm.

    He's a wonderful graphic designer (I have a modicum of design ability, too), with a strong background in corporate video production. He'll be able and happy to produce terrific trailers, when the time comes.

    After nearly 33 years of marriage, it would be great fun if we found ourselves teaming up our talents on something post-child-raising. And now that 2 of our 3 kids have moved out-of-state, I can see us loading the car trunk with books, heading out to see the children, and stopping at shops all along the way–with lots of chocolate in tow for the book buyers, of course!

    I'm getting really excited just thinking about it!

  77. Angie Ledbetter on September 25, 2009 at 6:46 AM

    >Seems as though the writing/story is secondary to the author's ability to sell the product these days. Gotta don the carney hawker's hat…"Step right up, ladies and gents, for the greatest show on earth…"

  78. Katie Ganshert on September 25, 2009 at 6:21 AM

    >I'm going to have to go the Donald Maass route and say I'm filled with inner conflict over this matter.

    I'm at the point in my writing journey where anything and everything about getting published makes me jump around in excitement, marketing included. And since marketing my stuff will help sell my book, I'm all for it. Short of chucking my book at unsuspecting pedestrians, I'm willing to do whatever it takes to promote my book (God-glorifying, of course)

    However, there is this other piece of me, this small part of myself that wants writing to be the romantic endeavor I imagined way back when…before I became informed. The idea of writing vigorously and passionately for hours on end, alone with my tea and my laptop, as ideas and words pour effortlessly from my fingertips is such a romantic thought, isn't it?

    But just because my reality isn't as romantic as I imagined, doesn't mean it's not wonderful. In real life, dreams rarely play out as romantically as we envisioned. This isn't Hollywood.

  79. Buffy Andrews on September 25, 2009 at 6:17 AM

    >As an editor who helps develop new products (magazines, Web sites, books, etc.) for a media corporation, I know how essential marketing is. It doesn't matter how great the book is, if no one knows about the book it won't be read. Marketing and distribution are huge. Telling people about the book and getting it into their hands in whatever way works for them. So, when I get an agent and sell my book, you bet I'm going to want to be involved in as many aspects as I am able. That doesn't mean I want to control the marketing, but I'm certainly eager to be a part of it. Besides, who is more passionate about a work than the author? We need to let that passion work for us. Besides, it's just plain fun. Getting behind something you believe in and sharing it with others and connecting on this level is awesome. Am I making sense?

  80. Sharon A. Lavy on September 25, 2009 at 6:15 AM

    >The article was awesome. I'm happy to see how it worked out for her.

    Thanks for the information.

  81. Robin Archibald on September 25, 2009 at 6:11 AM

    >Do the self-marketing demands diminish my desire to be a published author?

    Well . . . It's going to be a heck of a lot more work. And no, I'd rather not have to do all that to get people interested in my story.

    This I know: I'll have to DEPEND ON my supportive others. I'm an introvert and a homebody. But my husband, a web savvy English prof who likes summer road trips, will not only help me with web apps, but drive me to bookstores, set up my table, and try to get people to notice me. Add to that another couple of professional webmarketing family members, and at least I've got help.

    But first I've got to create the engaging, entertaining characters and story to spill over onto the trailers and the website side stories, and the tweets.

  82. Jessica on September 25, 2009 at 5:37 AM

    >Didn't read the article yet, but no, I don't think it affects my desire to be published. Honestly, things I'm passionate about (Jesus, politics, morality, my writing) are easy for me to yap and yap and yap some more about. LOL People sometimes think I'm quiet, but I can really chatter if I'm not careful.
    I'm kind of excited about marketing. Talking about writing and books is so awesome! I LOVE it!
    Okay, going to read that article now….

  83. Steve on September 25, 2009 at 5:09 AM

    >I can't answer the question directly, as posed, because my experience as a writer is still quite new – a prologue and 3 chapters of a YA novel. So, any thoughts of becoming "published" are far in the future. That being said, it's a very interesting subject to me nonetheless. Interestingly, my novel is about high school students who start a band, and one of the subplots will be how the protagonist uses the insights gained in the "New Media" class she's taking to help promote the band.

    There are many parallels between what is described in the linked article, and the shift in music marketing starting about 5 years ago. Because of that time lag, there might be useful insights for writers in the way the shifts in music marketing have played out. The last of the label-created stars were probably those of the generation of Avril Lavigne. In that model, the relatively unknown but talented musician signs a big-dollar contract with megalabel which then provides full-service image enhancement for the public persona. And a "star" is born.

    That was the point where I became interested in the questions of music marketing and star creation, due to having a young friend who was an aspiring musician, and started studying web resources on the subject.

    What I found was that the landscape was changing even as I attempted to map it. The first noticible shift was that more responsiblity was placed on the band to "build their story" – to become well known locally/regionally and have a pre-existing fan base. Rather than promising to make you popular, the A & R guys (and gals) wanted to find you already becoming popuular on your own.

    Trend 2A & 2B. The Empire Strikes Back.

    The decline of traditional starmaking represented a decisive victory for decentralized media. But the old school centralized outlets (Network TV, etc.) were not to be counted out of the game yet. The first noticible trend was an attempt to leverage the name recognition of performers who were already well-known from other entertainment contexts. This had mixed results. Jessica Simpson of MTV Nick & Jesica fame could at least sing. But she doesn't seem to have had enduring star quality. Her sister Ashlee could not sing. Nor could Hilary Duff. Pre-existing name recognition without underlying musical talent seems to have been a losing proposition. And then some unknown person(s) had a stroke of pure inspiration. Turn starmaking from a cost center into a profit center – and American Idol was born.

    The key elements that make it work, IMO, are talent screening at the entry level, reality-show drama in the competition phase, and mass-based fan participation in the decisions.

    In writing, we appear to still be at the beginning of the "build your story" stage. But what if the parallel developments between the two industries held solid? Imagine a reality TV show (or website, or youtube series, or whatever). Call it "America's Next Best-Seller". Have judges, eliminations, drama, personality, audience participation. The whole nine yards. Grab Stephen King and Cory Doctorow as judges. Find some big name critic with good stage presence as the "Simon Cowell" character. Promise publishing contracts to the winner(s).

    Okay – this is blatant fantasy. I have no idea if it could work or not. But fun to speculate, no?

    Meanwhile, those who have finished books, get out and "build your stories".


  84. Marshall Buckley on September 25, 2009 at 4:51 AM

    >Self-publicity isn't something I've been looking forward to, but the more I've been reading, the more it seems to be something that's expected.

    Like many writers, I'd guess, I'm not actually that big on talking about myself – especially not to strangers – but I figured I ought to start practicing.

    So, prompted by Nicola Morgan, I have publicised my blog at work, on the pretence of a good cause. (There is a good cause attached, but it's the shameless plug that has driven it).

    It's a small start, but we have to start somewhere.

  85. Ellen B on September 25, 2009 at 3:29 AM

    >Firstly, as I'm just finishing my first draft of my first novel, I really hope that this becomes an issue for me someday 🙂

    Secondly, I'm absolutely delighted that web-marketing is taking off in such a big way for one reason – I live in Ireland. It's a small (but rather lovely) country and if I ever got a book published, I'd quite like it to sell in other, bigger countries as well. However, these other bigger countries can be expensive to fly to and expensive to get around, which may not represent a good investment of resources (mine or a potential future publisher's). Also, there is the issue of how much time I could afford to take off work to self-promote.

    The idea of having to self-promote is scary. But if I must do it, I like the fact I can do at least some of it without location becoming an issue.

  86. Lydia Sharp on September 25, 2009 at 3:19 AM

    >I would do everything that Kelly Corrigan did in a heartbeat, but I may be in the minority because I enjoy the marketing/publicity side of things.

    What a smart woman. Seriously. If anyone didn't go to her website and/or watch her videos after reading that article, DO IT NOW. And take notes.

  87. Nicola Morgan on September 25, 2009 at 3:04 AM

    >Hi Rachelle
    I came to this post mainly because I am just about to blog about author self-promotion/marketing. V useful article you flagged up – that author sounds like a star! I What I'm going to be saying is that a) yes, the more you can do, the better [within reason, because some authors get way too pushy and it becomes self-defeating] but that b) we shouldn't panic or become paranoid: if we did all the things possible, we'd never have time to write. Also, what the author in the article did couldn't work for everyone – we have to find our own way, depending on our own personality, life and book. I think the key is to pick a few things that we can personally do well, and focus on those, not expecting trumpets to sound immediately. Getting "out there" can be a scary thing to do but gets easier. If anyone's interested, i'll be blogging from the UK perspective in the next few days on (Hope you don't mind my promoting myself in that way…!)

  88. Marsha Moore on September 25, 2009 at 2:04 AM

    >Thanks for linking to the article, Rachelle! It was an interesting read.

    I have a book (non-fiction travel guide) coming out in the UK, Ireland, Australia and NZ in a month's time. I am seriously about to lose my head with all this marketing stuff!

    I have a publihser (very helpful, but also very busy), but no agent. So, the marketing falls to me. I used to be in PR so I already have a head start, but I'm discovering it's a lot harder to flog yourself than it is some other generic product!

    I knew marketing would play a big part in selling books. I'm prepared to do everything I can to get my book out there. But I'm not sure I realized how much of my time it would take! It feels like this book is my baby. I even wake up in the middle of the night with marketing ideas!

    And I'm sure I'll be engaging in some 'book busking' outside Tube and train stations.

    So – no, the marketing aspect didn't put me off wanting to get published. And it won't put me off for the future (if I ever get back to writing after all this time spent marketing!).

  89. Tee on September 25, 2009 at 1:52 AM

    >I'm in marketing/PR by day, but I'll be honest and say that while I'd give anyone else who might market it a good game, the idea of working the remains of my butt off to peddle my own book (after I've just worked most it off for months/years writing it, revising it, editing it and then shopping it around to the people who'll eventually take part in its revenue – a chunk of which was once upon a time also earmarked for marketing) doesn't live up to the ideal I've had of being a novelist since my first published story (Highlights Mag!) planted that seed as a kid. I'm old school, I'd rather be far away working on my next book and leave the marketing to the publishing house.

    But it is what it is, and hey, if I worked it into a bestseller I'd have a hell of a PR success story to tempt potential clients with.

  90. Andrew on September 25, 2009 at 1:10 AM

    >Talk about a Freudian slip…I wanted to say that I hope the book gets a look from someone (agent or publisher)…

    …and I said, I hope it gets a LOOT…

    Well, that too. Night, y'all.

  91. Andrew on September 25, 2009 at 1:08 AM

    >I really wanted the myth to be true…I write the book, and can do a JD Salinger…disappear and the money rolls in.

    Well. Now for reality. I don't have an agent or a publisher, but I do have a website for the book. I was kind of sneaky, in that the website also supports my 'night job' of custom aircraft welding, but it seems that some folks who want me to weld for them are visiting the book page, and downloading the first few chapters. There's been a recent spike of page visits, so who knows…

    This might be the Redneck Marketing Machine in action.

    I never wanted to go the marketing and website route, but I've learned a lot, and I am glad I did. I hope the book gets a loot from SOMEONE, but I believe in the darn thing and I will push it as hard as I have to, this way and other ways.

    And as long as I am open to the new learning and experiences, I suspect I will have fun doing it!