Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Advertising and Publicity

They're the necessary evil. Sure, the best way to get the words out about your book is by word of mouth, or reviews in major trade journals such as Kirkus, Publisher Weekly or the New York Times, but chances of a book by a small press being picked up is kind of depressing.

So what's the author to do? Well, he needs to publicize, advertise, and promote. It's not cheap, and it's time-consuming. But if you want to have some control of your success, you've got to make some investment.

For example, I just purchased some advertising at ForeWord Magazine. It's definitely not cheap, and there's no guarantee of success. But if I don't throw my book out there, who will? Just hope that my book's striking titile and cover and intersting premise would entice someone.

Sending press kits and ARCs to media is not cheap either, and again, there's not guarantee that they would even mention the book, and even if they do, there's no guarantee that people will take note and buy the book. I'm still new to this business and I seriously don't know what makes people buy books. Is it the cover? Is it the synopsis? First chapter? Word of mouth? Does advertising and publicity actually work? I have no idea. But I'll darned if I don't do it. Like the old cliche goes: you can't win if you don't play.

I'm currently having a pre-release promotion. Check it out.

I also know I'll have to devote the next few months, or even years, in promoting the book. I strongly believe in it and I think people will really enjoy it once they give it a chance, and I'll be darned if I don't push it myself. Who's going to do that for me? Nobody, except myself. I don't like being a salesman -- I am a writer, not a business person, and sometimes I wish I were with a big house with a $$$$$$ marketing machine and I wouldn't have to do any work. But that ain't going to happen so I'd better get on with it.

Hopefully, I would still have the creative motivation to finish writing my second book, which, I think, is even a better story than the first <---- shameless plug here.

I'm going to be sending press kits and advance copies to all the local media. Hopefully, someone will bite.

Wish me luck.


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