Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Beyond Writing: Getting Your Book Noticed

Here's how we authors typically think: We have this wonderful story to tell. We stretch our minds and our schedules, and we spend years weaving that story into a polished manuscript. Finally, five drafts later, it's the best it can be, and we're proud of it. The hard work is done, we tell ourselves.

Now all we have to do is find a publisher. We join the throngs of writers seeking the same dream and discover it's a long, arduous journey. But we persist. And we succeed. We find that publisher and we toast to our good luck.
The hard work is done.

Not even close. It's just beginning. The story we tell ourselves about writing and publishing needs to be stretched to accommodate today's reality.
In real estate the adage is:
location - location - location
In book sales it's: promotion - promotion - promotion

Authors today have to be 100% ready and willing to market their work. Like the blogs before this one, I can't say it enough: promotion is the backbone of book sales. Without it, your wonderful story will sit on the shelf, read only by your mother and a handful of good friends. We have to partner with our publisher every day in big and small ways if we want to find our readers. No divas allowed!

Promotion can be simple, but it needs to be consistent. And there are so many ideas for you to choose from. Start small and build. For instance, I have very professional bookmarks and I hand them out to everyone all the time. I pay my restaurant bill, the server gets my bookmark with the tip; I see a woman reading in the doctor's office and I offer her a bookmark. Every time I make a purchase, the cashier gets a bookmark. You get the idea. This gives me a chance to talk with potential readers and they're excited about meeting an author. I order 2500 bookmarks at a time - and they get used! Include them in every bill and piece of mail you send out. Here's a great site for professional printing at great price:
http://www.onlineprinthouse.com/printing.nsf/main?openform&org==oph

All the best,
Patricia Sheehy, author
Field of Destiny - Veil of Illusion - Giving with Meaning
http://www.psheehy.com

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