Hey, Anna Banana, Angela is right!
If you write it, they will NOT come…unless you promote it.
This cautionary advice to “Anna Banana” in BookLocker publisher Angela Hoy’s recent WritersWeekly post really hit home. Where real estate agents tout Location, Location, Location, successful writers know that Promotion, Promotion, Promotion is the best way to get their books into the hands of readers.
Visions of sugarplums dance in the heads of novice writers. Hollywood has left them with the fantasy picture of authors being sent on lavish press tours where adoring fans line up at the signing table and where the writer is hounded by eager reporters just waiting to churn out glowing reviews of this soon-to-be bestseller.
Well, all you wannabe Steven Kings and JK Rowlings out there, welcome to the cold, cruel world of book writing. One of my favorite characters on the old Bob Newhart show was “Mad Dog” – the terminally shy door-to-door salesman who would stand at the front door of a house for five minutes without knocking or ringing the bell and, if no one happened to open the door, he’d leave. That’s what inexperienced authors do when they are, as Angela put it, too egotistical, lazy, or apathetic to promote their books.
This harsh reality tapped me on the shoulder a number of years ago. The successful publication by Booklocker.com of my first book led to an offer from a traditional publisher for my next effort.
A literal wake-up call came from the person in charge of shipping books from the traditional publisher’s warehouse. She asked me if the publisher owed me and my wife, also an author, any royalties. When I told her there was an outstanding amount of $20,000, she replied: “Well, you’d better make an arrangement with them because they just laid me off and I’m the only person in the warehouse!”
A quick call to the publisher resulted in an agreement where they would send me $20,000 worth of our books to cancel the debt. I had just finished stacking myriad boxes of them in our garage when word came that the publishing company had closed its doors.
My next step was heading out on a promotional binge to recoup the money owed to us. I contacted every service club I could think of, and offered to give free readings of my books at their regular meetings. All I asked was that, at the end of the session, they set up a table and chair where I could sell our books to their members.
I did the same with as many other organizations as I could think of that invited guest speakers to their gatherings – universities, colleges, and veterans’ associations (a number of my books have a military theme). If they met regularly, and invited speakers, I was there with a stack of books and pen in hand.
I also made deals with bookstores in malls where I would sit at a table outside their outlet with a homemade but professional-looking sign to catch the eyes of passersby. I would split the cover price of the book with the shop owner – something I was able to do because I owned the books outright.
It took many months, and many miles on the family automobile, but I eventually sold all of my books, also putting a sizable dent in the stash of my wife’s novels so that we could start parking the car again in our garage. And, along the way, I met so many interesting people! What had seemed like a daunting chore at the outset turned out to be a wonderful experience.
Whether you’re selling books, or widgets, or the world’s first authentic hair-restoring tonic, you’ve gotta be in it to win it! If Hollywood star Bette Davis really did say that old age ain’t for sissies, then it’s equally true that writing – and selling – books ain’t for sloths.
- If You’re Not Going to Promote Your Book, Why Did You Even WRITE It?
- How to Get Social Media Influencers to Promote Your Book
- Billboards – A Different Way to Promote Your Book(s)
- Post-Pandemic Positive: There are Now TWO Ways to Promote Your Book to Groups! – by Sandy Lindberg
- How to Get Video and Podcast Interviews to Promote Your Book! – by KM Robinson
Tom Douglas is a best-selling Canadian author whose first book was published by Booklocker.com. He lives in Oakville, Ontario.
90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy
Promoting your book online should be considered at least a part-time job. Highly successful authors spend more time promoting a book than they do writing it - a lot more.
We know what you're thinking. You're an author, not a marketer. Not to worry! We have more than a decade of successful online book selling experience under our belts and we're going to teach you how to promote your book effectively online...and almost all of our techniques are FREE!
Online book promotion is not only simple but, if you have a step-by-step, day-to-day marketing plan (this book!), it can also be a very artistic endeavor, which makes it fun for creative folks like you!
Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90...and beyond!
The Fearless Freelancer: How to Thrive in a Recession
Want to Recession-Proof Your Freelance Business?
Freelancing in a recession doesn’t have to be scary. The Fearless Freelancer gives you a proven, step-by-step process for getting steady, high-paying clients—from a freelancer who’s thrived during two recessions.
Whether this is your first recession or you’ve been through this before, discover how to:
- Boost your confidence so you can stay calm and focus
- Stand out in a sea of freelancers so clients choose you
- Make freelance marketing as easy as tying your shoes
- Find high-paying clients that still need freelancers now
- Create marketing that will attract those clients
- Succeed in a recession even if you’re a new freelancer
Free Bonus Content
Also get dozens of checklists, templates, and other tools to help you recession-proof your freelance business, including:
- Simple Strategic Plan for Surviving the Recession
- The Ultimate LinkedIn Profile Checklist for Freelancers
- Awesome Freelance Website Template
So, You Wanna Be a Ghostwriter - How To Make Money Writing Without a Byline
Many freelance writers find it difficult to break into the publishing world. What they don't know, however, is that there's a faster and easier way to see their words in print. It's called ghostwriting, and it's an extremely lucrative, fun, and challenging career.
But how do you get started as a ghostwriter? How do you find new clients who will pay you to write their material? How do you charge? And what kind of contracts do you need to succeed? All these questions and more are answered in So, You Wanna Be a Ghostwriter...How to Make Money Writing Without a Byline.
Read more here:
7.625 STRATEGIES IN EVERY BEST-SELLER - Revised and Expanded Edition
At this moment, thousands of would-be authors are slaving away on their keyboards, dreaming of literary success. But their efforts won’t count for much. Of all those manuscripts, trade book editors will sign up only a slim fraction.
And of those titles--ones that that editors paid thousands of dollars to contract, print and publicize--an unhealthy percentage never sell enough copies to earn back their advances. Two years later, most will be out of print!
Acquisition Editor Tam Mossman shares seven essentials every book needs to stay in print, and sell!
Read more here:
Yes we do well to listen to Angela Hoy on all matters writing and publishing.