Reality Check on Publishers’ Dismal Marketing Efforts By M.J Rose

It’s a sad but true fact. Authors need to learn some marketing basics because publishing houses don’t do enough PR for all but their biggest or hottest books.

Last week, one of the students in our Create a Buzz Plan class and I had a half hour phone call (which is offered to all Buzz students now) to do some more brainstorming. During the call he told me what was going on with his book. He’d landed a traditional contract and received a $175K advance. But, his publisher was doing nothing to get the word out. Absolutely nothing.

Oh, wait. They had offered to send out 50 advanced reading copies. (For a $175K advance, one should hope for 1500 or 2000.) When he told his editor he was doing some marketing on his own, she got confused and told him that was the publisher’s job.

“Right,” he said. “But you aren’t doing your job.”

The point of this reality check is that it’s not all rosy out there in the traditional publishing world and we writers need to understand that if we don’t market our books, all too many times, no one is going to do it for us.

We all know that even the best, nicest, kindest, smartest publicist at the finest and best publishing house has too many books to handle in too short a time for every book to get equal treatment.

No one likes to admit it but publishing houses push some books and let others slide.

Any published author should understand that there is a way to become a marketing partner with his or her publisher and that there is a lot an author can do to get buzz, regardless of what the publisher is or isn’t doing.

That’s what we teach in our class, but whether you take our class or not, you have to understand that this is the new reality of the business we are in. Some of the new things authors can do to get buzz is find bloggers who write about subjects that fit the subject of your book. Write to the blogger and ask if they’d like a review copy or if they’d even let you be a guest blogger. I did that in July, on about seven blogs, and it was a terrific effort that reached several hundred thousand readers.

Another fairly new effort is to find a group of other writers, who all write books that have some compatibility, and go on a tour together. Find a band and join up with them.

For every book, there is a unique opportunity to promote and get buzz. Sometimes, it’s just not what you think it might be.

M.J. Rose is the author of The Halo Effect and the co-author of Buzz your Book. – and she teaches Create A Buzz plan without Guesswork. Registration is open now and there are spots still open.