Are you writing a book?
Have you thought about how you are going to get published yet?
Penelope Trunk has a useful article on her website about why she’s not going with a mainstream publisher.
This article just KILLED ME. She really socked it to those publishers!
She says, in her blog post,
“Three months before the publication date, the PR department called me up to “coordinate our efforts.” But really, their call was just about giving me a list of what I was going to do to publicize the book. I asked them what they were going to do. They had no idea. Seriously. They did not have a written plan, or any list, and when I pushed one of the people on this first call to give me examples of what the publishers would do to promote my book, she said “newsgroups.”
I assumed I was misunderstanding. I said, “You mean like newsgroups from the early 90s? Those newsgroups? USENET?”
“Who is part of newsgroups anymore?”
“We actually have really good lists because we have been working with them for so long.”
“People in newsgroups buy books? You are marketing my book through newsgroups?”
I’m not going to go through the whole conversation, okay? Because the person was taken off my book before the next phone call.
At the next phone call, I asked again about how they were going to publicize my book. I told them that I’m happy to do it on my blog, but I already know I can sell tons of books by writing about my book on my blog. So they need to tell me how they are going to sell tons of books.
“What? Where are you selling books on LinkedIn?”
“One of the things we do is build buzz on our fan page.”
I went ballistic. There is no publishing industry fan page that is good enough to sell books. No one goes to fan pages for publishers because publishers are not household brand names. The authors are. That’s how publishing works.“
So if you’re looking to gain a following for your new book, take a page from this experience.
Quite probably, any publisher you go after will want you to have your own audience. And they’ll want you to do all of the marketing for your book yourself. So, at that point, why not self publish? You will get more money over time than if you had gone with a big publisher.
She put together four new rules for publishing.
1. Self-published books are the new business card. It’s a way to remember someone and also know what’s interesting about them.
2. Nonfiction writers write books to get something else—speaking gigs, consulting gigs, a steady flow of job offers. Books are good for a lot of things, but direct sales from a book are rarely a way to support a life.
3. Book sales are about community. If you have a community of people who listen to you via blog posts, then you have a community of people who will be interested to know how you put a bigger idea together in a book.
4. Book sales are about search engine marketing. The only markets that exist on the Internet are search terms. If no one searches for xyz, no one will land on a page that sells xyz. You can only sell what people are looking for.
Speaking from personal experience, with my first book, people are excited about it, most people they meet have never written a book. And even if they never open it, they will have it on their shelf and it will be something to remind them that you exist. Case in point. This month I called a person who I wanted to network with. The previous year, when my book came out, I sent her a free copy. And as I started to introduce myself, figuring that she wouldn’t remember me, she said,
“Oh Mazarine! Of course I remember you! I have your book on my shelf! I really like your book!”
And I said, “Wow, thank you, that just made my day!”
And then we met up and we talked about what I could present on for her conference.
So I hope you’ve taken from my vignette that nobody asks you who you published with. At least, that has happened to me exactly once, of the hundreds of people that I’ve shown my book to/presented to.
My first book has sold all over the world because of the work that I’ve done to promote it, and incidentally, promote myself. I’ve made thousands of dollars because of my promotion of my book, but it’s certainly not my only or best income stream. I’ve also got webinars, speaking engagements, ebook sales, and other eproducts, as well as coaching.
If you’re thinking of writing a book, what are YOU doing to promote it? Would you like a series of posts just on how to promote your book online?