by: Joelle Charbonneau
Content and copy edits have been done. A cover has been designed. First pass pages have been checked and jacket copy has been approved. Advance reader copies have been created. In a few weeks, the manuscript that once only existed in my computer will actually arrive at my door and be held in my hands. From here on out, there is nothing I can do to change the content of the book so I should be able to kick back and relax, right?
Thing is, as Jamie Freveletti mentioned in her guest post earlier this week, authors are expected to go out and promote their book. Yikes. Not that I shrink from promotion. I’ve had to do the promo thing a number of times during my performing career. Heck, one Christmas morning I was at a television station at 6 a.m. so I could get into costume and makeup and sing high Cs for the holiday audience. Getting up in front of people and performing like a trained monkey is something I do best. (Yep…I just set myself up for a lot of banana and opposable thumb jokes…have at it.) The thing is, as I’ve been looking over PR options, I have to wonder – does any of it really work?
I am a huge reader. I buy dozens, sometimes hundreds of books in a year. (Yes Mom, I know the library would let me check them out for free – but I love them.) Looking at all the books in my house, I realize that I am the person I’m trying to market my book to. The problem is, I’ve never bought a book solely based on an ad, a tweet, an interview or a guest blog post. Yikes. Those are all things that we as authors are supposed to be doing to make our books successful.
The more I think about it, the more I realize that most of my new-to-me author purchases are based on trusted recommendations, the occasional newspaper review or because I thumbed through the book in a bookstore. Crap. People have to have read your book in order to recommend it. Major newspapers don’t spend much time reviewing the unknown newbie and bookstores often need to see proof that your book has had some commercial success before they stock it.
Yep. The law of averages says if everyone I the book buying world is like me – I’m screwed. Then again, maybe I’m not. How do you find the books you read? Does any of this online or social media marketing work for you? If so, please share. I could use all the help I can get.