Monday, June 16, 2008

What Publishers Wish Authors Knew

By C. Lynn Beck
© 2008

Promises, promises. I always like to keep them and so, as I vowed last week, I’m going to give you a few of the highlights from Doug Johnston’s presentation at Cedar Fort’s 6-7-8 Conference.

Doug spoke about the things publishers (and publicists) wish their authors knew. He mentioned one point that really struck a chord: If a book is selling, publishers advertise it. If a book is not selling, publishers still advertise the book that’s selling.

What does that mean for us as authors? Whether we like it or not, if we want our book to have support from the publisher, we have to do our share of promoting. That in turn, will insure that a portion of the publisher’s advertising budget is spent on our best selling book.

Need a few ideas for promotion? Doug suggested a number of venues that we can utilize.

Newspaper reviews
Magazine reviews
Radio interviews
TV interviews
Author blogs
Author websites
Word of Mouth
Friends and family.

And when it came to the traditional method of publicizing—using the well-known book signing—there were a few ideas, as well.

Be on time.
Dress nicely.
Be prepared. Be able to tell what your book is about in a twenty-second “blurb” and make sure you have plenty of books on hand.
Smile and make friends.
Never autograph a book for a co-author.
Always talk to the person for whom you’re signing the book.
Take along and give out your business card.
Get email addresses from browsers and buyers.

I could go on and on with the ideas Doug gave, but unfortunately, that would make for a long entry. So, my suggestion is that if Cedar Fort does have another conference, you attend.

You never know, Doug may be at the next one and then you can ask him for some pointers yourself.

C. Lynn’s other work:
Cup of Comfort for Horse Lovers, "Horse on Lap", pg 83
Life is Like Riding a Unicycle by Shirley Bahlmann, "Priming the Pump, pg. 79
Newspaper Column
Ensign Magazine, Dec 2007-Q&A
2007 League of Utah Writer's Award-Historical Fiction

What books C. Lynn recommends:
You Know You're a Writer When ... by Adair Lara
The Writer's Book of Hope by Ralph Keyes
Publishing Secrets by LDS Storymakers (BJ Rowley and others)


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