Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Author Promotion

My last post about book signings with the anxiety and even desperation that often accompany these events got me thinking about author promotion. The message is getting through loud and clear-- authors have to promote themselves and their books because nobody else will care enough to do it. The publisher cares, but often has a whole lot of books to market, with most of the attention going to the next title, or to the bestselling titles, or whatever. Anyone but moi, right? And if you are lucky enough to be one of those bestsellers, you better stay with it to keep your place on top.

There's no way out of it. We have to promote.

I have an upcoming interview with 24 Hours London author Marsha Moore on her book promotion. She has some great ideas and success stories. I am obsessed by this idea of promotion. There's a lot out there on the subject--good, bad and ugly. That idea of approaching passersby to put a copy of your book in their hands? No, that's a bad idea. Jane's comment about the writer of the recipe book in Costco wearing a chef's coat and engaging people with a genuine smile--good idea.

What are some of the ideas you've heard? Some that you want to try? Some you would never feel comfortable with? That you would resist with every fiber of your being? And what are you excited to do?


  1. Looking forward to that post.

  2. Hi Karen,
    Thanks for visiting my blog! I see you've been posting about what I most need to get my head round; book promotion! I'll be reading your blog with great interest.
    Best, Chris.

  3. Hi Chris,
    Welcome to my side of the world! Thanks for stopping by! I plan on following yours, too. Much success on your new book.

  4. Promotion can be tough for authors, because they tend to be private people who spend a lot of time alone, writing. But like anything, the more you do something the easier it becomes. Best to jump in where you're comfortable. Which is why so many blog. Creating that online presence is good, but eventually, you will have to get out from behind the computer and face people, oh my!

    Like a good boy scout, you must Be Prepared.If it's a signing, psych yourself up for it and have fun. If it's a presentation, have talking points ready. Be able to give a me in 30 seconds on your book to get attention, then expand out from there. Stick to power statements, and don't ramble. Allow people to ask questions. Don't talk TOO much. Be someone your audience can relate too, not too remote or too talkative, or too superior or too painfully shy. Think about them, not about you.

    And be realistic, understanding the first few signings and/or appearances may be awkward and uncomfortable, but the more you put yourself out there, the easier it will be. Don't try to sell yourself or your book. Think of it as have given of yourself to share this story and you want people to enjoy it.

    That's my two cents worth.