Monday, March 1, 2010

Writing Something Worth Reading

Right now I am reading a couple of manuals that explain how to market a book. 

The concepts, of course, apply to marketing any salable program or item, but the two books I'm reading focus on the writer as business person.

My first impression is best expressed as a question: How does one market a book and still have time to write the next one? The best answer I have gleaned from my reading is that one creates a plan that grows and builds over time. This answer, though, assumes writers will keep their day jobs and not hit the road for book tours. My more gradual approach still seems pretty busy, but at least I still get to sleep in my own bed every night!  

  • Publish the book: Marketing ultimately will not save a book not worth reading.
  • Develop a blog: Regular posting allows the reader to look into the life of the writer and personalizes the writer/reader relationship.
  • Develop online networks: Word-of-mouth is a powerful tool for spreading information, perhaps mainly because it is viral, outside the writer's control.
  • Readings and interviews: Hearing the writer read in his or her own voice is powerful. Words take on unexpected nuances.
  • Book reviews: Objective literary acclaim increases the stature of the book; it indicates respect by the writer's peers. Press releases: A traditional means of publicity, a press release published in a newspaper can not only inform the reader that a book is available for purchase, it can also lend credibility to the book.
  • Free handouts, such as bookmarks: People like something free, and such giveaways move on a physical level in much the same way as word-of-mouth spreads.
All this marketing takes up time that could be spent writing. This is the dilemma of the writer: If you never write, then you will not be a writer, but if you spend all your time writing, what you write will never get read because no one will know it exists.

Ah, the joys of relativity.

Copyright 2010 by Thomas L. Kepler, all rights reserved


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