Hard Truths

Hi Writers,

I wanted to share with you a few thoughts about some of the things I’ve been going through in my own job as Marketing Manager over the past few weeks. A lot of what I’ve written about before touches on this topic already, but I hope you’ll bear with me, as I think this is something that is important for all writers to take stock of.

As the focus in publishing has shifts more and more online and we all suffer through the struggling economy, publishing companies are being forced to reassess the way they do business. This means changing the way their content (your writing) is sold–don’t limit your thinking to books, magazines, and screenplays…think downloads, feature web articles, and video downloads as well.  It also means changing the way publishing companies… actually, media companies (something you should get used to thinking about) market their content. 

Working for a publisher I’m charged with reaching out directly to consumers to let them know about our products–be they books, magazines, downloads or whatever. Less and less of many publishing companies’ resources are being dedicated to traditional publicity efforts such as book signings and PR mailings. More and more publishers are looking for authors who can generate that type of publicity for themselves.

That’s why the advice author Christina Katz has been sharing about creating an author platform is so valuable. Getting published initially is becoming more and more difficult unless you have your own marketing plan, online presence, and general business savvy to convince publishers that your book will sell and that you will be working to help make the book a success.

I’ve been talking with an author, Bob Woodiwiss, who has lots of great ideas for generating book buzz. Unfortunately, I don’t have the budget or resources to devote to some of his ideas. My advice to all authors is to go after your own book signings from the very beginning, reach out to bloggers who write about your subject area, and contact media that you might think would be interested in your story on your own. It can seem like a daunting task, but really the most important thing is taking the initiative and being persistent.

Good luck.


Check out Bob Woodiwiss’s commentary on the extravagence of high society, The Serfitt & Cloye Gift Catalog.

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3 thoughts on “Hard Truths

  1. Jacob

    How do publishers view authors who post the first chapter of a novel online before the book is picked up by a publisher? I am trying to put an online writing group together and I would like to know if people who post on my site will be automatically shunned by the publishing community for posting a selection of their work online.

  2. Robb

    I envy the authors and musicians who established themselves under the old paradigm–they have name recognition but still get the use the New Media. For the rest of us, the markets seem so fragmented, and so much of what is "out there" looks to be uncompensated.

    I’m wondering how this all will be priced out, negotiated, and then monitored. It seems like it would help a lot to have an agent that knows the new media and can help keep track of all of this to allow a writer to write.



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