Today’s blog will be short and sweet—stop that cheering—I can hear you!
There used to be a saying that “writers write, that’s what they do.” It was true at one time. Back in the days of the big however many houses when author marketing was largely handled by the publicity and/or marketing departments of the author’s house. Back in the day, the marketing department arranged the publicity, bought the ads and air time, sold the books not only to bookstores (there were a lot of them pre- ereaders), but to book clubs and book of the month style clubs. A well-known writer’s book (and even books of lesser known writers) were splashed everywhere. At least for a few months. Alas, no more.
Yes, there are still big houses—I think we are down to four, although it may be three. Hard to keep track. And to some extent they do some support publicity for their authors. Not too much for the most part, unless you are really famous, but they make sure the books are available at venues and often will punch up posters and flyers. Some still take ads in trade mags and newspapers. More often than not, even the big houses act as advisers, and the author is left to figure out the marketing thing by her/himself. The same is true of the small presses. They do what they can, and often do more than the big houses, but still, the onus is on the writer. And therein lies the rub.
Every writer I know (and I know a few) would much rather sit in their cave and grind out the words. That does not sell books. Those of us who thought all we had to do was write a good book and readers would beat a path to our doors begging for the next one, (can you see my hand waving), quickly discovered the error of our ways. Instead we learned the benefits of Facebook, how to work our author pages, got up close and friendly with Canva and learned to make our own ads (still learning) and of course, we tweeted our hearts out. It’s all about staying connected, with our publisher, agent, editor, other authors (who swap information on what they’ve found to work because we are all in this together) and with the readers.
The readers are the lifeblood of any author’s marketing endeavors. Reaching, interacting, meeting, greeting, learning about your readers. It’s what sells books, yes. But it’s something more than that. It’s humanity in action. We write to gain a readership. What better way to do that then to meet the readers? Either on social media, or as the expression goes, F2F. Marketing is time consuming. It’s the reader interaction that makes it worthwhile. When the author cares about her audience, it shows. And it makes the marketing treadmill all worthwhile.
What about you, writers? Do you like or hate the marketing blitzkrieg of modern writing?
Readers, do you like meeting the authors, in person or cyberwise or do you wish we would all go away and write more books?
Kait loves to hear from fans, check out her website at www.kaitcarson.com; follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kaitcarsonauthor, on twitter at @kaitcarson, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.