"I can help you!"


I've worked for over 25 years in advertising, promotions and sales, and spent nearly 2 years as a motivational speaker for a major international company. Currently a bestselling novelist and 'shameless' promoter, I've shared my experiences and techniques as a Book Marketing Coach for nearly a decade.

Whether you're published or unpublished, I can help. My last publisher called me a "marketing guru" and "whiz", although I prefer to think of what I do as teaching, or coaching.

"Dare to Dream...and Dream BIG!"

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Whose responsibility is it to market your book--the publisher or yours?

While the answer to the title of this post may seem obvious to most, the answer is: BOTH!

This topic recently came up in the Murder Must Advertise Yahoo group, and when Karen Syed, publisher at Echelon Press, joined in and shared her experiences, I am sure there were a few horrified readers. What do you mean authors aren't promoting their own books? That must only be a few, right? Wrong.

Talk to a handful of writers about what they've done, are doing and how many books they've sold as a result and you'll discover that there are a lot of uneducated, lazy writers out there who feel it's up to a publisher to sell the book.

They're wrong. Authors need to think of their publishers as their business partners. Or even as a coach. A partner or coach can only assist you so far; you still have to do some of the work and carry your fair share of responsibility. Then you can both celebrate your success.

I wandered over to Karen's blog and wasn't surprised to see she'd blogged about this. Hey, look what I'm doing. Book marketing, or lack thereof, is an important topic--and it's my livelihood, as an author and a book marketing coach.

Here's the comment I left on Karen's blog:
ALL of Karen’s authors should “die trying”. You should all realize how fortunate you are to have a publisher who took a risk on you and your book and then did all the things she does to promote it. Many authors with other publishers are lucky to get even half of what she offers.

As an author who has shamelessly promoted her books everywhere I go, I can tell you Karen is right. It’s YOUR book! If you haven’t got the time, money, energy or interest to promote your “baby” and your possible future as a career author, then why should she?

Please note: I’m not one of Karen’s authors. I’ve never met her. I don’t even know if I know any of her authors. But I can tell you from experience and from working with other authors as a marketing coach, her experiences are common.

Too many authors are either uneducated about the book industry or they’re too lazy to market their own work or they’re too lazy to learn or they’re just not interested in writing as a career.

As the former creator and organizer of Authors’ Row, a multi-author event that no longer exists, I can assure you I’ve seen and heard it all. All the excuses why you can’t or won’t market your book. I’ve watched authors read their own books at signings and completely ignore potential fans.

Connect! That is a hugely rewarding part of signings and events–meeting people. Hand out bookmarks or promo items. Have a draw for a gift basket. SMILE!

Sorry, but if all you want is a book published so you can sell a handful (or 100 in a year) to your family and friends, then self-publish it.

When a publisher takes on the risk, especially financially, they have the right to certain expectations. That you’ll market your book is one of them.
If you don’t know how to market your book, learn.

If you don’t WANT to market your book, step aside, so that those of us who will “die trying” can have a chance with your publisher.
For those authors who still haven't figured this out, I suggest you check out Karen Syed's blog post You've Got to be Kidding!


EchelonPress said...

We already know that we are on the same page on this one, but I would like to say this. I have been very outspoken, but I don't think I have really given a damn good reason for my feelings.

When we write, and I am a writer, one of our goals is to have others read our work and be touched by it. If you are not marketing your own work then people are getting the full impact of your passion for what you have written. It isn't just a responsibility--to market your work--it is an honor. You have created a work of art and even the least-known artist craves going out and showing their work in galleries and at shows.

Don't deprive yourself of the truly pleasurable reactions of your fans and readers. You deserve it and so do the reaaders.

Karen Syed

Cheryl Kaye Tardif said...

Very well said, Karen, and I so agree.

It is a huge honor to share a creation with the world! I will never forget the people who told me one of my works actually "changed" their lives. Why would authors want to miss out on that?

Thank you so much for dropping by.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Cheryl Kaye Tardif said...

I just came across this article from marketing expert Penny Sansevieri, whom I had the pleasure of meeting a few years ago at a writers’ conference. She talks about why some authors fail.