As an author I consistently roam the message boards of writer’s forums looking for tips or any posts on marketing. Over the years I have noticed one big complaint, “My book isn’t selling. It’s my publishers fault”. The last time I checked it was a publisher’s job to do exactly what the name publisher implies—to publish your book.
Publishing defined is: the business or profession of the and issuance of literature, information, musical scores or sometimes recordings, or art. To make my point I even have used another dictionary definition, publishing: Traditionally, the selection, preparation, and distribution of printed matter—including books, newspapers, magazines, and pamphlets. Contemporary publishing includes the production of materials in digital formats such as CD-ROMs, as well as materials created or adapted for electronic distribution. Nowhere in either definition does it say a publisher will guarantee my book sales. Sorry, that’s for us to do. They can get the book to the book sellers, but they cannot make a reader purchase the book.
I wanted to know how widespread this misconception was so I queried a close friend in the publishing business and her response shocked me. She stated that authors email publishers on a daily basis regarding lacking sales. She went on further to state most publishers request a marketing plan prior to considering a book for publication, and the company she works for is no exception. So, what’s the issue? The authors are not following their own marketing plan for how they would market their own book once published. If you have yet to set up your own interviews, book signings, albeit small or large, promoted it on networking sites, or even given yourself a release party then who is really to blame here?
The bottom line is the publishing industry is saturated with authors. Stop complaining if you are not doing what it takes to get your name out there. Get your head out the sand and get to work. Be your own publicist if you can’t afford one. Who can toot your own horn better than you? It is easier to place blame than accept were we fall short. By no means am I exempt. I have only done one signing this year, but then again I am not complaining about my sales.
The Golden Pen