This Business of Writing

The Monkey IS on Your Back!

In Marketing Your Book on September 29, 2009 at 10:42 am

If you’re an author, it’s true. We, as writers, have had more than just a monkey jump on our backs. The proverbial eight-hundred pound gorilla has taken its place.  I’m talking, of course, about how writers are now their own publicity agents, in contrast to the “good ol’ days.”

The antiquated model of an author being picked up by an agent, who pitches his book to a publishing house, who in turn gives the author a nice fat check, are just about gone. Even if an advance is offered at all, you can almost be guaranteed less than minimum wage for your efforts. Further, even if you are among the flattered few who sign a contract with a publisher, the odds of him putting money into marketing your work are at the lower end of slim to none. The net result of these changes in the publishing world? If you want to sell your book, whether represented or not, YOU are your only marketing agent.

Many authors can write a wonderful book or novel, but simply don’t have the money, time or personality to market their work. Those who do are fortunate and few, but what are the rest of us writers to do?

I know you don’t want to hear this, but you need to leverage the Internet. You must develop a website, a blog,  and learn how to market on Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn, WordPress and other 21st Century tools. The Internet is your answer.

These days you must, and please note the word, “must”, delve into these new technologies to succeed as an author. Even if you have a publisher, he’ll insist you develop what is called a platform and reach out to touch people with these 21st century tools. So, get used to it, face the music and bite that bullet. Pick your cliché, but just do it, jump in with both feet and learn how to reach your buying public with your platform.

These things are not as difficult as you might think, take surprisingly little time and some can be done at no-cost. I’ll follow up soon with more postings to flesh out these ideas, so keep in touch.

Until then, good writing and thanks for your time.

Patrick

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