Saturday, December 29, 2007

New author publicity workshop 1/14/08

This workshop is the smartest investment you can make if you have a book coming out in 2008.
It's sponsored by the Women's National Book Association DC chapter. Publicist Lauren Cerand is part of the panel, and she's one smart cookie.

Admission is $10 for non-members but you'd be smart to join WNBA (then admission is free) and take advantage of all the benefits offered.

I'm a big supporter of WNBA and was on the board here in the NYC chapter for years. The NYC chapter offers regular programs as well (the next one is on the author/agent/editor relationship on 1/23/08)


Michael Carr - Veritas Literary said...

I hope this does not come across as a foolish question, but for anyone with experience with the WNBA, are there a fair number of men who attend these events as well?

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

I'd love to go to this! Unfortunately, I can't leave my kids, or my grown up goats ... or my children ... I need something much closer.

I need a cookie too. Russian Tea Cakes ... With powdered sugar. And hot tea too.

As bad as I am at getting the word out, Pixie Warrior jumped up two spots on Mobipocket best seller in fantasy list. I'm at number 9 now. I know this doesn't mean much in sales, but it made me dance. And such names I'm behind! ooooo baby!

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Oh, and dear Kingm ... wear a wig and a dress if you're worried. ... And if anyone notices, just say, "I've been a bit sick lately."

Janet Reid said...

well, attire is business casual, but drag works well if you're of a mind.

MANY men attend the events and belong to the organization.

Smart guys!

Michael Carr - Veritas Literary said...

Thanks. It's the agent/author/editor thing that looks most helpful for me, and has the added benefit of being a (longish) train ride away.

Realistic Writer said...

No metrics exist which demonstrate that anything an author does for promotion has any effect whatsoever. Authors who bust their tails on self-promotion fail, and authors who do nothing at all hit the bestseller list. If your publisher doesn't promote you, then it's a crapshoot, and mostly they won't unless you're uncommonly lucky. The only thing that can shown to affect sales is co-op, and we all know who gets that: the authors who don't actually need it to sell books.

You'd do better to spend $10 on lottery tickets, or spend nothing at all and just write your next book. Promotion is a waste of time and resources better spent paying the rent.

Michael Carr - Veritas Literary said...

Realistic Writer,

I agree that nothing can compensate for insufficient time and attention spent on the next book, but plenty of people disagree with you about the value of promotion.

The number one reason I plan to take my publisher and agent's advice about publicity is because I want to write the next book. I'll do whatever I can to keep my career moving forward. I'm not going to let it fail through inattention on my part. It's too much work to get to this point and it means too much to me to take any chances.

Eric said...

I think it works to an extent. Just don't expect miracles. My latest book is selling better than the last one. It has not come close to any best seller lists, but the fact that it is doing better is, I think, largely due to the amount of time I've spent promoting the book in person to bookstores. The many stores I've visited are ordering more, and selling more of this book than the last one.

I've also spent a lot more time promoting my books online and at conferences, library events, etc. All of which has contributed to growing sales.

Because of that I'm about to sign a contract for two more in the series, and if I can manage to help each of those sell better than the last, I've got a much better chance of actually getting somewhere with all this.

So far as I can tell, what is unrealistic is the notion that it is a writer's job to simply write books. I figure that's about a third of my job, the other two thirds is to help sell my books. As I'm not a big name, best selling author, if I'm not out there trying to sell my books, I can't imagine who's going to be doing it for me. There's just too many books published every year to expect the publishers to actually do much of what ought to be their job.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

My "promotion," such as it is has been primarily word of mouth, web postings, reader review, and my mom!

Okay, so I have a fan in an older gentleman who's posted twice and emailed me. He's very sweet, I think.

I know ebooks have a very limited market. But, it's doing well enough as an ebook, that Pixie Warrior might have a decent showing when it comes out in paper sometime around August.

Word of mouth does a lot more than I imagined. Mobipocket is one of the larger ebook sellers with big names. Briefly I was at number 5 in their fantasy catagory best sellers. I'm sitting at number six now.

This isn't bad, considering the ones ahead of me are well known writers whose writing I admire: Terry Brooks, Terry Pratchet, George R. R. Martin, and Christopher Paolini.

Once you get on the list, then you're much more visible. You are what people SEE. Your cover is displayed on the side of the page in the catagory if you're in the top ten. This is nice.

Reader reviews mean a lot too, at least they have to me. It's not as if I get a flood of fan mail, but I do get a trickle of emails from readers. They have all been quite nice, and they are recomending to their friends.

So, I stumble around when it comes to promotion. I don't have a clue what I'm doing. But I AM having fun.

Rachael de Vienne,
aka Sha'el, princess of pixies,
Queen of Goats
Author of Pixie Warrior,
Sister to the Little Old Lady who lived in a shoe.

Bill Cameron said...

Frankly, I think RW is on to something, and even if he's wrong, I find the notion that two-thirds of one's writing life should be dedicated to promotion simply appalling.

Certainly I feel like my promotional efforts were a huge waste of time and money. All the travel, store visits, and money I spent hasn't made the slightest impression on the publishers out there, nor on the book-buying public. I'm inclined to think that if only one-third of one's writing time is spent writing, then the work produced is likely to be only one-third as good as it could be.

Eric said...

Bill, I respectfully - and as a great fan of your work - beg to differ. If I spent all my time writing, I think my writing would suffer. I need to understand the world around me and the market that I am trying to sell my writing in. Not necessarily to tailor my writing to it, which I don't do, but whether I like it or not that's the world I send my writing out into and where it has to make its mark - or not.

Then again, I'm currently in the throes of trying to come up with a suitable subject for a non-fiction book, and whether I like it or not, the market will pretty much dictate what that subject is going to be.

I am a professional writer and I am of the opinion that any profession, any profession at all, at its heart boils down to sales. That's as true of the creative arts as it is of manufacturing widgets.