Someone asked a question the other day that went something like this: When a contract is signed and edits are completed, does the publisher place the book on its Web site and is the author allowed to post his or her book on his own site? This got me to thinking maybe there are others out there who don’t understand the importance of marketing. Hopefully, the answer to this writer’s question will be of value to others.
Note: In the following, I will refer to both fiction and non-fiction works as books. I refer to them as books, because that’s what they are—books, as in bookstore, a place where books are sold.Yes, I know that a novel is fiction and book is used to designate nonfiction. I also know that the word "book" is used as catch all terminology for both fiction and nonfiction.
As far as what a publisher does to market books, that would be a question you should ask your publisher. However, generally, if the publisher has a Web site, they would put their entire list there and, in the case of very small publishers, might even sell the book from their Internet site. But that doesn't mean an author SHOULD depend solely on his publisher to market his or her book(s). Each author should also have a Web site, a blog and should, whenever possible, promote his/her books on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace along with links to any and every site possible. A writer must use all avenues open to him to do whatever he can to make sure that his book is in as many readers' hands as possible. A writing career is built on making readers aware of who you are and what you write. If you don’t do this, you are just another name among the hundreds of thousands of names of people who have offered their literary wares. It’s imperative that you, literally, make a name for yourself.
Never pass up an opportunity to market your product. The reasoning behind this is that an author, as the book's creator, is a celebrity in the eye of his/her readers. Most readers don't know, or care, who published their favorite book. Publisher promotion is never as effective as an author’s, thus most publishers depend on the writer to promote his or her own books. It's imperative and an author's duty to market his or her books to any and everyone possible. The Internet is there for the taking and it reaches more people than just about any other communication device ever known to man. Take complete advantage of this wonderful marketing tool. Study marketing techniques. Learn from what has succeeded and what has failed. Be a marketing guru.
If the author fails to do this--to do his or her own marketing--there is a good possibility that his book, especially a first book, will fail. And if it does, there’s a good chance it will be the end of any writing career the author had anticipated. Publishers are never anxious to waste money on authors whose books have failed. If a book flops, it's usually because the author did little or nothing to promote his or her book. So get out there and sell those books. You’ll profit from it.