To Market, To Market

Marketing has broadened its scope from publisher marketing only to the expectation that the author will participate up to fifty percent in marketing the book. The author now participates in not only writing the novel but also in creating a title, cover design and some even write their own back cover blurbs.

But even more broadening the expectation also means authors are expected to promote the book as well through their website, newsletters, blogs, social media such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Whatever the author does, the object is to create a “buzz” about the book or novel since word-of-mouth is the best seller of fiction. Author’s sometimes invest their own money for paid advertisement or by hiring a publicist or public relationships company.


is free and an be provide through reviews, endorsements, or media coverage. Having a large fan base assists the author in spreading the word about the book release or sharing word-of-mouth reviews, but authors have little control over what is said. They take the good with the bad.


can be free or can be an expense to the author. In-store displays are free to the author although the publisher may pay for special display placement. But authors can also provide low-cost promotion using giveaways, contests and bonus material. Self-published authors can lower the price of the book for a time to stimulate sales and interest.

Public Relations

can be hired by a novelist to develop a plan of action and to open doors to media. They know how to tie the novel to interest groups or organizations that relate to the subject or theme of the novel. A series that revolves around nurses could lead to a public relations representative arranging an ad or a media interview in nursing magazines. A novel focused on yachting can connect with yachting organizations and magazines. Use themes to add extra oomph to whatever form of marketing you use.

Whatever method is used—publicity, promotion or public relations, the author and publisher are aware of the main target audience for the novel. Don’t duplicate your publisher’s efforts but expand and find new ways to promote your novel. No matter what an author uses to bring the novel to the forefront, know your reader and appeal to their interests.

**More on marketing to come in a future post.

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  1. April November 5, 2013 at 9:25 am #

    I constantly appreciate your insights. I’ve been following your blog for years.
    I began writing fiction when I was 26. I’m now 44, hopefully older and wiser now. :) I’ve wanted to write since I was 10. I’ve had about 30 things published since I was 26. I was so tripped up though by the “market” when I began studying it that it paralyzed me. I compared myself to every author out there and stopped writing. I don’t blame that on anyone but myself. I also believe God has our timing arranged.
    I’m being given a block of time now, for the first time in 13 years, to write again. I’m better able now to leave the results in the Lord’s hands. I’m not a failure as a person now if I don’t accomplish A,B and C by the time I’m 40. (What a relief to turn 40 and just move on.)
    I have self published a devotional book on our adoption experience. I agree with everything you’ve just said about marketing. You explain it in such a straightforward way. Thank you again for taking the time to reach out to writers. I’ll continue to watch your blog and learn.
    God bless you and have a great, great day!

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