This week two authors have approached me to help them with their marketing and publicity (I work in this area for the day job and as a freelance publicity consultant). Unfortunately, I had to say no to both of them (which was hard for me, because I like to help people where I can), but it raised that question of how much effort an author has to put into their own marketing. Both authors are finding that aspect of their writing career to be difficult.
The idea of self-promotion is not new to me, since I work in the field. While in my personal life, I’m a stay-in-the-background person, I understand that it’s a different game professionally. Authors, much as they would like to be left alone to write, need to put themselves out there. It helps to think of yourself, the author, as a business. You have an aim – to write and sell books. In the worldwide marketplace that’s accessible to us now, you have to work harder than ever to get your book noticed. Self-promotion or marketing is something you need to schedule into your day … and that can take a bit of getting used to.
Author Rachael Johns talks about the non-writing part of being a writer on this guest post I shared earlier today (via my review site Write Note Reviews). I’ve also shared a post from blogger and writer Maureen Eppen (via In Their Own Write) about writing effective media releases. I hope they’re of some help.
My own writing week has been full on. I went to the New Norcia Writers Festival (see photos and summary here), finished the edits on one short story, wrote another (now simmering for a couple of days), and read through submissions for Serenity Press’s Rocky Romance anthology. I also held an in-conversation with author Felicity Young at the Stories on Stage event I run at Koorliny Arts Centre. Feedback after this event warmed my heart – there’s always someone who comes up after Stories on Stage and tells me how much they enjoyed it, and it’s music to the ears of this writer, who’s exhausted by the time the event is over.
And that brings me to tonight. I’m off to Bridgetown, a small town about two or so hours from here, for an overnight research trip. My WIP – which I haven’t touched for weeks due to short story writing – is going to be set in a small town like Bridgetown, and I want to get the feel of it. I want to wake up there, hear the noises of the town in the morning, day and night, and chat to some locals. Wish me luck!